Microlearning- how to?

I already bothered you with a scoop about microlearning– learning in small pieces of about 10 to 15 minutes each. It meets the requirements set by short attention spans, learning by repetition, and flexibility in temporal learning. But how to translate this into a practical approach?

I guess we agree that just cutting a learning activity, e.g. an online lesson, into chunks only formally fulfils the definition of microlearning and is not really beneficial to reading smaller chapters in a printed text book. In contrast, it may result in annoyed students who feel like making only little progress in their learning paths.

Microlearning should take advantage of multimodal presentations, interactive assignments, and collaborative functioning, which are the real benefits of technology-enhanced learning.

This article from the magazine eLearning Industry highlights some activities that meet those requirements. Podcasts, infographics, videos. Branching scenarios, task-based simulations. User-generated blog posts (or wiki entries). Like to have some examples?

What about letting your students make a short video how they perform a practical task (e.g. adding a layer in their graphic design software), upload this on a platform and let fellow students comment- resulting in a reviewed library of hands-on videos?

What about presenting students short work-related situation (a customer calls you and asks…. What do you suggest to him?) and later presenting all the answers online so fellow students can learn for each others answers?

What about teaching students procedures by asking them to create checklists for each other and then let students study them one per week?

You may realise I already incorporate a collaborative learning scenario in every example. Of course you can prepare the tasks for the students and just let them study or answer. But especially microlearning, when content is small and therefore reading followed by peer-review or commenting is done quickly, provides a powerful base to include collaboration and thereby learning from each other.

Microlearning- when used for the right scenarios- is a very convenient way to meet todays need for temporal flexibility while at the same time enhancing learning by (spaced) repetition and reinforcement.

Why Microlearning Drives Over 20% More Information Retention Than Long-Form Training

Overall, across the three scoring measures in the study, fine-grained performed 22.2% better than the blocked group and 8.4% better than the medium-grained group. The fine-grained group, with their “micro” content and frequent assessment questions, fared better than both competing groups in every category. From this study, it would appear that bite-sized content is, indeed, better.

The researchers mentioned two dynamics potentially in effect. First, the larger amount of material and questions given to the blocked group might have “put greater demands on learners,” resulting in them having to do more work to “access necessary information from their memory.” In other words, stockpiling information slowed down the process of retrieving it. Sounds familiar.

Second, the blocked group could have suffered from having less feedback than the medium and fine groups: “Longer study phases without learning questions may lead to uncertainty about whether they have understood all relevant content or not.”

Bingo.

via Report: Microlearning Is 22% Better Than Long-Form Training