Mastering Micro-Courses

Micro-Courses Explained

Familiarise yourself with the micro-course format with this micro-course.

Ling Ling, Tai
Ling Ling, Tai

Lisbon, Portugal

Micro-Courses Explained

What is Micro-Learning?

Based on a study by the University of Washington, traditional learning methods, such as reading, listening and observing, are ineffective. One reason for the ineffectiveness of traditional learning is that people forget 70 to 80% of the learning after 48 hours. One way to improve learning effectiveness is by learning in short bursts, the micro-learning method.

Micro-learning is a skill-based approach that focuses on delivering information in small chunks. It is an effective way of learning because it is designed to achieve specific outcomes for a specific audience and use specific information. Due to its bite-size, micro-learning can be accessed on-demand, finding quick answers to specific problems.

Research from the Imperial College London demonstrated that micro-learning is effective for self-care. Another research published in the Educational Technology Research and Development journal found that learners have increased knowledge, are more certain in applying the new skill and have improved confidence in their performance.

Unlike traditional forms of learning, learners are self-directed and in control of when, where, what and how they learn. In essence, micro-learning is a way of learning and a drastic shift away from traditional learning.

The Principles of Micro-Courses

Micro-courses are based on micro-learning learning principles. It is intentionally designed to be “short bursts” of information coupled with actions. To make full use of this micro-course platform, here are some things to remember.

  1. Pick a relevant and interesting micro-courses. If a topic is not interesting, you will likely forget it when you switch to another task. If the topic is irrelevant, you will not take the necessary actions to commit the knowledge into memory or transform it into an experience. If it is neither relevant nor interesting, it’s best to use your time elsewhere.
  2. Listen, read or watch the explanations in the micro-courses. Each micro-course involves knowledge sharing in text, audio, images or video. The explanation provides a basic definition and context to the topic so that you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciate the purpose of the activity or actions.
  3. Take immediate action. Actions are essential to skills building. You can only develop skills by taking action. When you put these actions into practice, you gain experience and, over time, wisdom. Take action immediately so that you can transform knowledge into actions.
  4. Repeat the action. Don’t just take action once. Repeat the selected action a few times over a few days, weeks or months. The act of repeating an action is practice. With practice, you gain experience. With experience, you acquire wisdom.
  5. Ask a question. The micro-course cannot cover all aspects because it focuses on a specific outcome. Whenever you have any doubts, feel free to tap into the community’s collective knowledge by asking a question.
  6. Share your experience. No one person is the same. Therefore, every person has a unique perspective. If you notice a question or a sharing in the comments, please reply with your perspective, answers, experience, or wisdom. So long as the reply is respectful, your contribution may inspire and help others to grow.
  7. Explore the recommended resources. Each micro-course will include a section of recommended readings or resources you can tap into for further learning. However, if you have a related book, article, video or podcast, please share in the comment or via our feedback/suggestions form so that we can include it in the list of resources.
Now that we have explained the micro-learning approach and its principles, how do you think micro-courses can help you in your work, studies or life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.