My portfolio contains examples of microlearning and on-the-go learning.
Since educators and communicators define these terms differently, here is how I understand them and how they inform my choices in designing educational podcasts and related instructional material.
Microlearning is focused on one end result.
That could be comprehending a concept, seeing how to perform a task, or discovering a way to be more efficient.
Microlearning is short.
No one agrees on the ideal length of a microlearning session. The idea is that it can fit into a person’s workday or lifestyle without taking up too much time.
Microlearning can supplement longer courses
Sometimes learners have difficulty understanding certain concepts or applications. Microlearning can provide extra explanation to help the learner understand those tricky parts.
Microlearning can be an entire course
Some situations do not require a long course. They are easily addressed in a short microlearning session.
At other times, several microlearning sessions could be connected in order to provide a fuller understanding of a concept.
On-the-go learning is mobile
Most people go mobile with smart phones, tablets, and smart watches. These mobile devices are capable of supporting multiple kinds of learning experiences including video, images, text, audio, and games.
In five years, the mobile device might change. And in a decade? No one knows what tech we’ll use. One thing is guaranteed: That tech will be mobile.
On-the-go learning uses a VITA framework
Video. Images. Text. Audio. (VITA)
Video is good for demonstrating how to do things. Also useful for explaining concepts to people who learn better with visuals.
Infographics, diagrams, and educational memes. Images are useful for quick reminders of concepts and how to do a task.
Articles, blog posts, checklists, or step-by-step instructions. Podcast and video show notes with links to other resources. Full transcripts.
When audio is made available as a podcast, people can listen and learn on the go. They are not required to stare at a screen. They can learn anytime and anywhere, even while doing other things like exercise, shopping, and commuting.
More than a million podcasts are available on thousands of topics from business to sports to true crime. Some are rambling solo shows, and many are conversations with friends and colleagues about anything and nothing.
Because of this, people who are familiar with podcasts often overlook the power of podcasting for instruction.
My goal has been to address that misconception and demonstrate the effectiveness of the instructional design of podcasts.
And since on-the-go learning can happen while people are eating out or sitting in coffee shops, mobile devices are ideal for effectively delivering instructional videos, images, and text.
“Microlearning is an instructional unit that provides a short engagement in an activity intentionally designed to elicit a specific outcome from the participant.”Microlearning: Short and Sweet
by Karl M. Kapp and Robyn M. Defelice
Microlearning is an approach to training that delivers content in short, focused bites. To be effective, microlearning must fit naturally into the daily workflow, engage employees in voluntary participation, be based in brain science (how people actually learn), adapt continually to ingrain the knowledge employees need to be successful, and ultimately drive behaviors that impact specific business results.Microlearning: The Ultimate Guide
Microlearning may be bite-sized but when it comes to the effectiveness of training, it should certainly be considered a giant. Perhaps there’s no other form of training delivery that’s so effective before, during, and after training. Think of it, there’s no other form of training that’s equally effective in both formal as well as informal training.Microlearning: The Pocket-Sized Giant In eLearning Development
Microlearning consists of short modules (of 3-7 minutes each) that are accessible on multiple devices and can be delivered in various formats. Each module is based on a single and clear performance-based learning objective and aligned with organizational results.Each module is based on a single and clear performance-based learning objective and aligned with organizational results.What Is Microlearning and What It Is Not?
“What’s the one thing I want my audience to know? What do I want them to do about it?”One-point preaching and teaching
Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication
by Andy Stanley
“The irreducible minimum is the smallest unit of information necessary for a given class to gain acceptable understanding of a given subject.”The Seven Laws of the Learner: How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone
by Bruce Wilkinson
These moments, or stages, provide an excellent framework for choosing when to use microlearning and when to provide more comprehensive “macro” eLearning: prior to learning; learning something new; expanding knowledge; reviewing material already learned; when learners apply new knowledge; problem-solving; changing processes or information; teaching others.Let Moments of Learning Need Guide When to Use Microlearning
How do you incorporate scaffolding in microlearning? How is scaffolding different in microlearning than in longer formats? We have several options for scaffolding with microlearning: Microlearning as Scaffolding; Contextual Help; Repeated Practice in a Single Microlearning; Multiple Microlearning ModulesScaffolding in Microlearning
If you choose the microlearning route, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. eLearning designers and decision-makers can look for inspiration from successful YouTubers, shift their gaze to the advertising industry, or listen to the best TED Talks of all time. All of these examples of microlearning…share a few elements: a new take on something familiar; a likable person or narrator with an engaging tone; a compelling story with emotional appeal; excellent accompanying visuals; and a team to bring all those elements together.Pivot: Not all microlearning is memorable
Pamela S. Hogle surveys eight eLearning leaders about microlearning to assess what it is, understand where it is most successful, and anticipate what 2018 will bring. Included in the report is actionable advice from our experts that you can put to work immediately to create efficient and engaging microlearning.The State of Microlearning
There has been much discussion about microlearning in the last two years, although the term itself has been around for decades. As an undefined buzzword, there has been little if any agreement about the details of what microlearning is and how it should work. So many concepts and claims have been made about microlearning that any real usefulness sometimes seems to be lost in the confusion and disagreement.Review of Microlearning: Short and Sweet
“Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.”How Micromoments are changing the rules