Posted tagged ‘micro-assessment’

Less is more

3 December 2019

Well that’s my excuse, anyway.

2019 has been a tumultuous year for me, so I haven’t been able to write as much as I have in previous years.

Nonetheless, I hope the few articles I was able to publish proved useful and worthwhile.

Here they are again in case you missed them or fancy a refresh…

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20 real-world examples of Augmented Reality

As with VR, there’s plenty of talk out there about how wonderful AR is and the incredible potential it offers us. But I’m more interested in what people in the real world are currently doing with this emerging technology.

The L&D maturity curve

By looking through the lens of “Performance First”, an L&D team can work backwards to focus its energy on where it’s needed.

Micro-learning’s unsung sibling

While I’m an advocate of micro-learning, a less buzzy but perhaps just-as-important variant is micro-assessment.

5 podcasts every e-learning professional should listen to

If like me you’re just getting started with podcasts, or perhaps you’re looking for another one to add to your subscription, I offer you 5 of my favourites.

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I wish you loads of joy over the Christmas season, and I look forward to reconnecting with you in 2020!

Micro-learning’s unsung sibling

9 April 2019

Micro-learning is so hot right now.

But I’m not going to deliberate over its definition. If you’re into that, check out Shannon Tipton’s Microlearning: The Misunderstood Buzzword and 7 Deadly Myths of Microlearning.

Nor am I going to try to convince you to jump on board, or abandon ship.

Instead, I’m going to consider firstly how micro-learning might be used in a corporate training context; and secondly, pivot towards something slightly different.

And if you were to find any value in these musings, I’d be delighted.

How micro-learning might be used

The nature of micro-learning lends itself to the campaign model.

Independent but related packets of content that are distributed over time can be woven into the working day of the target audience, and hence reduce time “off the floor”. In this context, the micro-learning is the training.

Similarly I see an opportunity for micro-learning to be deployed before the training. The content can prime the target audience for the experience to follow, perhaps in the form of a flipped class.

And of course I also see an opportunity for micro-learning to be deployed after the training: what one may call “reinforcement” to improve retention and increase the probability of knowledge transfer.

Sure, but does it work?

Well cognitive science suggests it does. I recommend reading up on the forgetting curve, subsumption theory, Piaget, cognitive load, the spacing effect and interleaving. It’s worth it.

A hand holding a pen pointing to a chart.

The pivot

While I’m obviously an advocate of micro-learning, a less buzzy but perhaps just-as-important variant is micro-assessment.

This is similar to micro-learning except the content is in question format – preferably scenario based and feedback rich.

In one sense, the two approaches may be conflated. Formative assessment is nothing new, and a few daily questions over a set timespan could constitute training, or prompt critical thinking pre-training, or promote application post-training.

If you want more bedtime reading, I suggest looking up the testing effect or its synonyms, retrieval practice and active recall.

However I feel the untapped potential of micro-assessment lay in its summative power. As the bank of results builds up over time, the data can be used to diagnose the population’s understanding of the subject matter. If the questions are aligned to competencies, the knowledge gaps can be identified and closed with further interventions.

Hence, micro-assessment can be leveraged to execute an assessment first strategy, thereby increasing the relevance of the L&D service offering to the business.

And if you want yet more bedtime reading, I suggest exploring metacognition and its effect on motivation.

On that note, good night!