FROM THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MICROLEARNING FOR EDUCATORS
We’ve come up with over 50 ways that educators can use microlearning! In this series, we’ll give you 5 practical ideas for using microlearning in your teaching each week.
WHAT IS ‘MICROLEARNING’?
So to recap, microlearning is a way of delivering education in small, bite-sized learning units, typically allowing students to control their own learning, at their own pace.
The basic characteristics of microlearning are that it is short, focused, interactive, and flexible.
Short: It lasts 5-15 minutes (or less).
Focused: It has a specific focus on one single topic.
Interactive: It is combined with activities to promote active learning.
Flexible: It is available to use alone or with other microlearning, teaching, or classroom activities. Ideally, it should be used daily or several times a week.
HOW CAN YOU USE MICROLEARNING EFFECTIVELY IN YOUR TEACHING?
There are so many ways to use microlearning, either before, during or after class. In this series, we’ll give you over 50 ideas for using microlearning effectively. Here are the next 5 ideas!
IDEA #6: USE MICROLEARNING BEFORE CLASS.
Assign microlearning lessons that students complete before class, to gauge how prepared they are. Flipping your class is popular way to increase learners’ motivation and engagement and to use time outside of class for absorbing learning content. Teachers and students then use time during class to further engage in what they’ve learned.
CASE STUDY EXAMPLE:
Students can complete microlearning lessons in mathematics, for example, as homework before class. Teachers can then use class time to engage students individually or in small groups to review answers collectively. Peer instruction can also be used to further learning among students and save grading time.
Once students have mastered the content, they could even create their own math problems and share them with others during class.
IDEA #7: USE MICROLEARNING DURING CLASS.
Use microlearning lessons in class for synchronous learning if computers or mobile devices are available.
TRY THESE IDEAS:
1) Present lessons on-screen and let students answer quiz questions at the end.
2) Give students 5-15 minutes to access lessons on their own (or in pairs or groups) through your LMS. Watch grades coming into the LMS on your computer or mobile device. Once all of the grades are reported, follow up with a class discussion.
3) Use it as a “wake up tool” to let students explore lessons on their own.
IDEA #8: USE MICROLEARNING DURING BREAKS.
Use microlearning during school breaks to prepare students for the next term or as a refresher before college. It can also be used as part of a summer school program, either as remedial learning or for accelerated topics. When you reinforce learning and offer it continuously, you can also help prevent the “summer slide”.
TIP: BEATING THE SUMMER SLIDE
The average student loses a month of academic-calendar learning each summer.5 If your institution has an LMS, and students have continuous access to it, why not let them explore your library of resources throughout the summer? Here are some ideas to help avoid the summer slide:
1) If it’s appropriate, communicate with students throughout the summer.
2) Provide access to refresher courses, with microlearning lessons in topics like math (studies show that students see greater academic dips in math than in other subjects)
3) Invite students to try new lessons for the upcoming year.
4) For K-12 students, get parents involved and give them access to lessons.
IDEA #9: USE MICROLEARNING FOR GROUP WORK.
Microlearning can be an effective way to encourage collaborative learning, either online or in class as group work.
When we work as a group or with others, we can discover new ways of thinking, reflect and form new ideas, and discuss and receive feedback. Groups help us stay committed to learning; it’s like working out with a gym partner- it keeps you motivated and on track!
TIP: DISCUSSION FORUMS
A discussion forum is an online space, usually within your Learning Management System, where students can post messages (that teachers can also see) relating to an assignment or their course work. Assign microlearning lessons with thought-provoking questions that students can subsequently discuss with each other online.
IDEA #10: USE MICROLEARNING TO COMPLEMENT YOUR OPENSTAX TEXTBOOK.
Microlearning delivers learning in small, easily-consumable units. As an OpenStax Ally Partner, BLENDING EDUCATION uses content from OpenStax textbooks to create self-grading, standalone lessons and final assessments from each chapter and subchapter. When microlearning is used to supplement OpenStax textbooks, students can get an enhanced and personalized interactive learning experience.
WHAT WAYS DO YOU USE MICROLEARNING?
We are passionate about teaching and learning and love the idea of microlearning. We constantly hear of new ways teachers are using microlearning in their teaching. How do you use microlearning in your teaching? Please share your ideas with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEE HOW WE DO MICROLEARNING
BLENDING EDUCATION takes microlearning to the next level by adding responsiveness, trackability, and assessment to what we think microlearning should be. Each lesson in our Microlearning Library is self-contained and can either be used as a standalone unit of learning or with other teaching resources.
Our microlearning lessons are easy to use. To access them, you simply add a type of resource called an “external tool” in your current course (most LMS have this resource). You then add the URL, Consumer Key and Secret that we provide to you, and the lessons will appear instantly in your LMS!
And, because our courses are delivered through your LMS, you and your students don’t need to log in, nor create an account. Everything will be accessed straight through your LMS, so you’ll have complete control.
READY TO GET STARTED?
Get free ideas and resources that you can use right now! Head over to Blending Space and check out free lessons that you can try both online and within your LMS. You can also try our microlearning lessons on our demos page and get free blended learning resources.