Bite-sized learning in library skill development: Micro learning application.

Online Learning Consortium
Melissa McCartney
Holly Rick
Presentation Date: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Event or Conference: 
Online Learning Consortium 2016 Accelerate Conference
Presentation Type: 
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd
Orlando, FL 32830
United States
Associated Awards: 
Honorarium Award
The days of one-shot instruction are dead. Online and blended modalities allow education to be more adaptive, accessible, personalized, and customizable than ever before. One-shot instruction is not the most effective method of delivery regarding student learning outcomes in an online environment. Adult learners desire materials that are readily available, found in a variety of formats, and have an immediacy of application. Throughout a student’s academic career, they need additional support for information literacy instruction is responsive to their individual needs as they become more adept at scholarly research. This approach allows students the opportunity to take a micro lesson on a concept that they struggle with mastering. Microlearning is more flexible than one-shot instruction in adjusting to the appropriate level of rigor. Using academic analytics, instructional designers and curriculum developers can provide microlearning to students as timely support that helps advance and supports learner’s needs at a rate that is appropriate. Just-in-time microlearning experiences prevent the student from “drinking from the fire hydrant” of information. In online and blended learning platforms thoughtful implementation of instructional design, usability, and cognitive load are achieved through just-in-time microlearning experiences. This session explores the impact of the microlearning approach in delivering academic support in the area of information literacy in higher education targeting students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. Just-in-time micro scholarships can be tailored to the online learner’s level of readiness through tradition methods, like classroom activities, or adaptive technologies that utilize email and learning management systems. By providing students with timely support in meaningful bite-sized pieces at the most high-risk periods of the student’s academic career, institutions of higher education can serve students while meeting academic and institutional retention goals. Onboarding and new student orientations are moving away from the one-size fits all and towards on-demand formats as students often feel overwhelmed by too much information too soon and do not benefit from information that is not immediately applicable. Information about using the library, finding services, creating search strategies may not be beneficial to a student until the student is required to use these skills in an assignment or other classroom activity. Just-in-time microlearning experience provides content when the student needs the specific information in condensed bursts of information that can be immediately applied. Threshold Concepts such as searching as strategic exploration work well in a microlearning environment. To create microlearning activities, designers and developers begin with a specific threshold concept identified to ensure that the student will receive the explicit instruction that they need at the time when they need it. Microlearning experiences reach students in ways where one-shot instruction and classroom delivery are not able. Designers create microlearning with accessibility in mind. By creating microlearning opportunities, information literacy instruction can be delivered in mobile settings, reaching students when and where they have access to mobile platforms. Microlearning activities can be embedded on a library website, or in a workshop with additional instructional support, or embedded with classroom assignments. From the works of Theo Hug, microlearning can be used to learn more about a topic within less than 15 minutes simulates the “need to know” information in a realistic way. These micro learnings can be assessed to validate if the student can apply the concept or if the student will require additional support on the topic. A benefit of microlearning for information literacy is the ability of the Univeristy to support students with additional content at a time when a student appears to be struggling with a threshold concept. Experiences span across instructional materials including infographics, videos, interactive eLearnings, brief readings, emails or text messages. Microlearning is a natural fit for instructional design formats like multimedia, that increase student engagement. Other benefits of microlearning include the ease of content management when keywords and tags are attached to individual microlearning files. This convenience helps the organizational structure when creating and maintaining websites, blog sites, and eLearning libraries. For this session, researchers will examine student feedback regarding microlearning for the content in the University of Phoenix Library and advanced research strategies the formats of short narrated video, video scribe, and interactive eLearning. Each activity is designed to require between 2-15 minutes of instructional time for the student to complete. After receiving information literacy instruction in a microlearning experience, students will respond to survey regarding their experience. During this session, participants are encouraged to experience several microlearning activities, learn where and how institutions of higher education are using microlearning, and obtain resources on best practices for developing microlearning.