Week #9 – Microlearning

By Ben, Sarka, Tamara and Jessica

Society is busier than ever and our working conditions are continuously changing as technology evolves. This leaves little time for improving skills necessary to do our jobs well and keep up with the pace of the world around us.

Could microlearning be the answer to our needs?

Microlearning is an educational approach in which participants learn via small, focused learning units or modules. However, it is not just merely a method for delivering short chunks of information or the mode of delivery (e.g. mobile learning, games, videos, infographics, and microcourses).

Microlearning works well for a variety of training purposes and educational experiences. Our presentation will focus on the rapidly growing industry of verified credentials and Digital Badges.

Throughout our modules, you will explore what microlearning is, how it can be used, and where the elearning trends are heading. We will explore questions such as:

What is the future industry potential of microlearning? What is the value of verified micro credentials?

Come and explore these concepts in our microlearning modules and decide for yourselves how this trend is meeting the needs of our global society!

( Average Rating: 4 )

49 responses to “Week #9 – Microlearning”

  1. Alice Shin

    Hi, Ben, Sarka, Tamara and Jessica!

    I am really, really liking the format of your OER – the snippets of content and focused info is helping with absorption and directly demonstrates what micro-learning is instead of simply describing it.

    However, your first microlesson/video is not working – the clip plays for a few seconds then stops.

    I just completed the second module to see if all’s good with that – and it is!

    Please share what site/software/tools you used to create your assignments (unless you did in your resources which I haven’t gotten to yet in which case disregard this request) as I will definitely use them.

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    1. sarka kubelikova

      The clips stop because they have 3 embedded questions and the video will not move on until they are answered. Hope this helped.

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    2. Jessica Daicos

      Hi Alice,

      Thanks for you feedback!! Glad you’re enjoying the experience this week.The resources should all be in our section, but for brevity:

      The website is a Google Site.
      The word clouds are embedded from AnswerGarden
      The Module 1 and 5 videos were made on Powtoon and then questions embedded with EdPuzzle.
      The Module 2 yes/no was created on Genially.
      The forum at the end has been created through YoTeach!

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  2. Alice Shin

    Some other suggestions as I went through the course – I believe there is a typo in the xAPI blurb, and the video in the Final Thoughts section might be better bigger to be able to see the data more clearly – even though the size was probably meant to save screen space.
    I’ll save my detailed feedback for the remainder of the week.

    Thanks for this concise and relevant OER!

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    1. sarka kubelikova

      Thank you for the suggestions we will look into them!

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  3. JamieTooze

    Hello Team Micro-learning,

    Thank you for putting together this informative and visually appealing OER. I was immediately drawn in by the layout and style. The format is easy to follow and navigation is a breeze, although I was a little confused by the “see you tomorrow for module 5!” comment.
    Micro-learning is a topic I find fascinating and firmly believe this is a disruptive trend in education. I work in a business school and we see many many students already supplementing their soft academic skills with hard practitioner skills attained from weekend bootcamps and online providers like Linkedin Learning. I, myself, have taken micro-learning courses on vlogging, critical thinking, flipped learning and wildlife management.

    You coverage of digital badges is excellent and I was intrigued to learn about Ontario’s leap into micro-learning. You provided valuable information about the market trends but I think it would also be useful to discuss the major providers in micro-learning a little more. There some truly amazing collaborations being developed between public and private education providers. Companies like Coursera and edX appear to be distancing themselves from formal credentialing bodies in pursuit of recognition for the highest standards of quality control on instruction effectively establishing a brand reputation that possibly carries more value than traditional credentialing can bodies deliver.
    Also, I have a question about the future. Does open learning present a threat to the micro-learning industry?

    Overall a great job!

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    1. sarka kubelikova

      Thank you for the feedback.

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    2. ben zaporozan

      Thanks for your thoughts, Jamie.

      There is a little more about micro courses and bootcamps from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University that I added just below the eCampus Ontario section, and I do agree with you that LinkedIn Learning could be included. LinkedIn has become a major global player, especially since they purchased the resources from Lynda.com. MOOCs with Coursera and edX and others are still “emerging’, in a manner, in the sense that they are so well known and broadly accepted and yet the data about MOOCs and their value is constantly under scrutiny due to low completion rates. What does not seem to be under scrutiny is the value of the content or the verified skills achieved after completion.

      Brand recognition and reputation is definitely a major growth trend to watch. Traditional education as it relates to employability is under threat, and it’s interesting to see colleges and universities partner with companies like Credly to offer badges with the skills that those institutions can offer and verify. It is encouraging to see these partnerships forming and educational/industrial standards becoming accepted in place of an alternative wild-west approach to innovation and certification.

      We did not consider Open Learning as a threat to microlearning, since it is a major delivery mode for microlearning and even for digital badges. If anything, the reverse may be the question. Coursera offers paid certification upon completion of a course. At what point will it be required to pay for verified certification instead of a simple and free acknowledgement as part of your personal xAPI?

      Why does Cognitive Class (https://cognitiveclass.ai/) still offer free digital badges for microlearning courses in data science and cognitive computing? Imagine the data economy that will be generated by the companies that create the system.

      So you’ve touched on some important points that we can re-evaluate for the final version. Thanks very much.

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    3. Jessica Daicos

      Hi Jamie,

      About the “see you tomorrow” – as outlined on the home page, the idea was to recommend that modules are completed one day at a time, to model “spaced repetition”. However, we were aware that enforcing this would be inappropriate given the asynchronous nature of the course and went with merely suggesting that the modules were spread out. I can see how this may have been confusing, though. Thanks for pointing this out.

      By the way, in case you don’t log back into the forum, I have some ideas regarding your leadership skill development:

      “Teach leadership” is a big ask. Perhaps too big for microlearning. However, you might consider looking at IDEO U’s leadership courses where they hone in on elements of leadership skills. Some courses include: Designing Strategy, Storytelling for Influence, Leading for Creativity, and Cultivating Creative Collaboration. So, just as microlearning as PD is focused on skills-based competencies, it might help to ask yourself what specific leadership skills you hope to develop and search out microcredentials that develop and advertise these skills. ideou.com/collections/leadership-courses

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      1. JamieTooze

        Hi Jessica,

        Thank you for your recommendation for the IDEO U’s leadership courses . I very much appreciate the suggestions and will look into the resources they offer. I am already enjoying there “Office Hours” podcast with David Kelly.


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    4. tara davis

      Hi Ben, Sarka, Tamara, and Jessica,

      I apologize for my late reponse (my grandmother passed away this week and I have not yet commented on your fantastic OER.) I truly appreciated how you structured in a way so the student engaged in a micro-learning journey. I completely experienced the pros of micro-learning and how learning something in small chunks really made me feel motivated to stay engaged and keep learning.

      Like Jaimie, I also ​It was fascinating to learn about the major players participating in wide-scale, verified Digital Badges. I’m curious to learn more about what Canadian companies are participating in digital badges and how badges vary from country to country depending on the different skills needed, certificate credentials, and training requirements and standards. I’ll start to investigate how Credly deals with the differences between the U.S. and Canada.

      Here’s some feedback on some of the content on the site. I was not quite sure what you are comparing the global digital badge market to when you posed the question, “how does the global digital badge market compare?” The response below this question on your site explains how the global digital badge industry is projected to grow within the global market. It explains why this is the case (industry and academic institutions will need to train employees in a Covid-19 world). It does not draw a comparison between pre-covid and post-covid markets, nor does it provide an overall analysis of how the global badge market compares to other markets. What are you hoping to achieve in this section (in other words, what comparison are you trying to draw)?

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  4. ryan valley

    Hi Ben, Sarka, Tamara and Jessica,

    Thanks for the informative and concise OER, I found the information you presented was relevant and useful so thanks for putting this together. I also found the site easy to navigate and work through.

    One piece of feedback, the first microlesson video is a bit jarring how the question comes up after only a few seconds, I had to restart it a few times to understand what was going on.

    Great job, thanks.

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  5. sarka kubelikova

    Thank you for the feedback and your patience! It is a new format in microlearning that was being tested. We may end up not using the questions in the final product for now I have taken your advice and cut out the first question to help the flow.

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    1. Alice Shin

      Hi, Sarka,

      I agree with Ryan I had to play a few times as well. I also thought I had to watch the whole video to answer the questions. In the revision, instead of doing away with questions, maybe provide instructions that let us know what to expect.

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    2. johannes dirk wielenga

      For what it’s worth, the video with embedded questions was one of my favorite OER engagement pieces that I have seen thus far!

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  6. Rachel

    Hi Microlearning Team,

    I like the clean layout and the breakdown of the modules. It’s very interesting to see in your final thoughts video, you talked about how some employers are still skeptical about accreditation of badges because this is pretty much the perception people have when online learning was first introduced. The almost stigmatization associates with online learning, in my opinion, really holds us back from having more equitable learning opportunities. I remember when some universities first introduced programs in online format, they also explicitly stated that the diploma would be “the same as if you complete the program on campus”. Looking back, we’ve gone a long way! I suspect the same transition will happen to digital badges too.

    Great work!

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  7. sarka kubelikova

    I have had several discussions about digital badges with professionals in the tech industry who regularly hire and they were skeptical, however once I pointed out that these microcredentials were being granted by large credible institutions in higher educations they started to change their perspective. I think many of us have a vague idea of what digital badges might be which leads to skepticism of what they represent, but through education and research this transition will involve into global acceptance. I see many uses, even in public education, where digital badges would be an excellent way to create a well rounded professional community along with being an incentive for life long learning.

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  8. AmandaKong

    Hi Week 9
    I like the simple and clean lay-out of your website. It was easy to navigate!

    The information presented such as short attention spans reminded me that my students would benefit from micro learning. I also enjoyed the short quiz on yes/no microlearning. I am also fascinated on the direction of the future of microlearning with AI and AR. What are some of your thoughts on the future of microlearning?

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    1. Jessica Daicos

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for sharing your positive feedback! Yes, it reminds me how misaligned/delayed K-12 (and even higher) education can be. Adults need short, engaging learning but kids are expected to learn through 75 min (I used to teach 100 min) lessons, often still taught through long lectures? I think COVID and blended learning might be a good push in that direction.

      I might let Ben weigh in on the future of microlearning in a professional context, however, it looks like Higher Ed is starting to get involved in bridging that gap between formal education and microlearning needs for the workforce. For example, Arizona State University has launched a workforce education platform on the platform InStride.

      About this, ASU President Michael Crow said: “We have over 200 online degrees. There’s lots to choose from, and those could be broken down into certificate or micro-masters or even micro-bachelors degrees and other kinds of things. But it’s still our content. So, what we need then is this interface. That’s what InStride is all about.” So, I can see skills-based competencies required for the workforce getting bridged through higher-ed, as they step into this emerging market. It’s not necessarily a huge leap either, given their involvement in MOOCs.

      You can read a market analysis of ASU x InStride here:

      The interview with ASU President Michael Crow is below (in full):

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      1. ben zaporozan

        Hi Amanda,

        I think there is immense room for growth with the use of microlearning in a professional context, and not just for compliance training. Microlearning is not at all new in this area. A very good example of a company that uses microlearning in the US, mainly confidence-based-learning using adaptive learning technology and AI for feedback, is by a company called amplifire. An example use case is with amplifire healthcare alliance (https://amplifire.com/alliance/). Short bursts of professional learning in very specific ways are measurably reducing patient harm by the removal of confidently held misinformation in healthcare processes. I use this application in a Canadian higher education context to deliver formative assessments, where the goal is for students to achieve 100% mastery over topic-based learning rather than X% on a summative test. The application team has a science board in place to help measure the effectiveness of the tool for learning and to direct ongoing improvements. It is not the only application that uses AI in confidence-based learning, but it is an interesting one.

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        1. AmandaKong

          Thanks Ben. I will check out Amplifire.

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      2. AmandaKong

        Thanks Jessica.

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  9. Grant MacLeod

    Hello team Mircolearning,

    Overall great OER! It was fairly easy to follow minus the couple issues that you had with the videos (i think its fixed now). Having not really known much about microlearning and digital badges a few years ago I think it has come along well. I still see huge potential in this field especially if it can overcome some of its few concerns that you have mentioned (acceptance and credibility). Working in the corporate training world, I think there are a lot of companies that have established some of these systems within house. A few years ago, the company I work for set up an in-house online University, so to speak, where employees can engage in training relevant to the company and it’s industry. Some of the training is mandatory but most is optional and there just for employee’s own personal or professional development. Instead of badges we receive certificates but it is a similar idea. I just wish there were greater incentives for completing these short training programs.

    Thanks for your presentation!


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    1. ben zaporozan

      Hi Grant,

      While we didn’t exactly focus on internal corporate compliance training and PD in the manner that you described, it is certainly relevant within the framework of microlearning. Even with HR compliance systems like Saba (https://www.saba.com/) there is room for in-house certification with industry-recognized badges where that might be appropriate, e.g. Microsoft Certification or Amazon Web Services with a badge from Credly. If an industry-standard badge is offered, the incentive would be for employees to demonstrate ongoing learning and development to prove their skills development and relevance in a continually changing workforce. That may seem a rather hard approach, but the IT industry is a good example of a skills-based economy that once mainly supported in-house staff, then turned towards a contract gig economy.

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  10. Neal Donegani

    Week 9,
    I like how you suggested that we take our time through your OER, just like we were microlearning. A couple interesting points that stood out to me was your observation that “people do not want to spend time or money on master’s degrees”. Funny, because we’re all in an MET that is geared for a profession that changes slowly. However, the Masters that we chose is an ever-changing field that we will no doubt have to keep up with. Fortunately, we do have professional development to keep our digital senses keen. Professional development is important, but perhaps there could be a different approach whereby teachers learn through microlearning.
    A second interesting point was the conflict about who owns the idea to badges. When I first heard about badges in this course through a former OER I immediately thought back to my time as a Scout. I earned badges for cooking, sewing, making fires, making shelters, etc. Perhaps digitally this is new, but really this is not a new practice. The first time that I came across digital badges was in a Microsoft Minecraft for Education workshop: Minecraft Education Edition Badges. I do like the idea, but am not ready to take on the 11 hours of training right now, or back then. Perhaps when I’m finished with this degree I’ll branch out with my professional development.
    Finally, if there was a piece of criticism that I may have for your OER is that you asked for “nicknames” for the discussion points throughout your presentation. Wasn’t too sure if you wanted to keep us anonymous or not; regardless, I used a portmanteau of my names, so stuck with your request.
    Overall, nice pace to your OER, and I will consider micro-learning after the MET.

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    1. ben zaporozan

      Hi Neal,

      The MET program is an interesting one that follows a traditional academic approach to education. This particular course requires a more business-minded, non-academic approach, which offers a great balance between academic theory and industry practice for the program. Anant Agarwal’s (CEO, edX) comment is an important one. edX collects an impressive amount of data about user needs, and the follow through to course completion with the purchase of certificates is largely within the realm of proof for employment purposes. As we mentioned in module 3 (US data source), “49% of recent college graduates agree they didn’t need to go to college to have the skills needed for their job, and 86% are learning skills outside of their degree.” edX is interested in helping people gain the in-demand skills that are needed for the workforce. Traditional educational institutions have programs that help with employment, but academic and research goals are not generally tied to a simple modus ponens argument for employability that starts with “If you obtain skill X, then you obtain job Y.” There may not be many badges in scouts or industry for theoretical knowledge, but there is definitely room for applied skills like first-aid and data analysis. Girl Guides of Canada have a Digital Defenders program for developing cybersecurity skills, learning about cyber threats, and how to protect personal information and devices (https://www.girlguides.ca/web/GGC/Parents/Support_Us/Partners/GGC/Support_Us/BlackBerry.aspx). Approaching technology from a STEM perspective is a great use of microlearning and badging for applied, process-driven skills development.

      Our initial discussions about the topic considered teacher professional development and digital badges. Each province has a different approach to PD and the acknowledgement of professional learning. We considered asking the class a main discussion question about the need and use of verified PD badges, since teachers experience microlearning throughout their careers. A standardized system of achievements that could demonstrate ability in mentorship, online teaching, and all sorts of formal and informal learning could help individuals manage their career progression and help a school, district, etc. determine where the strengths and weaknesses are in an area and foster growth in areas where there are gaps.

      Perhaps the tools used for the mechanics of feedback were not the best for this use case. Nicknames are built into the application for the purpose of data privacy. While we did not specifically focus our resource on K-12 use cases because that is not where industry trends are focused, we assumed that the MET audience would largely be comprised of K-12 teachers used to this type of tool designed to protect the identity of younger users. Our hope was that it would be relatable, but maybe a different approach would be more appropriate.



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  11. adrian wheeler

    Hello week 9.

    Thanks for the well thought out OER. I’ve gone through it a couple times and I think I’m ready to offer some feedback.

    I would like to start with the good. First and foremost I think you presented your content very well. I really appreciate the “practice what you preach” approach and enjoyed learning about micro learning in that environment. Second, I thought your OER was easy to navigate and well designed overall. I think it was quite effective.

    I do, however have a couple pieces of constructive criticism. First are two of the platforms you’ve chosen for engagement. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Genially quiz as its a little obtuse. It has lots of exaggerated animations and dramatic elements that don’t really fit with the pace or style of your OER. I also fount the discussion forum to be less than user friendly; it requires two scroll bars to navigate, has a somewhat strange layout (like a hybrid between a padlet and a normal discussion forum) and for such a big window, there is a lot of wasted space making the comments themselves cramped. My last piece of feedback concerns the “Digital Badges and Verified Skills” page. The example badges are very low quality and pixelated images. That ends up looking quite unpolished next to the rest of your site, especially given they are the subject of that entire page.

    As you can probably tell, the above constructive feedback is pretty much a collection of nit picks. I do really think you did an excellent job and especially liked the way you incorporated the concept you taught into the OER design.

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    1. Tamara

      Hi Adrian,

      Thank you for the feedback and I fully agree with you about the OER- thank you Jess from our group for beautifying and simplifying the final design- I love it as well 🙂 As for the 2 tools we used that you were not a fan of, perhaps if I explained our rationale behind our decision to use them it may provide some clarity.

      As for the Genially tool, being that microlearning is all about learning in bite-sized chunks and practicing through spaced repetition, we felt this was a great tool to show how one can gamify that practice to increase student engagement. Personally, I enjoy the exaggerations and dramatics; and so do my students…albeit, they are aged 10-12, but still, to each their own, I guess.

      Okay, now for the discussion platform, YO! Teach. My initial instinct for this discussion forum was to use a backchannel called Today’s Meet: (https://blogs.umass.edu/onlinetools/community-centered-tools/todays-meet/)…
      which I was devastated to find out was discontinued a couple years ago (while I was on mat leave). I’m not going to lie, because this platform was new to all of us, we had hesitations, but once I looked into reviews and researched its accessibility, I was sold. This chat platform offered so many more ways for its audience to participate; from being able to raise their hands, add text, images, text on top of images (for labelling), and handwritten answers (using a full screen whiteboard), to being able to work on a full screen collaborative whiteboard with others in the class. For some more latest updates to this new chat/ discussion platform, visit: http://palms.polyu.edu.hk/educational-apps/yoteach/.
      Although this may have not been the best space for this type of discussion forum, because it is so universally designed, it could definitely be used with students of all ages, from grade 1 to higher Ed (as is shown in the videos on their site)- so exposing our classmates to a tool they may not be familiar with, yet can possibly use in their practice, was a goal of ours. Also since founded in 2018, YO!Teach has won 2 Bronze International technology awards, visit site above for more info 🙂
      I also think that most of the annoyance arising through the use of the discussion forum is from the fact that it is embedded into a Google site, if we were just using it through a direct link, the messages would not be as cramped and space would not be an issue.

      As for the images on the Digital Badges page, thanks for the heads up, I will try to fix them.

      ~Tamara J

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  12. Tamara

    Just a quick note,
    If the discussion forum is causing anyone else grief, especially if attempting to use it from a mobile device, there is also an option to copy the direct link from the very top of the discussion forum (under Home and ‘Microlearning’), and paste in a new tab. I also pasted it below for easy access to the conversation:

    Thanks and chat soon 🙂

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  13. Tamara



    Here is a great resource I just found also created by the team who founded Yo!Teach, the Pedagogic & Active Learning Mobile Solutions (PALMS) Project from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

    Looks like an engaging tool to gamify the learning experience for your students, and I am loving the added options & accessibility features, as compared to similar tools 🙂


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  14. Michael Saretzky

    Great work! I attempted to follow the suggestion of doing one module a day, which was good for the first couple of days, however then life started to get in the way, which is one of the major issues I have found with microlearning. I enjoyed learning through a Google Site, as I have little experience with them and liked seeing what else can be added.

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    1. Tamara

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the feedback regarding the Google site! I learned this platform recently and absolutely love it! Super user friendly and has great design options. I actually learned how to create a Google site (by accident) while virtually attending a workshop on how to create a digital breakout and it just happened to be the platform of choice for the breakout; so it was a 2 in 1 workshop for me 🙂

      In case you (or anyone else) is interested in checking out the Digital Breakout I created for my French as a second language students in June, or just to see another example of a Google site, visit the link below:


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      1. Michael Saretzky

        Thank you!

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    2. Tamara

      Hi Michael,

      By the way, I forgot to mention, I appreciate your honest effort to follow our recommendation this week to learn through the microlearning format, one objective/ module a day.

      I fully agree with you about this being one of the biggest downfalls to microlearning; it requires a lot of discipline and I would say flexibility. There is little room for ‘cramming’ the night before an assignment or a test because ‘life got in the way’… which is oftentimes necessary when trying to take courses while working, raising a family, etc.


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  15. sundeep lail

    I really enjoyed the way you created microlearning modules to showcase what it is all about; one module, 1 day.
    I enjoyed the google site that you created and the various activities. It’s the first time I used “genially education” and really enjoyed it.
    The YoTeach is really interesting and I would like to learn more about that. The small feedback apps that you put on were interesting. I am not sure what it is called, but I like that it forced me to think of specific words to answer the questions.

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  16. Tamara

    Hi Sundeep,

    Thank you for the feedback.

    Both Genially education (from module 2) and EdPuzzle (module 1) are two of my favourite tools to use to practice concepts learned and increase engagement in my class!

    It was my first experience using Yo! Teach and as I mentioned I was impressed! Having used other backchannel chat/ discussion forums in the past, this one far exceeded the capability of any other one I have used in the past. Here is a link to their site, quite impressive: http://palms.polyu.edu.hk/educational-apps/yoteach/

    The feedback app that requires you to think of specific words to answer was called AnswerGarden: https://answergarden.ch/
    I like this one as well; and it is surprisingly hard to sum up comments in under 20 characters! But a great skill to develop in children and adults alike. Sometimes less is more 🙂

    Thanks again for the positive feedback,

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  17. Vijaya Jammi

    Hi Sarka, Ben, Jessica and Tamara
    That was a great work! I really found it easy and interesting to engage with the OER. The content is informative, layout is neat, and the flow is great. It was short and uncluttered, and truly reflected the spirit of micro learning! I enjoyed learning from your work.

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    1. Tamara

      Thank you for the positive feedback Vijaya 🙂


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  18. johannes dirk wielenga

    Hi, Ben, Sarka, Tamara and Jessica,
    Thanks for the great OER on microlearning, it looks well laid-out and thought-out, and it’s clean and straightforward. The information was all pertinent with very little excess. I also really liked the video with questions embedded in it – I often listen to videos while reading other information at the same time so knowing this one had questions forced me to focus a bit more.

    I do wonder about the lack of peer engagement in this OER, as I did feel more detached from my fellow classmates’ thoughts on the material than I have from previous OERs, though on the other hand I did appreciate the overall “clinical” feel to this piece of work. I guess what I mean to say is that while the OER overall had engaging and interactive elements, the vast majority were for the individual, not the group.

    In this OER, my interest is most piqued by the whole concept of badges. I definitely see the appeal of badges, but I do wonder about how much validity these earned badges will hold outside of the organization from which it was received. I wonder how a “badges” section on a resume would be received by a company looking to hire professionals.

    Ultimately, this is a great OER that made me think, question, and engage with the material and so for this I thank you!

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    1. Tamara

      Hi Johannes,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      Yes! That’s why I love EdPuzzle (tool used to embed the questions in the videos), it forces students to pay attention (and quickly alerts the teacher of anyone who is not!)

      In terms of badges, this concept is fairly new to me too and I find myself asking the same questions. My school district just began the process of having ‘tech academies’ whereby you apply to be in a specific emerging technology focus for the year and at the end, once completing the hours and requirements, you earn the badge. After having completed 1 and starting another, I’m hoping they will be worth the time and effort ????. I know I can add it to my resume if applying within my same school district, but I’m wondering if another school district would give it a second look?


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    2. ben zaporozan

      Hi Johannes,

      We might not hear much about the link between digital badges in the workplace in Canada yet, but it is on its way. Some of the examples that we provided from the technology sector in the US are quite prominent where certifications are necessary to keep up job skills (Adobe, Microsoft, IBM). Badges are also becoming recognized globally, especially in India where there is a much larger employer market for these types of transferrable skills. My company in Canada hired its first non-degree-credentialed software engineer last year, accepting his self-paced learning and verified skills. The growth of the gig economy seems to be a driver for badging, but also a change in student behaviours. Students planning for employment past college and university now seem to be less inclined to take on the heavy burden of student loan debt without something practical that will help them post graduation.

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      1. Alice Shin

        I appreciate your comments, Ben, as I agree we should look at adoption in the US for how things will unfold in Canada. For this reason, I feel micro-learning is an area of opportunity as things are in the early stages primed for growth. I may be overly optimistic, though, because you never know how things pan out!

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  19. Erica Hargreave

    Thanks Sarka, Ben, Jessica and Tamara. You put a great OER together on a timely topic.

    I have to admit I have been a badge skeptic – both in the credibility of many of them and finding some to be a cash grab. Having said that, I do see people’s gravity towards them and desire for them, that has me considering them on our new teaching platform. In fact badges were actually requested as part of our first private course of the site.

    My one recommendation when you are making your edits on the OER this week is to increase the font size of the body text. It had me squinting to see and as such caused a headache and meant I found myself skimming as oppose to thoroughly reading.

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    1. ben zaporozan

      Thanks, Erica,

      It is important to take notice that there are free badges offered by brand-approved/authoritative companies for many industry-recognized skills. Employers have a stake in this too. They need employees to have demonstrable skills from day one so that they do not have to train their workforce from the ground up after every new hire. This is where the bridge between traditional universities and employers is getting interesting in Canada. The eCampus Ontario initiative that we mentioned is a collaboration between education providers and employers, and the digital badges that Ryerson University offers are created similarly with experiential learning and employability in mind. Badges from the right school or company might be the deciding factor in a job search for second-year students who have gained some skills but have not yet completed their programs.

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    2. Jessica Daicos

      Ha! Erica, I’m glad my FAQ/legitimate question to Ben “Are badges just a money grab?” was relevant to you.

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  20. Feng Mao

    To the Week 9 Team, I appreciate the informed and effective OER experience. From Module 1 I learned that most learners tend to watch videos for no more than 4 minutes which I will keep in mind for future presentations. I found the module 2 activity interesting – is it MicroLearning… or not? Once I made my choices for the questions I could see the answer immediately with a clear explanation. I didn’t know about the badges system before I read your OER. I will definitely look into the options on offer in the market. It would be a practical way of learning however the only concern I would have is that badges maybe would get wide recognition by employers since they are not a formal credential.
    You designed each module of your ORE to be viewed in under 10 minutes which gave me an opportunity to experience firsthand the beauty of MicroLearning. This was a job well done!

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    1. Jessica Daicos

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback Feng! We’re glad you enjoyed it.

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  21. kathleen mckenna

    Hi team,

    I really liked that you encouraged your viewers to view the OER one day at a time. It was a simple but effective way to use the concept of micro-learning in your analysis. I also liked that you started with the question, “What words do you associate with the word badge?” At first this question confused me as I didn’t see how it related to micro-learning. However I soon realized that I didn’t know enough about micro-learning and what it entails. I appreciated the list of digital badges in your OER. I wondered what other programs were available and what digital badges other MET students have participated in. For example, I know colleagues of mine have the Minecraft badge. Including a spot for viewers to share their experiences with digital badges would have sparked my interest further.

    Thank you for making this topic so interesting!

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  22. RyanSilverthorne

    Congrats Ben, Sarka, Tamara and Jessica on a very interesting, well laid out OER!

    I have been skeptical about microlearning in the past but the more I ponder it the more I see the value. We are in a world of rapidly changing information and very specific skill sets are often needed.

    I wonder however, about how one assigns value to the courses? When we are looking for universities, for example, we want to know who they are accredited by. I’m the Principal of an international K-12 school in Thailand and it makes a huge difference where the students attend post-secondary. The fact that universities are utilizing microlearning though, is certainly a positive sign.

    I’ve always had a negative bias about “badges” as it reminds me of a video game. However, I realize this an odd bias to have. Many trends in education were looked down upon when they were first introduced and are now very mainstream. We should all be thankful for the developments in online education over the years or most of us would not be studying now.

    In the fast paced world we live in, where we communicate largely in 164 characters or less microlearning makes a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see the development in the next few years.

    Great job overall!

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