Microlearning and Moodle, part 6

Microlearning and subscription.

Continuing my meanderings through the world of Microlearning.

And with each step, relating it to Moodle, H5P, and our ElearningWorld Mobile App to understand the real world application of the theory and concepts.

So, on to the next part of the Wikipedia page on Microlearning…

Subscription learning … provides an intermittent stream of learning-related interactions to those who are subscribed. These learning-related interactions—called “nuggets”—can involve a great variety of learning-related events, … Nuggets are short, usually presented in less than five to ten minutes. Nuggets are intentionally scheduled over time to support learning, often utilizing research-based findings related to the spacing effect. Learners subscribe … to one or more series of learning nuggets, called “threads”. Learning threads can be predesigned, selecting nuggets based on anticipated learner needs or they can be dynamically created based on learner performance.” (Thalheimer, 2013).

OK, so let’s unpack the main points here…

  • I’m not sure if intermittent is a bit misleading, as the subscription could be regularly scheduled, e.g. a piece of content every day at 10.00am
  • “learning-related interactions—called nuggets”
    • I do get the intention, but hmmmmm, I don’t like this word, because it feels a bit like a Chinese fortune cookie, and a bit ‘trendy’. We often talk about ‘chunks’ in e-learning design.  For me, a nugget sounds small and probably un-related to other things. A chunk sound like a small part of something larger. So I would prefer the word chuck to nugget.
  • Nuggets are short, usually presented in less than five to ten minutes
    • Yes, we have established Microlearning is short. Remember my “Coffee test”?  Can I absorb or do this microlearning activity while waiting for me coffee to be made. So 5 minutes sounds reasonable.
  • …scheduled over time … utilizing … the spacing effect.
    • Yes, I like this.  Scheduled over time (so the learner is expecting it) and using spacing – great for learning a language for example.
  • Learners subscribe … to one or more series of learning nuggets, called “threads”
    • Again, I have a problem with the nugget use. Learners subscribe to a Forum in Moodle, and the threads are the developing conversations. Each individual post therefore equates to a nugget in this analogy. I think I will still with Subscription, Forum (Message board?), Thread, and Post as these make sense in any LMS, and indeed other web situations.
  • Learning threads can be predesigned, selecting nuggets based on anticipated learner needs or they can be dynamically created based on learner performance.
    • Not sure how I feel about this. Are we suggesting a teacher might pre-prepare some seed posts, and in other cases respond to learner input? OK, so this is typical forum post use in facilitated environments. I’m not sure this is actually about Microlearning at all, it seems to just be online learning and forums.

OK, so what’s my takeaway from this section?

Well, I don’t feel there is much here that hasn’t already been said about online learning and the use of forums to support learners.

In Moodle a Forum can be setup to push posts to learners. And it can be set to not allow learners to respond or post back. This could be a “post of the day” push type ‘nugget’ (yuck).

But I don’t see the use of Forums as being unique to Microlearning, or indeed a defining attribute of Microlearning, it’s just absorbed from existing online learning best-practice.

Stuart Mealor

Managing Director at HRDNZ
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.

Latest posts by Stuart Mealor (see all)

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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