Micro-learning is an extremely useful tool for any educator, and it brings with it numerous benefits to both the educator and the learner. Micro-learning technology can make learning ‘50% more efficient’ for half of the cost of traditional educational technology, for example. So what is micro-learning? As the ‘micro-‘ part of the name indicates, micro-learning is focused on smaller learning units that are delivered within a short time frame. Usually, each micro-learning unit will have a single objective (or ‘learning outcome’), and it is advisable to make this objective clear to the learner(s) prior to delivering the unit to facilitate their ability to reflect on and celebrate their educational achievements. Despite its ‘bite-size’ format, however, a micro-learning unit should ideally be integrated into your broader curriculum and syllabus. Ready to get started with micro-learning? Here are three ways to use micro-learning in the higher education classroom:
- Challenge preconceptions with a video. A 60-90 second information-packed video can be enough to alter students’ perceptions on a single issue completely. Video is most effective in the classroom when it is presented in the highest possible definition with excellent sound, and when it is solely focused on one issue that is relevant to the wider curriculum. Student attitudes to the issue can be surveyed before and after watching the video (perhaps using one of these tools) in order to render visible just how powerfully the video has altered their viewpoints. Micro-learning videos can also be used in conjunction with what is known as a ‘flipped classroom.’ Increasingly in vogue among educational professionals, a flipped classroom is one where students watch a video before the class (instead of in the class itself) and come to class ready to reflect on what they have learned, and do activities to extend that learning.
- Gamify learning. 61% of CEOs and other top business executives admit that they take at least one daily break from work to play games. Turn this love of distractions into an educational tool by using gamification software to teach a single issue (for example, the names of countries in South America or the declension of Latin verbs) as a 2-minute game with engaging graphics, motivational rewards, and enjoyable sound effects.
- Boost student recall with a micro-quiz. Many educational platforms such as Moodle provide ready-made quiz-making software. Test students’ recall of their last class with a 5-minute quiz and the process will improve their memory.