As a student in higher education, you take in a lot of information both in and out of lectures and seminars. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, which could impact your learning. Fortunately, several study methods exist to get you back on track.
This is where microlearning comes in. Could acquiring smaller amounts of knowledge help improve student performance and study habits in in-person and online classes?
In this article, we’ll look at what microlearning is and how it can benefit all kinds of students, some of whom may not have a lot of free time to study, or those who struggle with forms of learning. longer than those found in higher education.
The Basics of Microlearning
The concept of microlearning has no defined definition. It’s more along the lines of a learning theory that emphasizes learning in small sections. It could be as brief as paragraphs of text and images or videos and interactive games or quizzes. It can be almost anything as long as it sticks to the theme of being as short as possible.
The main goal is to provide an engaging alternative to traditional learning methods like lectures and seminars which can take hours.
By focusing resources on micro-learning, lectures would be broken into much smaller chunks. This could mean video lectures being made or released after an in-person session via abbreviated videos that go over the key points covered so you only learn what you need to know on the topic.
What are the benefits?
Microlearning offers students the benefits of educational content that can be integrated quickly and flexibly. This means that students would have access to comprehensive courses which are broken down into smaller chunks that can be taken in and around their busy schedules.
This is more in line with how the human brain works in terms of memory capacity and attention span. Research by the University of Southern Queensland found that students found applied microlearning more manageable and enjoyable. When asked to rate their level of satisfaction, responses were high with responses around 4.7 to 4.8 out of 5.
Another benefit of microlearning is that studies have shown that this learning strategy helps with long-term retention. RPS has found that it can improve focus and retention by up to 80% when used as an additional strategy to core training or course learning.
How does this apply to higher education?
Students can benefit from microlearning because it should be short and understandable, so the information should be concise and to the point. Breaking it down into what you need to know helps with longer term retention.
Online courses can be remote by their very nature, and technology makes it even easier to study wherever you are. But that doesn’t mean online students’ schedules are less busy. Having the flexibility to work your learning around the rest of your weekly plans is a great solution, especially since the average college lecture lasts between one and two hours.
Overall, microlearning is a fantastic solution that caters to students’ attention spans as well as their busy schedules. Condensing course content into more manageable sections makes the course more engaging. This results in better retention of downstream information. It also allows for a more flexible approach to learning, as the content is short enough to fit into your day whenever you feel ready to tackle it.
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