What are Microlearning Technologies?

The rise of educational technology has fundamentally changed the way students learn by incorporating both formal and informal learning experiences, therefore creating a subsequent demand to create new methods to track, measure, and acknowledge new proficiencies. Educational institutions are satisfying this need by developing micro-learning experiences, which are relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities that result in a proficiency of a desired skill. Digital badges, for example, are seen as a way to grant certification for formal and informal learning in the form of microcredits, which assesses learned skills based on outcomes, rather than seat time. While badges are not yet pervasive in education, they are being used by educators and organizations that are seeking comprehensive approaches to demonstrate a student’s learning path — methods that encompass far more than grades and traditional credits. Industries are also capitalizing on the opportunity to grow employees skills through micro-learning technologies.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - gordon gordon Jul 21, 2016

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

This seems linked both to big data and adaptive learning technologies and the pros here are the same as the pros there. - ole ole Aug 10, 2016 Our libraries should be on board here, as well. The would be important partners in creating overarching principles and strategies for a whole university. And for creating the tehcnical framework. - ole ole Sep 4, 2016
Companies like Lynda.com (https://www.lynda.com/) are already offering, via licensing available through public libraries and university libraries, micro-learning experiences, competency-based, to students on a diversity of topics from business, to design, to marketing, etc.... It is a way for students to mix formal and informal learning experiences to complete their education. This of course leads to the discussion of micro-credentials to be recognized by higher ed institutions and employers.- agermain agermain Oct 2, 2016
  • When I clicked in micro learning, I think I had micro credentialing in my head. I found this paper discussing micro learning which really just reiterates that learning in 50 min blocks is not that effective and that one and done doesn't work either. Both are still long held on to techniques that are being used in higher education. After using the lecture or the one and done approach when students are tested on their 'learning" its really their ability to memorize that is being tested in very many cases. I think that the problem based learning being used in health professions gets a little to the micro learning but not all the way. When its done correctly changing activities every 20 minutes or so reengages the learner. The short pod casts of the 1990s were a very effective micro learning tool, until they got too long. file:///C:/Users/Home%20Media/Downloads/Microlearning_Whitepaper_Final_012516.pdf (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • This happens when students are training on the job if a teacher or coach can capture small moments of learning and repeat it with the learner. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)
  • It has caught on in health professions education through the use of short videos, but likely not short enough and still found in the middle of 50 min lectures. As students go less to a classroom to do their learning having many micro bits for students to review over may be the way to increasing problem solving and creativity. It remains to be assessed. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016) Just because learners want something to be short, doesn't mean that it has the potential to provide them with all they need. There is value here for higher education. It may come down to the ability to adopt, find the correct content, and help faculty create the content in 4 min blurbs or less for their classrooms. (- rneuron rneuron Sep 27, 2016)
  • The fact that more and more informal, micro-learning, competency-based materials are either freely or for a fee available on the web, gives students more flexibility to complete their formal education with informal skill-based micro-courses. However these informal micro-courses need to be recognized by Higher Ed institutions and employers, hence an important discussion to have on micro-credentials.- agermain agermain Oct 2, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.