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11 NOVEMBER 2012

Udemy: crowd learning through microcontent bundles

"There was a time when learning was what we did from birth to college graduation. After that? We just worked and eventually retired.

But the world is changing rapidly. And now, more than ever, learning is something that happens outside the classroom throughout our entire lives.

We now have to learn new skills every year just to stay relevant in our jobs (not to mention making a career change!). And it's not just our careers, we also want to learn and continually improve in the things we do outside of work. Whether it's yoga or golf or photography or anything we're passionate about, we want to be better. Every day we see our friends sharing their new achievements and posting their milestones on Facebook; how do we keep up and reach our potential?

We're busier than ever. And despite having access to a mountain of information via the internet, we still struggle to find structured, comprehensive, trusted sources who can excite us and teach us all the things we want to know. We need trusted experts, guides, to help us on our way – we need the ability to learn from the amazing instructors in the world."

(Udemy)

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TAGS

andragogy • busy lifestyle • career change • changing knowledge landscapeschanging worldcontinuous developmentcrowdlearningdigital education • e-learning bundles • help us on our way • how toinstructionInternet • keeping up • learning • learning capacity • learning the crowd • lifelong learning • maintaining relevance • marketization of educationmicrolearningnew skillsonline courses • our careers • outside the classroom • pedagogyperformativitypersonal development • reaching your potential • reflexive modernisation • reliable instruction • reliable knowledge • reliable sources • self-improvement • sharing achievements • structured content • supplemental learningtailored curriculumtrainingtrusttrust and reliability • trusted experts • trusted guides • trusted sources • trustworthiness • Udemy • virtual learning • wisdom of crowds

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JULY 2010

Microlearning: learning from microcontent

"We understand microlearning primarily as learning from microcontent – from "small pieces, loosely joined" (Weinberger, 2002).

Microlearning as a term reflects the emerging reality of the everincreasing fragmentation of both information sources and information units used for learning, especially in fast–moving areas which see rapid development and a constantly high degree of change.

While in the past a single authoritative work (or even a single authoritative teacher) may have been all that was necessary to sufficiently acquaint oneself with a given topic of interest, this is increasingly untrue, especially as the necessity to (quickly) learn (a lot) extends into almost everyone's work life.

Books, magazine articles, a multitude of web resources (like online books, tutorials, encyclopedias, forum and weblog postings, emails and comprehensive teaching material collections as produced by MIT's OpenCourseWare project or the Connexions effort hosted at Rice University) form essential ingredients of the source mix of almost any non–institutionalized learning effort – and, increasingly, of many institutionalized efforts as well.

Fragmentation of sources has both positive and negative aspects. From a producer's standpoint, information fragments are much easier to create than larger works. Furthermore, disaggregated content – theoretically – can be re–aggregated to optimally suit an individual learner's preferences (instead of the needs of an idealized common denominator). The other side of the coin is that a significant fraction of the consolidation and organization effort is shifted towards the learner.

It will increasingly be the task of microlearning management systems to assist the learner (or group of learners) to consolidate information gleaned from such disparate sources into a coherent whole. We see personal knowledge mapping as enabled by combined wiki/weblog software as a first step in that direction."

(Christian Langreiter, Andreas Bolka, 2005)

Weinberger, D.: 2002, Small Pieces Loosely Joined. Perseus Books.

[2] Langreiter, C. and A. Bolka (2005). Snips & Spaces: Managing Microlearning. Microlearning Conference. Innsbruck, Austria.

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TAGS

2005authoritative workauthorshipcoherenceConnexions Consortium • consolidation • contentcontextdigital education • disaggregation • disparate sources • encyclopaediafragmentationinformation • information fragments • information in contextinstructionintegration • knowledge chunks • learnerlearninglifelong learning • magazine articles • microcontentmicrolearningmicrolearning management systemMIT • online books • online tutorialsOpen Educational Resources (OER) • OpenCourseWare project • orderingorganisationpaedagogypedagogypersonal knowledge mapping • re-aggregation • Rice Universitysnippet • sources • teachingteaching materialstraining • web resources • weblogwholewiki

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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