The definition of microlearning is easy to guess using only its name, or by the common adjective used to describe it: “bite-sized.” But while the words are illustrative enough, they might conceal the short but relatively rich history of microlearning developments, particularly in EdTech.
However, these developments have mostly stemmed from the corporate learning context, which means that, for other educational contexts, microlearning has a long way to go before more educators recognize it as a fully fledged approach, let alone feel ready to embrace it.
Focusing on the developments of microlearning in the corporate world, we could think of each new attribute as an evolutionary step of the practice:
- “Bite-sized”: In the beginning, this was all it took for a learning intervention to be considered “micro.” 2-minute games, video “haikus,” or large font-sized text with no scrolling was all it took to achieve the designation.
- Compact: Microlearning must make the most of a student’s time. Common elements from more time-consuming media, like elaborate introductions, are shorn.
- Focused: As organizations start building long repositories of short learning assets, conciseness becomes a priority, as is a proper way to organize and enable access to the items.
- Context-relevant: As more data about forms of microlearning consumption by learners arises, organizations design interventions under the assumption that real-world practice will soon follow, and time between lesson and application tends towards zero.
- Instantly rewarded: Gamification becomes microlearning’s best friend, quickly bringing the student into focus and highlighting how small efforts here and there are accruing into skill acquisition. Language learning app Duolingo gives students a decimal-level estimate of language proficiency, which students can see moving up day by day.
It is relatively easy to see how microlearning could be applied in Moodle using the standard activities and sections. The challenges to implement microlearning in Moodle are related to the practice more than the technology. This is not saying technology could not help. Since microlearning involves turning one section into many, ways to automate section and activity creation and upload are welcome. In any case, even though it is a universally desirable communication skill, teachers are often at odds with conciseness.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.