Microlearning is a way of designing and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. Research confirms that this form of learning makes it easy for students to remember what they have learned.
At Value Added Consulting, our researched showed that online systems which use microlearning techniques improve learning transfer to Finance students.
This research informed our design of The MicroLearning site. All learning materials on this site are designed using micro-learning principles.
So…what is MicroLearning?
The majority of microlearning exponents agree that microlearning content is
• Targeted and
By short, most experts suggest that microlearning content should be no more than 5 minutes in duration, and must be video based. These video can be watched “on the go” and are designed to deliver an excellent learning experience. We aim to keep our accounting videos below five minutes in most cases. However, obviously if we are working through a complete solution to a 50 mark question, this will take more time !
Focused means that each video focuses on one topic or learning outcome. Each of our accounting videos demonstrate a separate aspect of each accounting standard. For example our IAS 37 videos separately address each aspect of accounting for provisions such as onerous contacts, a provision for a single event, multiple events and a restructuring provision. Students can study each topic separately before attempting our past exam examples.
Multi-platform availability is the final characteristic of microlearning content. Students today may wish to access microlearning content on their phone, PC or on their tablet while at work, in a taxi or in bed ! Our platform is designed to provide excellent access across all these platforms so students can avail of a short, focused learning experience whenever and wherever they wish.
Students today want strong evidence that training courses are improving their individual performance. This is particularly true for Accounting students, who are typically busy professionals with little time to invest in ineffective training courses.
Also, today we are seeing strong growth in the availability of mobile devices. These mobile devices support access to web based learning content for learners.
With this increase in the need for more effective training courses, coupled with the increased use of web technologies and availability of web based learning content, it is surprising that little research has addressed the issue of what factors lead to the most effective learning transfer from these web-based learning systems.
Micro learning describes “learning in small steps”. It is made possible with the aid of short, well designed learning activities. Web based systems that provide these short, well designed learning activities are referred to as micro-learning systems.
The results of our research showed a strong positive correlation between learning transfer, as assessed by the learners, and:
1. Micro-Learning system design
2. Access and availability of the micro-learning system and
The results of this research has informed the development of The Micro Learning Institute, which provides structured, micro-content to help Accounting students achieve success in their professional exams.
The training course content is designed in logical, structured steps that build logically on the learners prior knowledge.
This training course content, focused on the Financial Reporting exam needs of CIMA, ACCA and CPA students, can be easily accessed, 24/7, via phone, tablet and PC.
Feedback from students shows strong evidence that using our well-designed micro-content has been a significant factor in their exam success.
So why has the concept of microlearning suddenly become the “next big thing” in online training?
To answer this, let’s look at some facts around how people interact with online content. There is a lot to be learned from how people behave when digesting this content.
For example, on an average day, of the top ten most popular YouTube videos, the average video length was 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Also, the majority of YouTube users view less than 40 minutes of content per mobile session.
Research shows that, for a 4-5 minute video, fewer than 60% of viewers will view to the end, compared with 75% of viewers for a 1-2 minute video. Similarly, the most popular blog content takes no more than seven minutes to read.
Reflecting this trend, Many MOOCs (Massive open Online Course) are broken down content into short segments less than 10 minutes in length, with each segment focusing on one concept or skill.
Microlearning is a reaction to this modern phenomenon. Microlearning reflects how consumers interact with Web content. Microlearning content comprises short, focused segments of targeted video.
So, the spectacular growth of microlearning as a method of design of online content is really not so much of a surprise.
At the MicroLearning Institute, our research with accounting students also confirmed that knowledge transfer is significantly improved if students are given access to well-designed micro-content.
So, maybe it’s not such a surprise that microlearning is the “next big thing” in online training !!