anthidium_february_2008-1Micro Learning it’s all the Buzz Today!

But is it a new concept?

Since bees have been making honey and we have been teaching people the process of making honey  we have been breaking up learning content and processes into digestible chunks for our learners. As facilitators we must design our training in small independent learning chunks that our users can:

1) Retain
2) Repeat
3)  Apply

Micro learning is not a new concept in the world of Training and Development. In fact for years brain scientists have encouraged learning professionals to break down information into small digestible chunks because the brain is simply better at processing  smaller bites of information . As learning professionals we must embrace that learning can happen everyday not just when we have time to attend or participate in an event .

So what has changed?

The most important change is that “attention” is an ever diminishing resource in the digital age . We now consume information at different times and thru different means . Now, we must design training in 1- 3  minute learning moments that are appealing, self contained, and accessible.

For the first time in history our learners have access to information  24/7 thru their mobile devices. They don’t need to wait for us to offer learning, and we do not have the luxury to develop programs that take months to produce.

Micro learning where it all began:

To  understand how we have arrived at micro learning and nano learning (yes, that’s right there is now an even smaller chunk emerging) we must first look at how educators have tackled organizing information in the past.

Do you recognize this and could you find its source?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – In 1611 a group of scholars went about organizing the scriptures into books, chapters, and versus for their followers to read, practice, and share with others. The bible is one of the first examples we can think of that organized a large amount information into smaller consumable chunks that were:

A) Reusable
B) Repeatable
C) Applicable

Infographic: Methods of Organization in Education

What does this have to do with honey and bees?

As Instructional Designers our job is to organize, cultivate,  and maintain gardens of knowledge for our learners to visit and extract information. The learners  of today will buzz in for a quick  visit, gain some information, and  bring it back to their hive to share with others their experiences. Our success will be measured by the number of learners that visit our gardens of knowledge and what they share with others about their experience at our gardens of knowledge.

Listen to our short podcast  where we tie it all together.





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