Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Are We Taking the Concept of “Micro” Too Far? - Tip #147

I was reading an article in The New York Times about how a company in Wisconsin wanted to microchip their employees. My first reaction was absolute horror and all I could think of was that this is what I do to my pets to find them. Then I wondered if we really have gone too far with this whole “micro” concept thing as my thoughts wandered to the movie “1984” with its portrayal of big brother watching. As I continued to read, I saw that fifty out of eighty employees actually volunteered for this procedure. Skeptically searching for any conceivable reason a person would allow themselves to be microchipped by their workplace, I found a surprising answer.
Sometimes you have to see the purpose to understand the value

This microchip would make it quicker and easier for these individuals to do things such as access the building they work in and pay for their lunch with a simple swipe of their hand. The interviewees expressed a common desire of making things quicker and easier (that, and the idea that this was going to be happening in the near future anyway). No more looking for an access card that was misplaced or waiting in line for someone to locate their wallet at lunch. At the swipe of a hand, the result is instant.
Then I read another article about building a portable computer on a USB drive where a mini computer containing all the apps, programs, and files can fit in your hand. Again, the purpose lies in the desire to make things quick and easy.

How does this connect to microlearning?

When I take the concept of micro and apply it to the content development environment, I begin with the idea of purpose, quick and easy, and then add accessible and immediately applicable. This is microlearning and it is the next big thing.
What we typically understand microlearning to be is a technique that provides the learner with bite-sized information that fits in a time span of three to five minutes, and is offered frequently to improve skills. The focus is chunked content presented quickly, over an extended period of time to build knowledge. But is microlearning only about learning that is quick and easy or are we missing the true advantages that microlearning has to offer beyond knowledge, retention, and expertise?

Microlearning is about micro-actions

Microlearning is more than a way to arrive at the corner of Knowledge Lane and Expertise Drive. It goes beyond the limitation of learning a skill. Microlearning is a practice where learning is not an end to itself; but a practice that focuses on what is needed at that moment in time providing a bridge to the necessary steps for completing an action. When we take microlearning and connect it to micro-action, this practice thrives beyond the LMS, typical corporate training, and professional learning, and brings the workflow to life.

How? Because Microlearning that is focused on micro-actions, what needs to be implemented or supported in the workflow, moves workers through known blocks so that they are able to quickly and easily complete the task at hand.
Here is an example of how microlearning can be implemented as a micro-action for completing different Alexa commands. Click image to visit this example.

Think About It

Consider your workflow and identify where within it is there typically a block. Imagine having a tool to refer to at that moment that enables you to quickly and easily get the answer needed to complete the task instantly. That tool is microlearning and its practice has led you to a micro-action and ultimately success. Micro is not just the future, it’s now and we are only getting started.

Tips References

Tip #129 - Why Does Microlearning Mean Better Learning?
Tip #134 - Microlearning Leads to Rapid Skill Acquisition
Tip #110 - Are We Stuck in Big Content, Unable to Think Micro-Learning?




Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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