Instructional Design

MOOCs and Microlearning: How They Work Together

Whether you label them buzzwords or trends, both MOOCs and microlearning have changed the way the average person sees education. From corporate learning to college classes, the ability to learn where you want in the time you have is obviously appealing. But while the “massive” in massive open online courses sounds opposite the idea of microlearning, the two are more alike than you think.

Leading the Charge

When you think about it, the same companies utilizing MOOCs are also those that have lead the charge to smaller, more accessible content. Take TED Talks, for example. With short, instructional and information videos, it’s a way to make learning easier and quicker for the perpetually time-crunched. In fact, MOOCs regularly make use of microlearning concepts like short videos, sharing via social media and quizzes.

Shared Practices

While it’s true that MOOCs are traditionally a more formal way to learn when compared to organic microlearning, the two often cross paths using shared practices. From summaries sent before class to virtual flashcards and even short discussions, both MOOCs and microlearning seek to increase learning motivation by streamlining the process. Both methods help increase results by removing complicated materials, strict timelines and expensive resources.

Raising the Bar

Even if you don’t choose to use a MOOC as part of your training, you can’t deny that it’s effectively raised the bar for what learners expect from the experience. Gone are the days of boring slide shows and lectures – the best administrators realized that learners want a more interactive experience. Whether that’s in the form of a short game played upon computer startup or an online course for astrophysics, both MOOCs and microlearning can blend and borrow ideas for a more seamless application.