What is microlearning? How can it benefit all learners? How can it contribute to the instructional design process?
Learners nowadays are considered smart. They are more intelligent in acquiring information. Information is everywhere, is accessible anytime. However, their intelligence is questionable. Loaded with information doesn’t mean they are smart and intelligent. As an educator, what we can explore is the ‘knowledge’ from the information provided by organize it in a learning structure in the learning platform. The structure need to be as minimal as we can, along with a ‘meaningful task’.

Wikipedia defined knowledge as ” Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts (propositional knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge)“(Wikipedia, 2021)

How do we know that all information relayed is absorbed, digest and useful to the learners? Data needs to be filtered and refined according to the needs of the objectives of the lesson. Learning objectives control the amount of information imparted to the learners to make it more meaningful and useful. Less information presented will create a better understanding due to less task given to the learners. So how are we going to deal with this situation? Perhaps we can apply the microlearning which deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities (Wikipedia, 2021).

The learning design of microlearning needs to focus on the learner’s engagement and learning outcomes. Kapp & Defelice (2019) defined microlearning as an instructional unit that provides a short engagement in an activity intentionally designed to elicit a specific outcome from the participant. The lesson design components should include virtual facilitation (such as video conferencing) and digital facilitation (such as instructional video) mechanism, to create a sense of engagement.

The images below show the lesson design with one topic that is chunked into two small units. Each subject carries at least three learning tasks. The learners need to undergo Unit 1 (on the left) and gain the certificate after completing the tasks. The learner then continues to Unit 2 (on the right) and earn another certificate. I also imagine that the credentials can be changed to digital badges. The application of the microlearning technique in an online course will enable the instructional designers to design an effective delivery system to the learners. Hence will benefit the learners in achieving the desired level of competency.

Lesson Design for Online Course at TMSOL in Moodle

This article attempt to demonstrate the design of the lesson through the idea of microlearning. The views of design are based on my understanding of the definitions of microlearning. This idea is not ‘valid’ until it’s thoroughly tested. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Reference

Kapp, K. M., & Defelice, R. A. (2019). Microlearning : Short and Sweet. Association for Talent Development.
Microlearning. (2021, January 8). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microlearning

By Tipping Mind

Dr Zahari Hamidon is currently an Associate Professor at Cluster of Education and Social Sciences | Learning Technology at Open University Malaysia. He is a Head of Centre for Learning Technology and a Program Director for Master of Instructional Design and Technology (MIDT), Open University Malaysia

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