Micro training/teaching/learning is back, but in some ways new and improved, I think. We've known for sometime now that the optimal attention span length for today's "video-media-phytes" is shrinking, down to somewhere around 3 or 4 minutes. Our overall attention span as a culture has been shrinking rapidly in the last 3 decades, in fact. But if that is the case, what do we do with the other 47 minutes of the 50 minute class? Micro-learning, or the shift from courses to resources, to the rescue.
Here is a nice definition and suggestions for using micro-learning from Steve Penfield at eLearningindustry.com:
"Microlearning is sometimes defined as simply providing learners with tiny bites of learning material, rather than longer-form modules or courses. These tiny bites could be interactive videos, podcasts, quizzes, and more. But it’s their length that is key. We’re talking two to three minutes max. And learners should have some choice about what they use and when."
He then provides 5 tips to keep in mind when micro-ing it:
- Start with challenges
- Create a scale
- Use sources and rules to personalize the learning curve
- Reward learners for their progress
- Include milestones to highlight progress
- How can we create pathways that are personalized for our learners?
- In what ways can we work in spaced practice?
- In what ways can we use live data to motivate and encourage learners, while making the learning experience more social for them?