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Microlearning and Moodle, part 1

Microlearning and micro-content.

In this series I will be thinking about Microlearning.

As I do this I will be attempting to relate it directly to Moodle, H5P, and our ElearningWorld Mobile App to give the theory and concepts some grounding in real practice.

I’m going to use various extracts from the Wikipedia page on Microlearning, as this seems a logical place to find the widely agreed understanding of this term.

Microlearning processes often derive from interaction with micro-content, which takes place either in designed (media) settings (e-learning) or in emergent micro-content structures like weblog postings or social bookmark managers on the World Wide Web (Mosel 2005).

OK, so let’s unpack that.

Key concepts here are:

  • Designed micro-content
  • Emergent micro structures

Designed micro-content

Designed micro-content means that the content has been designed as a learning experience by an educator (in it’s widest sense).

So, this suggests a very specific chunk of learning or information. While a 20 question quiz in Moodle could not be called a microlearning experience, a quiz wth one question, formatted for delivery on a mobile app would be.

I think the important thing here is that as well as being a small/quick experience, it is a designed experience. It’s there with real and specific purpose, and a teacher, trainer, content designer has thought about what this is supposed to achieve.

So, if we had a Moodle quiz every day, with just one quick question to be answered, this would be microlearning. I can see obvious applications such as ‘Counties and Capitals’, or definitions of linux command line statements.

Emergent micro structures

I’m not sure that I see ‘social bookmark managers’ as microlearning. The days of del.icio.us and Blogrolls seem long gone?

However, blogs themselves do provide a mechanism to share short and simple articles, with links, and can clearly be bite-sized (as opposed to the other type of blog (which can be a sprawling self-congratulatory and opinionated vehicle).

Clearly technologies such as Twitter and Facebook promote micro-content.

I do have a major problem with so many people who report they get their news from Facebook these days, because if they are using this to learn about the world it’s not really the best source is it?

RSS of course enabled this micro-content type information push for many years, and was routed in news, rather than learning.

Of course our own ElearningWorld blog and Mobile App are very much in this area – aiming for one post per day, that is readable in a minute or two.

A Moodle teacher could use an Announcements forum in much the same way – one post a day, a short fact, or “factoid” related to the course material for the week.

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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