- “Microlearning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities. Generally, the term 'microlearning' refers to micro-perspectives in the context of learning, education and training. More frequently, the term is used in the domain of E-learning and related fields in the sense of a new paradigmatic perspective on learning processes in mediated environments on micro levels.” (Wikipedia, retrieved 18:44, 24 July 2007 (MEST)).
- [Microlearning] “is a term used in the e-learning context for a learner's short interaction with a learning matter broken down to very small bits of content. At present this term is not clearly defined. Learning processes that have been called "microlearning" can cover a span from some seconds (e.g. in mobile learning) to 15 minutes (learning objects sent as e-mails). There is some relation to older concepts like Microteaching. Of course the notion of microlearning rises the question of adequate Micropedagogy and Microdidactics, as well as the problem of learning itself.” (Microwiki), retrieved 18:44, 24 July 2007 (MEST).)
- [Microlearning] “in a wider sense is a term that can be used to describe the way more and more people are actually doing informal learning and gaining knowledge in Microcontent and Micromedia/Multitasking environments (see Microcosmos), especially those that become increasingly based on Web 2.0 and Wireless Web technologies. In this wider sense the borders between Microlearning and the complementary concept of Microknowledge are blurring.” (Microwiki), retrieved 18:44, 24 July 2007 (MEST).
Related forms of learning are "just in time open learning" and "on the spot learning". Microlearning mostly happens in an informal learning and particularly in a life-long learning context, but not exclusively. museum learning for example is a form of microlearning.
Forms of Microlearning
Theo Hug (2006:9) identifies various forms of microlearning and that can be identified through the following dimensions:
Tools and instructional designs
To integrate microlearning activities, learners may use a personal learning environment.
The Kerres model
One important question is how to relate microcontents with some idea of instructional design. Kerres (2007:12) makes a point for personal learning environments and he argues that “the task of instructional design would imply to provide an arrangement of contents and tools that can be intrinsically interwoven with the personal workspace of the learner”.
Kerres (2007:12-14) defines a model that is somewhat compatible with more traditional instructional design models, but that is rather based on the German concept of "Bildung", that emphasizes the emergent and situated process of learning. It's in Daniel K. Schneider's opinion not a microlearning model, but a use of microcontents model.
Here is a summarized and probably slightly altered description version with some comments by Daniel K. Schneider.
Daniel K. Schneider thinks that this model may make too many concession to traditional e-learning. I can see the relation to micro-contents, e.g. the personal learning environment is defined as along lines that can be compared to the Toronto's school's knowledge-building community model where users indeed operate within a common knowledge space, only that extends to the Internet. But I don't really see the needs of content aggregation (point 2), to work with learning objects (they are really not thought in terms of a living document system). What strikes me most is the absence of microlearning in this model. (btw I may move this section to the personal learning environment article).
- Microlearning.org (Through this website you can find various online publications, e.g. the 2005/6/7 electronic proceedings of the Microlearning conferences).
- Microlearning (Wikipedia)
- Gstrein, S.: Bridging the Gap between Work and Leisure - the Integrated Microlearning Approach. In: Proceedings of IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2006
- Hug, Theo (2006). Microlearning: A New Pedagogical Challenge (Introductory Note). in Hug, T et al. (2006).
- Hug, T., Linder, M., Bruck, P. A. (2006), Microlearning: Emerging Concepts, Practices and Technologies after e-Learning. Proceedings of Microlearning 2005. Learning & Working in New Media. PDF, retrieved 17:42, 24 July 2007 (MEST).
- Hug, T., Linder, M. , Bruck, P. A.: Micromedia & e-Learning 2.0: Gaining the Big Picture Proceedings of Microlearning Conference 2006. Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2006. (There is PDF somewhere for this ...)
- Hug, Theo (ed.): Didactics of Microlearning. Münster u. a.: Waxmann (forthcoming)
- Kerres Michael (2007).In: Theo Hug und Martin Lindner (Hrsg.): Didactics of Microlearning. Muenster: Waxmann 2007 PDF