Saturday, October 06, 2012

It's all about the chunking

I've been thinking about mobile learning a lot lately. More specifically, how learning will occur on tablets and smartphones. (Ironically I initially wrote "will be delivered" where "will occur" in the previous line - many proponents do not think learning in this environment will fully be a "push" effort, but a combined "push-pull" effort.

Screen capture from the main Power Searching with Google course page.
I do believe that video will be a major ingredient, with links to other resources. I recently completed a Google three-week on-line training program called Power searching with Google. It consisted of six classes, a midterm exam, a final exam and two opportunities to "hang out" with the instructors.

Screen capture of class 2 topicsEach of the classes consisted of a series of videos between 4 and 9 minutes in length followed by a series of questions or exercises that allowed you to test your understanding of the materials presented. Some of these activities required posting to a forum where others taking the class could review your work.

This, I think, is the model of training going forward with topics chunked to be no more than 10 to 15 minutes, including activities, in length that learners can take in increments with an understanding that they must complete all increments within a specified time period to receive credit.

Screen capture of the links to the narrative text and slides used in the video presentation.Other things I think Google did right with this class was to provide not only the video, which was closed captioned so you could view it with the sound muted, but also links to a text version of the presentation as well as a link to the slides used by the instructor. They also maintained a forum for asynchronous discussions and three live "hang-outs" where Google experts answered learners questions.

The old model of "delivering" training needs to be reconsidered, and Google is demonstrating the approach that needs to be followed.

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