I mentioned in my previous post that there’s no unified definition of microLearning – which makes having a discussion about it difficult. I propose this definition:
MicroLearning: Brief instructive nuggets contributing to a larger learning objective to prime, support, or extend learning; typically delivered digitally or on demand.
How does that break down?
- Brief: Micro assumes short, but short is defined by the designer.
- Instructive: These assets have an educational bent, not just informational.
- Nuggets: Call it a bite, byte, nibble, drip, burst or pearl. We’re talking about something focused, relevant, hopefully insightful, and quickly digestible.
- Contributing to a larger learning objective: This is a key that missed in most definitions. MicroLearning needs context so learners understand where it fits in the larger knowledge structure. It’s most effective when contributing to a larger learning objective, exhibited in threaded learning.
- Prime, support, extend learning: These are three key roles microLearning plays masterfully.
- Delivered digitally: I think microLearning can be offered in live or digital formats. But we are typically talking about digital delivery when we consider incorporating microLearning into our education strategy.
- Delivered on demand: A bonus of microLearning is anytime / anywhere access. MicroLearning offered within a more formal learning pathway may need to be sequenced and time-released. A vast majority of microLearning assets presently are on demand.
That’s my take. What do you think?