What are Microlearning Technologies?

The rise of educational technology has fundamentally changed the way students learn by incorporating both formal and informal learning experiences, therefore creating a subsequent demand to create new methods to track, measure, and acknowledge new proficiencies. Educational institutions are satisfying this need by developing micro-learning experiences, which are relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities that result in a proficiency of a desired skill. Digital badges, for example, are seen as a way to grant certification for formal and informal learning in the form of microcredits, which assesses learned skills based on outcomes, rather than seat time. While badges are not yet pervasive in education, they are being used by educators and organizations that are seeking comprehensive approaches to demonstrate a student’s learning path — methods that encompass far more than grades and traditional credits. Industries are also capitalizing on the opportunity to grow employees skills through micro-learning technologies.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • These concepts might replace the standard "Info Lit" course that many freshman have to take. They could be badged, made up of small chunks of learning related to the topic, and doable from ANYWHERE via online deliver. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 1, 2016 - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Nov 11, 2016 - dianeb dianeb Nov 11, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016
  • I completely agree to Michael`s remark above. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016
  • Moreover, library staff will have to have knowledge about and be trained on different formats and courses related to microlearning technologies. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016
  • Microlearning trends could be used by libraries for continuing education measures - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Nov 13, 2016
  • My institution is currently experimenting microlearning modules in our general education program. One of big student complaints about gen ed courses is that they spend too much time in them and they don't always relate to the student's major. So we are piloting a new version of gen ed where there would be multiple core theme areas (e.g., science and society, thinking critically, information technology) and students may take 2,3 or 4 weeks worth of modules in different theme areas. That gives students much more choice over where they want to concentrate their learning. They could take 2 weeks in one area, but 10 weeks in another theme area. Of course, there are distribution requirements. I am interested to see if we will adopt this approach. Of course, if we do, that will be relevant to the library because existing gen ed courses are big consumers of library education - where librarians visit and work with many gen ed classes. I am not sure how the library would provide instruction to students who are taking a two week course. We will have to get creative about it. We are definitely exploring credentialing possibilities so it might be that students, as part of gen ed, could also take a library microlearning experience - and then receive a credential for achieving information literacy outcomes. We are also currently discussing credentialing with our university registrar - who is also interested in offering students a hi-tech transcript that goes beyond just recording courses, credits and grades to one that capture all types of what we would call the student learning experience. I think this will also be relevant to the library because we have expertise in curation and we could certain bring expertise to the curation of student learning experiences. I wrote more about that opportunity here:- bells bells Nov 9, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think it is a good description. You might want to consider adding to it the idea of "curating student learning experiences". Not only are industries looking at offering the microlearning opportunities but they are also looking at tools for higher education institutions to capture and curate the experiences (e.g., Parchment) - bells bells Nov 9, 2016
  • TORQUEs/MOOCs - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 10, 2016
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • As is mentioned above this technology could afford libraries new opportunities to offer students research skill building in ways that are quite different from traditional, course/assignment-based library instruction. I think it could certainly open up library education to more students who would be interested in earning credentials for learning research skills - something that could be valued by employers who want students who are savvy researchers. This would not be limited to traditional database skills, but libraries could offer their expertise in areas such as GIS, data collection and analysis, organization of materials, video editing and other areas where we currently do not offer learning opportunities. So for me the real impact is the library providing more value to the institution, and increasing the number of students who take advantage of library learning - while the library further integrates itself into the teaching and learning process at the institution.- bells bells Nov 9, 2016 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Nov 13, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016This new popular teaching and learning methond may replace traditional information literacy when we are in an era of fragmentation.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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