My little learning journey – or how to microlearn?

Here is a short story describing a learning journey I have just completed. (Qualifying statement: I am uncertain about the definition of a learning journey and the veracity of many claims made on the topic. This was a three web site exploration, from one to the next. If that is learning journey (perhaps a jaunt), then I had one.

The journey begins…

On some days, I have a little time to catch up on some material saved on Pocket for later consumption. Today, I was watching this video of a talk about Developing a New Language for Learning by Mark Weber of Atticmedia. I wholeheartedly support the idea of a new language for learning – the current idiom of courses, interventions ,systems, tracking etc. does not translate well to those who are trying to accomplish something in a working day. My journey ad begun.

A fork in the road…

Mark described new content formats and tools shaping the future. Snacking content is one of those. An example of a new service in this space is offered by Grovo. They service businesses with microlearning, which is a descriptor of very short learning elements planned to meet a learning goal. Short assessments with short content are one core element. (It seems they have done a good job of analytics too, a common eLearning failing). So, no modules and courses from Grovo. Just simple, targeted short learning. To be clear, I have  not used this service but it is interesting at my first glance.

All roads lead to YouTube…

I then wondered how this might be different from an aggregation of YouTube “How to…” videos? If the discovery and filter problem were better solved, what would we not be able to learn from YouTube? A search for “How To” returned 251,000,000 results. An ocean of all kinds of learning, much of it bite sized. Obviously, much of it terrible and borderline insane, much of it excellent too. A scan of this ocean made me wonder two things:

  1. Does one need instructional design any more? People are making a living out of these films already with little or no sense of what this kind of design is or of the skills required to fulfil such a brief. A well designed experience from this style of content will get most learners quite a long way I suspect. (No single tool will solve everything).
  2. Despite moderate uncertainty of what microlearning might mean in all its uses, I am convinced that it is not only the future but has been the present for at least five years now. We all have much to learn from the emerging cottage industry of media studios populating the YouTube revolution. One expert telling me, directly and simply, what they know and how to use that knowledge. Seems good to me.

I end my wander thinking about filtering and packaging and the value that this would unlock.

So…a learning journey? Not sure that part really matters…

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