D: "How do you eat an elephant?"
R: "One bite at a time."
Microlearning is an important trend in the universe of education, but everybody has probably experienced it already (even unknowingly) in daily life.
The core of the question is that the contents of the training must be easily "digestible", therefore relevant, involving and easy to use (through different devices and at any time). Compared to traditional training, this approach maximizes knowledge development and reduces production time and costs.
There are no standards that define how long it should last or how many topics microlearning should deal with: the sensible rule is to stop when people could stop being involved and, therefore, to learn.
Some of the simplest but most powerful microlearning examples that arise in our daily lives are taken for granted because we often underestimate incremental learning.
Below you can find some examples of microlearning that we experience in everyday life.
1. Website designing
"I have received a certification in the analysis of websites, but I have forgotten most of what I have learned without reinforcement." Website design is an excellent example of microlearning that is driven by analysis. To optimize web site traffic and conversion results, operators design, distribute, collect data, make adjustments (many times, micro-adjustments) and redesign. This process takes place on a monthly base, everything proceeds for incremental changes that often nobody notices but create the final result, so it must also be for your training courses. "
2. Complex sports challenges
"After having had an accident in which I broke my clavicle, 4 ribs and a lung was pierced, I had to "teach" my lungs to work properly and recover their strength step by step. After I almost completely recovered, I was informed about what I would have needed to complete an Ironman Triathlon (which I had never done before).
The capabilities needed for the Ironman included hundreds of elements: running, swimming, nutrition, money, travel, logistics, cycling, support equipment, clothing ... The list is seemingly endless, but the point is that nobody successfully completes an Ironman without "analysing" the necessary components and testing them individually and repeatedly for months. Data and analysis are essential to be able to make changes to optimize the performance and use of various tools. This is how the approach to training in microlearning works too "
3. Learn to write and talk
"The only app with which I let my son play on my smartphone is a perfect microlearning app for kids: Endless Reader. This application presents words and phonemes accompanied by interactive animations that show the meaning of words and how to write them. Each word is presented as a card in the mouth of a monster.
Children scroll through the cards to choose the word they want to explore. When they touch the card, they hear the word and see it written before the card is shuffled with the others. The children then have to rebuild the word by matching the letters in the right position, dragging them.
When they touch a letter, they hear its phonetic sound and its name. The phrase created will then be read aloud, while a demonstration animation will be displayed. Therefore, children can play with the animation, listen to the phrase again or move on to another word.
My son has been playing for a year and he has really expanded his vocabulary: he recognizes letters and words when he’s just 3 years old. "
4. Learn to play the guitar
"Chordbuddy is a program designed to help anyone learn how to play guitar. It works like any other microlearning program: it lasts two months, it is divided into micro lessons and it allows users to understand different chords using a colour device. The device with colours coordinated to the strings helps to slowly train the fingers to the correct positioning on the strings. After several lessons, the device is removed from the guitar and the songs are reproduced by heart. It is also possible to disconnect the colours gradually, one string at a time. In addition, lessons gradually cover different rhythms and timing."
5. Pass an exam
"My son was struggling a lot to pass the French exam and the traditional learning methods did not give any noteworthy results, I used a microlearning platform that relied on game mechanics to help him. After 2 weeks of practice, he’s passed from test results lower than 75% to achieving a score of 90%."
6. Learn to meditate
"As a wellness enthusiast I have always been interested in meditation, but I have never found enough time to devote to it. A app called Headspace has introduced a way to meditate in a "micro" and accessible format. The introductory course lasts 10 days: every day 5-10 minutes are required (according to the program of the day) for a guided meditation.
According to the Headspace website, "Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill ... Think of it as a muscle that you've never really worked before and you have to train ... It takes constant practice to get comfortable. It is easier if you have a teacher. "
7. Learn languages
"Most of us have learned a second language at school and would like to refresh it.
The Duolingo application is based on short lessons and specific tests, breaking learning process into small and measurable goals. Users are given positive or negative scores and after completing a section, they are able to move on to the next. The feedback provided by the app is designed to excite the user at the end of each lesson and to push him to continue on the training path. "
In summary, microlearning is a very effective and efficient way to optimize knowledge transfer.
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