Thought Leadership

Social Learning in Motion
October 17, 2018
On how technology can help you do things differently once you internalize it
November 20, 2018

Why We Use Micro-Learning to Build Communities

Sample of micro-learning module for Kuza’s Entrepreneurship content

Training to build one’s skills face great challenges. As quoted here[1]: Today’s trainers and trainees are from totally separate worlds. The biggest underlying dynamic in training and learning today is the rapid and unexpected confrontation of a corps of trainers and teachers raised in a pre-digital generation and educated in the styles of the past with a body of e-learners raised in the digital world of Sesame Street, MTV, fast movies, and ‘twitch-speed’ video games. The two groups — trainers and trainees — are so different in their approach, outlook, style and needs that they can hardly communicate. And the result is disaster. The trainees, which represent half of America’s corporate workers (remember, the median age of a corporate worker is 39) and whose numbers continue to grow daily, find today’s training (and education) so incredibly boring that they don’t want — and often refuse — to do it.“

One solution as stated here is Micro-learning (ML) which breaks down the content into small nuggets that are then delivered with a sequence of interactions that do not overwhelm the learner and does not cause information overload. Because of the drip-feed learning mechanism, this has the potential to enable better retention of the content. Micro-learning has become popular due to the recent advances in technology that allow for learning to happen in any place at any time[2].

One manifestation of this is Kuza’s multi-sided digital platform, which does not even require the internet as all the content is made available on the Edge device that can connect to any smart-device within the vicinity, thus granting access to the content.

One of the benefits of micro-learning is that it allows for learning to be done during time that would have otherwise gone to waste — waiting in line, etc[3].

Add to that its ability to provide just-in-time learning[4], where farmers are trying to find solutions to problems they are facing in the farms, so instead of having to wade through a large amount of information, they search for a solution for that specific problem.

Some of the more universal challenges with m-learning are small screen-size, and availability of internet[5], but with a device such as the Ruka, this helps overcome that challenge as all the content can be accessed without internet.

When it comes to increasing retention, one benefit of micro-learning is due to the high level of interaction, the instant feedback that can be provided helps learners retain the knowledge for a longer time. The basic notion of micro-learning is that people can learn better and more effectively when the content is broken down into digestible parts and learning thus takes the form of small steps[6]. This is based on human cognition theory which places the limits of processing information in short-term memory[7].

Micro-content is also reusable and remixable[8].

A recent study from ATD research found that the ideal length of a microlearning session is 10 minutes[9],

The value of microlearning are many including

Flexibility.

Cost efficiency. Digital learning is less expensive.

Better retention. Studies have shown that learners are more likely to retain and use information if they receive it in small bursts.

Relevance. Your employees all require different skill sets. Microlearning makes it easier to diversify your material, and rapid author lessons keep your workers sharp.

Accomplishment. We all like the feeling of accomplishment. It’s much more satisfying to get through 2 or 3 micro-lessons than half of one e-Learning course. Smaller chunks keep learners motivated to learn more.

References

[1] Gerhard Gassler , Theo Hug , Christian Glahn, Integrated Micro Learning — An outline of the basic method and first results,

[2] Agha, T K and Ayse, A (2011). Differences between m-learning (mobile learning) and e-learning, basic terminology and usage of m-learning in education. 3rd World Conference on Educational Science. 15: 1925–1930.

[3] M Virvou, E Alepis, Mobile educational features in authoring tools for personalised tutoring, Computers & Education 44 (1), 53–68

[4] Cornell, R. (2002). Bridging Continents: Technology Trends Today and Tomorrow. Educational Media International, 39(1), 3. doi:10.1080/09523980210131150

[5] Seong, DSK. and Broga, J., (2006). “Usability Guidelines for Designing Mobile Learning Portals,” Mobility 06, Oct. 25–27, 2006, Bangkok, Thailand. ©ACM 1- 59593–519–3.

[6] Simon, H. A. (1974). How big is a chunk? Science, 183, pp. 482–488.

[7] Cowan, N. 2001. The magical number 4 in short-term memory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(1), 87–114.

[8] Salvador Sánchez-Alonso, Miguel-Angel Sicilia, Elena García-Barriocanal, From microcontents to micro-learning objects — which semantics are required? (Semantics for Microlearning), Available at: http://www.cc.uah.es/ie/projects/luisa/papers/2006/SanchezEtAl_Microlearning06.pdf

[9] Micro learning guide + 19 awesome micro-learning resources, Available at: http://blog.torchlms.com/microlearning-article