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Community Member

Microlearning

Curious if anybody has explored or is using Microlearning in online Canvas courses?

15 Replies
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Community Member

I am looking into doing the same thing. I think Canvas has potential for allowing us to do microlearning. I am not sure yet how it will work. I'm curious as to whether you have learned anything about this since you first posted back in April.

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Adventurer III

I am still not so clear about the term itself. Will watching a short YouTube tutorial and fixed your leaking toilet valve be considered as something Micro-Learned? 

The emphasize of this "nouveau" method seems to be put on the memory retention, since it facilitates the learners to come back and revisit the content again and again if they forgot.

Of course, when affordability comes into question, the shorter development time, the cheaper costs.

But speaking of development, are the courses commons already a form of micro-learning? What is so special about mirco-learning? If it is more of a competency based learning, then it is just a readjustment of scheduling when you want to host it in an LMS, all the platform and the technology are already there, aren't they? 

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Community Member

Hi,

I am no expert, but having explored it a bit, I would say that microlearning is not so much a short lesson like how to fix a toilet valve. Rather, microlearning is a tool you can use to engage learners differently and regularly. Currently, I have two ideas for using it in two very different situations. Both will use other methods of content delivery together with microlessons delivered via apps so that people can view them on their mobile devices. Each microlesson in each case comprises about 5 questions with feedback or a very short video or some other burst of content with a chance to interact and some kind of feedback. The key is to have just one very focused learning objective, which generally means that the lesson is not complete in and of itself... it depends on other microlessons or more traditional classes or independent study to form a complete "class" if you will.

What interest me about microlearning is the way it can be used to engage learners on a regular basis, feeding content to them in tiny, digestible chunks that help them absorb it. Because the lessons and short and engaging the way, say online quizzes on Facebook or quick games of solitaire are engaging, I believe they can be very attractive to people who have limited time or mindshare for engaging on a topic.

A great example of this is Duo Lingo (a free online language course and free app for your mobile device). It is flexible, focused and fun, but really helps you learn and practice languages. I have seen other examples of microlearning that I don't particularly like, but I have heard good things from people about them... things like lame little quizzes on specific topics or mini lessons followed by a couple of questions...

I would not consider the course commons a form of microlearning. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about that.

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Surveyor

We are looking at it as levels of learning for adult learners (teachers) in a particular topic or group of topics.

The "micro" would be the credential or levels earned in a way. Almost like karate belt levels.

For those that just need the basic levels, they can learn and credential at that entry point. For those that want to go further, they would have those options to level up.

Our thinking is that we may tie them to the Texas teacher evaluation standards - Developing, Proficient, Accomplished, Distinguished. Or something like that.

Early days and just concepts for us right now. Excited to follow this thread.

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Community Member

Hi all, 

I am interested in Microlearning and how this would work in Canvas as well. I am looking at Microlearning for our adult learners in 8-week courses. There are a few articles I have found on this subject but nothing about actually designing courses. 

If anyone is interested in collaborating, please let me know. We are starting our Fall semester on Monday and would like to get something together for the Spring. 

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Adventurer III

Hi, Megan, Megan Reinle

Keep me posted, we have some faculty development workshops to launch,  a mircolearning session might be an option. 

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Community Member

According to a white paper I recently read, microlearning defined as short (3 - 5 minutes), bite-sized chunks or bursts of information, accessible just-in-time whenever needed.  Paper is published by a company called Axonify that offers course design services and its proprietary platform to host microlearning for companies.  It  emphasizes the 'failure" of the LMS for use as a medium to create/access successful microlearning.  However, the paper does suggest some useful design techniques to incorporate: 

1.  The Spacing Effect:  Process of repeating information over time with specific time gaps between each repetition, which strengthens long-term knowledge retention.  2.  Retrieval practice:  Act of learning a concept, being
tested on recall, refreshing the knowledge, and again being tested on recall.  (In another lecture I heard on the topic, it was suggested that each return visit to the original concept taught should be spaced further apart e.g. Revisit topic/concept a week after originally taught.  Then mention again  2- 3 weeks later then 6 wks later and so on.).  Research indicates that  forcing learners to recall a single piece of learning from a lesson, results in a "halo" effect which automatically improves retention of other knowledge presented at the same time.  3.  Confidence-based learning:  Include end-of-module learner questionnaire asking students to rate their confidence in their comprehension of material.  This self-evaluation triggers reflection while potentially revealing concept mastery or areas in need of more help (if they're honest). 

The paper also stresses mobile device accessibility, the incorporation of gamification and social media to heighten engagement and collaborative learning, as well as learning tracking (pre/post instruction quizzes??) to evaluate learning effectiveness.

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Community Member

Hi Janet, 

Do you have a copy of that white paper by chance?

Megan

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Community Member

Hi Megan,

Happy to email it to you if you provide an address.

Janet