Alex Khurgin, of Grovo, argues that organizations should consider micro-learning as a potential new learning method.
There appears to be more and more momentum for CPA's to be able to earn credentials for micro-learning.
Published in the personal growth section of Medium, compiled by Zavyalov Artem, is a list of micro-learning tools.
It is certainly NOT the TEN BEST, but it does offer some interesting finds in the area of personal growth. Indeed, one of the apps is said to prevent you from spending more than 5 minutes a day in learning!
Researchers at MIT have coined the term "Wait-Learning" — learning at a time when a person would otherwise be waiting, and hence wasting time… Their research work involves foreign-language learning.
They surmised that instant messaging provided an excellent application to test whether a program could enable wait-learning for language vocabulary. Often while chatting, conversations feels asynchronous; the person who just sent a message waits for a reply.
They built a program, called WaitChatter, that works in Google Chat. It's an experimental program, only able to teach Spanish and French vocabulary to English speakers. They experimented with WaitChatter and got positive results, which they published online in an ACM publication.
Here's what the authors said about the amount of learning:
"In just two weeks of casual usage, participants were on average able to recall 57 new words, equivalent to approximately four words per day."
TechCrunch has a nice article explaining how WaitChatter works.
WaitChatter is not ready for prime time. It's an experimental program and it only works in Chrome and only if you disable Google Hangouts and go back to Google Chat. Still, several concepts about WaitChatter and the concept of wait-learning are intriguing:
- Wait-Learning, though not an original concept, is a good one…We learning professionals ought to figure out how to maximize efficiencies in this way. Of course, we'll want to make sure that the additional learning doesn't compromise the main task. We know multitasking is illusory, often hurting one task or another, so we'll need to be careful.
- Embedding learning opportunities in other applications may enable such efficiencies, if we do it carefully.
- Part of the vocabulary learned was learned based on the words that came up in the chat. So for example, if the word "dog" came up in the chat, WordChatter might focus on the Spanish equivalent "el perro." We know from the general research on learning that alignment between the learning context and the performance context produce learning and remembering benefits, and the authors cite research that such contextual learning benefits language learners as well.
A little while ago, I wrote an article for my newsletter about how Subscription Learning might be used in Leadership Development.
I’m still a big believer, and I’m looking for organizations who want to pilot test the concept. Let me know…by clicking here.
ATD liked the article and asked if they could post it. Click to read the article.
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Here's a blog post by Brent Schlenker on Extreme Micro Learning, meaning videos in 6 seconds.
His examples are more advertising than learning, but I think he's right that if we see the extremes it may make us more creative.
The swell of interest in short learning nuggets has another article touting its benefits, this one from Training Industry Magazine and Manjit Sekhon (of Intrepid Learning).
The article makes no mention of the spacing effect, but it does talk of threading nuggets in an intentional sequence. The article emphasizes shorter attention spans of learners, and the benefit of keeping people on the job.
More evidence that subscription-learning and shorter learning in general is on the rise.
Kerri Simmons, Director of Solution Architecture at SweetRush (a learning and performance vendor), wrote a nice set of 10 recommendations about using learning in small chunks…
The one thing I noted from her description is that she seems to be referring to more of a pull strategy than a push strategy, which tends to be less effective unless learners are highly motivated or required to complete the learning nuggets.
I'll reach out to her to see if she'd like to provide additional reflections…