Welcome to the world of microlearning, where learning is not just about consuming information but about how you consume it and how that consumption positively impacts your journey of knowledge acquisition.
Five question knowledge check quizzes, an infographic on the nitrogen cycle in plants, or short video tutorials on tools in Photoshop—microlearning is a teaching method that concentrates on providing small, easy-to-digest pieces of information and is revolutionizing the world of online learning. It involves breaking down complicated concepts into smaller, more manageable modules, allowing learners to consume information at their own pace.
Adapting to the Accelerated Lifestyle of Modern Learners
Microlearning methodology offers benefits that extend beyond adapting to the content consumption habits of learners. It caters to an accelerated lifestyle where learners do not have to spend extended periods reviewing the content of a lesson. Additionally, microlearning improves engagement, which boosts knowledge retention. It is worth noting that the attention span of learners is reducing (OK Boomer!), making the need for an effective and engaging learning approach like microlearning all the more critical.
Now we know that microlearning is known for its efficiency, engagement, and relevance, making it an effective way to deliver information and promote learning. We can explore some examples:
- Short Video Tutorials: These are short videos that demonstrate a specific task or concept. For example, a video could teach a single Excel formula or demonstrate how to use a particular feature in a software application. Example – How To Solve The Rubik’s Cube In 8 Minutes.
- Infographics: These are visual representations that provide concise information. For instance, an infographic could summarize key historical events in a specific period or outline essential steps in a scientific process. Example: Flipped Learning: The Big Picture Infographic.
- Flashcards: These are excellent for memorization and reinforcement. Digital flashcards can be used to quickly review vocabulary words, historical dates, or mathematical equations in small chunks. Example: Beautiful Canvas Pages Made Easy
- Interactive Quizzes: These can test and reinforce knowledge. Quizzes could focus on a specific concept, theory, or problem-solving technique. Example: Media Site Video Quizes
- Mobile Apps: These often present learners with brief, daily exercises to practice vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation.
- Podcasts: These can offer short, focused lessons or insights on a particular topic, such as personal development or historical events.
- Just-in-Time Learning Modules: These are useful for “just-in-time” learning. For example, a salesperson might access a brief microlearning module to quickly refresh their knowledge of a specific product’s features just before a client meeting.
- Training: Microlearning is effective for safety, soft skills, and product training. By delivering focused modules, learners/employees can quickly learn important information without feeling overwhelmed.
- Historical Facts: Microlearning can provide key historical facts, dates, and events in short, engaging narratives or visual presentations for history lessons. Examples: WW1 – Oversimplified (Part 1 ) WW1 – Oversimplified (Part 2 – 07:40 min.)
How do I start?
Implementing microlearning in your current course can be a beneficial strategy to enhance the learning experience for your students. If you’re looking for a quicker and more straightforward way to get started with microlearning, you can create a microlearning lesson focused on a specific problem area in your course. Here’s a step-by-step guide for this approach:
- Start identifying a specific topic or concept that students frequently struggle with or have questions about.
- Define a clear learning objective for this microlearning lecture. What should students be able to understand or do after completing the assessment? Be specific and measurable.
- Simplify the content related to the problem area. Focus on the essential information and concepts needed to address the issue. (Tip: Pretend you are writing a tweet with only 140 characters per tweet. You can also use Post-its or 3 x 5 note cards.)
- Select a format that best suits the topic and your expertise. You might choose from formats like:
- A short video explaining the concept.
- An infographic highlighting key points.
- A brief article or blog post.
- A simple quiz or set of practice questions.
- Develop the microlearning content concisely, keeping it short and to the point. Ensure the content addresses the specific problem area and provides solutions or explanations.
So, are you eager to experience the transformative power of microlearning in your courses? Schedule an appointment with the instructional consultants at your institution, and, if you’re a member of the Ball State Community, you can reach out to us, specifically, at email@example.com. They will collaborate closely to create a tailored microlearning strategy that aligns perfectly with your goals. You’ll gain insights into designing engaging, easily digestible content that enhances student retention and engagement.
Cloke, Harry. “The History of Microlearning and Its Current Trends.” Growth Engineering, March 24, 2022. https://www.growthengineering.co.uk/history-of-microlearning/.
Giurgiu, Luminiţa. (2017). Microlearning an Evolving Elearning Trend. Scientific Bulletin. 22. 10.1515/bsaft-2017-0003.
Gross, Benedict, Leonie Rusin, Jan Kiesewetter, Jan M. Zottmann, Martin R. Fischer, Stephan Prückner, and Alexandra Zech. “Microlearning for Patient Safety: Crew Resource Management Training in 15-Minutes.” PLOS ONE 14, no. 3 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213178.