Aalto University microlearning playbook in the making

The objective of the common playbook is to show the relevance of microlearning and introduce a topical pedagogical approach to educators and Aalto community.
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A team of Aalto University and Aalto University Executive Education Ltd (Aalto EE) staff is working on a microlearning playbook. The objective of the common playbook is to show the relevance of microlearning and introduce a topical pedagogical approach to educators and the Aalto community. Additionally, it encourages people to try out a method suitable for creating lifewide learning content that can be made available for learners worldwide in a shorter timeframe than traditional professional training. 

Microlearning playbook is part of Aalto University's internal development in the first Digivisio 2030 pilot. The interdisciplinary team working on the playbook consists of professionals with backgrounds in design, marketing, education and learning systems.  

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Microlearning in a nutshell

Microlearning is characterised by the short duration and the focus on one idea at a time. At its best, microlearning is captivating and easily incorporated into one’s everyday: work or free time. It is delivered to the learner digitally and ideally consumed on various devices, including mobile devices. 

Microlearning is especially interesting in lifewide learning because it does not require scheduling longer time off from your regular work and can offer the learner targeted learning opportunities right when needed.  

"Some of the instant benefits of implementing microlearning is that you can grab your learners' attention and encourage them to complete small modules that provide immediate help in their work or studies," tells Kiti Kainulainen, pilot coordinator in Digivisio's first pilot.

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Microlearning works well in skills development

Quynh Tran is a digital learning specialist at Aalto EE who works closely with learning management systems. If she were to design a course to illustrate the best use cases of microlearning, she would choose a topic emphasising skills development, such as time management. The course would consist of short, bite-sized modules that focus on different aspects of time management, such as setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and overcoming procrastination. The course would be delivered in various formats, including audio and video recordings, written instructions, and interactive exercises, to cater to different learning styles.  

"Microlearning works well in this case, because it would allow learners to complete the course at their own pace and in their own time without committing to lengthy training sessions. The microlearning approach would also enable learners to apply the concepts they learn immediately in their daily lives step by step without feeling overwhelmed by a massive number of changes at once introduced in a longer training." Quynh says

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Starting with a low threshold

Ida Hyvärinen, Program Manager at Aalto EE, justifies the demand for microlearning: "Microlearning is an excellent option for someone who has a busy schedule and struggles to find time to develop their skills and competencies. As we all know, continuous learning is essential, and microlearning can make starting learning easier and more manageable."

Natalia Villaman is a doctoral researcher and program coordinator for Aalto University. Her message to educators or those interested is to give microlearning a go at least once. "Despite seeming so different initially, microlearning is a good way to make content accessible to different audiences. Breaking down the content in smaller doses makes learning more appealing by tuning down what can come across as immediate complexity. In short, giving it a go would only mean having an additional way to make constant learning possible without altering the original content."

Setting the next steps of the playbook based on feedback

The playbook team has been finishing the first draft of the playbook recently. To make the playbook suit the needs of the Aalto community, the team is gathering feedback in an upcoming event, Microlearning Morning, on May 16th from 9:00-11:00.

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Microlearning Morning

Learn more about the topical pedagogical approach and tell the microlearning playbook team about your wishes.

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