Microlearning and Moodle, part 7

Subscription learning characteristics.

Continuing my investigation into Microlearning.

Each post taking part of the Wikipedia page on Microlearning, and relating this to my experience with Moodle, H5P, and our ElearningWorld Mobile App.

After some rambling about subscription learning, the Wikipedia page displays a bullet post summary…

  • Learners subscribe or are subscribed to a series (“threads”) of short informational interactions (“nuggets”).
  • Interactions usually last less than five or ten minutes.
  • Learners usually receive these nuggets through some form of push technology.
  • Subscription-learning threads are usually—and preferably—designed using the scientific find known as the spacing effect. (Thalheimer, 2013).

How do I feel about these summary points?

  • Learners subscribe or are subscribed to a series (“threads”) of short informational interactions (“nuggets”).
    • Think about Moodle, or users subscribing to our ElearningWorld App using RSS or email.
    • Yes, the learners subscribe, (or in Moodle maybe a course Announcements Forum forces this subscription) to the various threads in the forum, with the posts becoming these nuggets, or chunks of information/learning.
    • I like that in Moodle the students can subscribe to a single Forum posts (topic) rather than the whole forum now 🙂
  • Interactions usually last less than five or ten minutes.
    • Yes, but I’ll continue to apply my “Coffee test”. I want the microlearning to be consumed in less time than it takes my coffee shop coffee to arrive.
  • Learners usually receive these nuggets through some form of push technology.
    • Agree. Email is a traditional method. Any posts in Moodle to the Announcements Forum is automatically emailed to course participants for example. RSS is a great technology, and still very useful, although people do not use RSS readers so much now.
    • Of course the smartphone, with it’s ability to receive and display push notifications is great here – for short on-the-go chunks.
  • Subscription-learning threads are usually—and preferably—designed using the scientific find known as the spacing effect. (Thalheimer, 2013).
    • The spacing effect is the phenomenon whereby learning is more effective when studying is spread out over time, as opposed to studying the same amount of content in a single session.
    • OK, so as educators we should all know this.
    • So, if I want to teach some vocabulary, or terminology, or similar, I might find learners will recall it better if they see it multiple times in a series of microlearning experiences.

I think everything makes sense here 🙂

Subscription to threads, short interactions, push technology / notifications, and spacing effect.

A teacher hoping to use Microlearning to support a course, can quickly grasp these key characteristics, and build them into the educational design of their microlearning approach.

For a teacher using Moodle, it means using Forum subscriptions well, keeping post content short and sweet, utilising the fact that posts can be emailed or sent to a mobile phone, and use the spacing effect to best advantage, understanding how this benefits learners.

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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