Mastodons and Microlearning
Updated: Mar 23
One of the growing trends in instructional design is microlearning. At its core, microlearning is small units of learning, digital or otherwise, in which a learner can gain an understanding of one topic in a short amount of time (Gherman et all, 2022, p 2). While it can be based on performance, persuasion, preparation, or post-instruction (American College of Education, 2022b), there are some universal best practices for this type of instruction. According to the American College of Education (2022a), these best practices direct the instructional designer to ensure their microlearning addresses a gap in skill or knowledge, is self-paced and on-demand, is built on one central idea, has a measurable objective, contains interactive elements, and is accessible for all users.
The microlearning topic I chose to create was a guide for users, specifically journalists and academics, transitioning from Twitter to Mastodon. After conducting a needs analysis, I created a planning document and training agenda outlining the content that would be covered. This training is meant to be a side-by-side guide that users would employ as they are setting up their account on the social media platform. I created a guide to walk users through the account registration process using Snagit 2023. You can view the walkthrough for Section 1: Create Your Account here.
How effective is this learning experience? If we go back to the list of best practices for microlearning, the guides are available on-demand for learners to access at their convenience, each section is built on one key idea and has a measurable learning objective as defined in the planning document, the learning is interactive as learners are creating their account as they are engaged in the learning process, and the content is accessible as the the contrast in images passing WCAG standards and text is included so users do not have to rely on just the images. Additionally, because this content is succinct, it can be updated quickly if changes to the sign-up process are made with the app and allows the learner to take charge of their professional development (American College of Education, 2022a).
While all of these practices are met, the most important question to determine whether or not this experience is effective is whether or not it meets a skills or knowledge gap. That can only be measured by the percentage of participants who were able to create an account on the platform using this guide. So, if you followed along with the guide, feel free to let me know if it helped. If you'd like to add more feedback, let me know in the comments section.
Were you able to create an account on Mastodon using this guide?
American College of Education. (2022a). DL5763 Trends in Instructional Design: Module 2 [Creating a Successful Microlearning Experience]. Canvas. https://ace.instructure.com/courses/1843213/external_tools/118428 American College of Education. (2022b). DL5763 Trends in Instructional Design: Module 2 [What is Microlearning?]. Canvas. https://ace.instructure.com/courses/1843213/external_tools/118428 Gherman, O., Turcu, C. E., & Turcu, C. O. (2022). An Approach to Adaptive Microlearning in Higher Education.