Micro Learning: Lesson Bursts with a Powerful Punch
Concurrent Session 1
Adult learners are busy! Work, family, multiple classes, and a variety of other competing student priorities force educators to re-think how students consume classroom content. Small digestible quantities are better suited for students’ busy lives. We will discuss how AIU built the case, tested, and launched micro-learning at their Online campus.
The nature of online learning necessitates advances in student engagement, content consumption, and pedagogy. Innovation in a fast paced online learning environment is a necessity, requiring consistent review and analysis of how we facilitate learning with busy adult learners. Higher education institutions have been drawn to rethink the fundamentals of student learning, how we facilitate learning, and our role as faculty.
AIU engaged in a classroom instructional practice whereby synchronous one hour lectures were provided each week of a course. During these sessions important unit concepts were explained, learning materials came to life, industry relevance was infused into unit content, and faculty were available for group discussion. The challenge – students rarely attended.
Evidence has shown that our students don’t attend for a variety of reasons; it doesn’t suit their schedules, they aren’t always certain that they need what an instructor may provide that week, they want only what they need only when they need it, or they simply don’t have time to review archived versions. The AIU Online campus was presented with specific challenges that needed a solution:
- How do we get just in time information to our students?
- How do we determine exactly what they need?
- How do we ensure they are digesting it?
Based on feedback, students also shared that they found themselves fast-forwarding through recorded lectures to find exactly they needed, and often dropped that practice in favor of finding answers outside of the classroom/online campus, a practice that is discouraged in courses where academic research is encouraged. AIU conducted literature research to identify learning trends that appealed to its specific student demographic and patterns with which students interacted in the classroom. As a result, micro-learning, a growing trend in learning and higher education was piloted and eventually adopted with encouraging results.
Micro-learning allows faculty to chunk content into short and succinct consumable quantities. With thorough review and tracking of student progress throughout a course, creative content display appealing to multiple learning styles, catchy labeling and descriptions, and creative distribution, AIU’s goal was to increase the rate of student consumption. With over 180 courses currently leveraging the benefits of micro-learning, we will share the benefits, parameters for development, lessons learned, and faculty input on micro-learning in the online classroom.
This presentation will showcase and allow for discussion around the evolution of micro-learning at AIU, share practices and lessons learned, and discuss the faculty experience in classroom implementation.
GIURGIU, L. (2017). Microlearning an Evolving Learning Trend. Scientific Bulletin, 18-24.
Janko Žufić, B. J. (2015, September 23-25). Micro Learning and EduPsy LMS. Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems, pp. 115-120.