LIGHTNING / BIG IDEA / MICRO LEARNING
In micro learning, not only is the content short and compelling but the quizzes come fast and full of cognitive engagement.
SOURCE: Distributing vs. Blocking Learning Questions in a Web-Based Learning Environment by Felix Kapp, Antje Proske, Susanne Narciss and Hermann Körndle, Journal of Educational Computing Research January 1, 2015 REVIEW: Why Microlearning Drives Over 20% More Information Retention Than Long-Form Training by Lenny DeFranco, Grovo.com 2015
Researchers at Germany’s Dresden University of Technology studied the efficacy of web-based micro learning by examining learning outcomes across three different quiz approaches for a course on intellectual property law. As described by reviewer Lenny DeFranco:
To do this, the researchers divided a 16-chapter online text into three sizes. The “fine-grained” group of learners answered a learning question after reading every single chapter; the “medium-grained” group answered four questions after reading four chapters; and “blocked” learners got eight questions after each half of the digital text. After all of this, the participants all took the same multiple choice test covering the whole lesson.
Out of a total population of 61 students, the simple outcome is that the fine-grained students who took a quiz directly after each chapter did better than the blocked students who had four or eight chapters to consume before each quiz. The study measured many factors like demographics, interest-level and both page and quiz reading times. An achievement test at the end using new questions also found that the fine-grained test takers did better.
But in addition to varying the amount of content before each quiz, the researchers also constructed multiple choice “learning questions” for each quiz that were carefully designed for maximum content processing. The researchers’ example
A learning question within the web-LE on “Basics of Intellectual Property” could sound as follows: “Which of the following activities does NOT prevent an invention from getting a patent? a) a publication of the invention in a scientific journal, b) a presentation of the invention on a scientific conference, c) a presentation of the invention to a cooperation partner, d) selling of a prototype of the invention.
More than just a true-or-false test of knowledge acquisition, the learning question “support the knowledge construction by helping learners with the integration and organization of content and by providing necessary information for an assessment of their own learning progress.”
The researchers compare their results to pre-digital learning tests that found a much weaker link between fine-grained and blocked quizzes, and they point to areas of additional research needed to evaluate the differences between e-learning and conventional study.