Micro Learning in the Workplace and How to Avoid Getting Fooled by Micro Instructionists

2017 is the year of micro learning. It took 14 years since our initial work in 2003 until the concept hit mainstream. During the first half of this year, I have read several blog posts and tweets since the start of this your and one thing struck me: The focus on learning resources and chunking them into digestible sizes. It appears that video is the big thing in micro learning these days, while it is not.
This post is a response to Mirjam Neelen and Paul Kirschner's post that comes with a lot of references but leaves out the most important aspects of micro learning and argues that micro learning is a meaningless concept. One thing that the authors got wrong is the honorary reference to micro instruction from the 70's. Back then it was called micro teaching and not micro learning for a reason. Mainly, micro teaching is about presenting the teachers ideas and concepts and not about the student's learning and performance. More importantly, micro learning is not content-centric just-in-time learning, as the article (like many others) puts it.

We are hiring - Neue Stellen an der HTW Chur

My team at the Blended Learning Center is growing again. I am looking for talent for a educational technologist position that aims at supporting us in our Universities' digitalization strategy. The work will primarily be located boundary between mobile and online learning experiences, learning analytics and process orchestration as well as personalisation and contextualization in order to shape a smart learning environment. The position requires programming and will be in Chur, Switzerland. A successfull candidate will work closely with our System Maintainer and UX Designer in Chur as well with our partners in the Swiss academic community. German and English language skills are required as are programming skills in at least JavaScript. The position is set as a junior researcher, so we plan a structured academic career development and we expect the willingness to learn and to research.

There is an English advert on Euraxess.

Mein Team am Blended Learning Center wächst wieder. Ich suche nach einem Talent für eine Lerntechnologenposition, die unsere Hochschule bei unserer Digitalisierungsstrategie unterstützt. Die Arbeit ist im Spannungsfeld zwischen mobilen und online Lernerlebnissen, Learning Analytics und Prozessautomatisierung sowie Personalisierung und Kontextualisierung verortet und zielt auf die Gestaltung eines Smart Learning Environments. Für die Stelle werden Programmierkenntnisse auf der Höhe eines Informatikstudiums erwartet und der Arbeitsort ist in Chur. Erfolgreiche Kanditaten werden mit unserem Systemadministrator und unserer UX Gestalterin genauso zusammenarbeiten wie mit unseren Partnern in der Schweizer Hochschullandschaft. Neben soliden praktischen Programmierkenntnissen sind guter Ausdruck auf Deutsch und Englisch sind erforderliche Voraussetzungen. Die Stelle ist als Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter/in eingestuft, daher planen wir eine strukturierte akademische Entwicklung und wir erwarten eine grosse Bereitschaft zum Lernen und Forschen.

Zur Ausschreibung führt dieser Link

Hybrid Learning Model in German

Marion Gruber and myself have translated and extended the Hybrid Learning Model (HLM) to German. We extended the model for making it easier for educators to use the HLM for designing and communicating blended learning concepts.

You can find the German Version of the HLM Poster and a very brief introduction on the BLC Blog. Check it out, its Creative Commons.

Tackling Privacy in XAPI at the OEB Berlin

OEB Presentation_20161108b.png

On 2 December 2016 I will speak at the Online Educa about getting around privacy, ownership of learning, and interoperability issues of learning analytics. It covers parts of the lessons learnt from my work on bringing XAPI into organisational operations.

Engage those Pokémon Go players at your doorstep

A few weeks ago - in the middle of the summer break we saw very unusual activity at the HTW Chur campus. Suddenly, young people were showing up on campus, being suspiciously engaged in some kind of activity involving their smart phones. Some could be our students, while others were clearly too young - but again it was summer break and ordinary students avoid us during that time of the year. Quickly, it became clear that these people were Pokémon Go players.

In a way, we were exited that this was happening, because Pokémon Go unites several of the topics in our curriculum. So we thought: “if these people are already here, why not engage them in some science communication/study promotion”. We have plenty of printed and online material that present what we are doing. On the other hand, this material seemed awkward for giving out to players because it is entirely unrelated the reason why these players visited us. Also we did not want to disturb our core community if we start flooding our communication channels with something they are not interested in or possibly dislike (our traditional community responds very sensible in unpredictable ways). So we were looking for something that allows engaging players while leaving our existing community unaffected.

Read on to find out what we did and what we learned.

Certificate Program on Blended Learning

I am excited to announce the Blended Learning Center will launch the first dedicated Swiss Certificate Program on Blended Learning for University Lecturers. Different to other "E-Learning" Certificate programs, this offering addresses didactics, concepts, and practices for crossing and integrating media and conversational contexts. The first round of the program will be primarily in German, so if you are in Switzerland, speak German, and want to go beyond classroom teaching, this is just the right program for you. We have more details on the BLC Blog

Who owns the Data will win the Educational Race

I am on a trip with swissuniversities to the USA and visit educational technology companies and institutions who use or innovate education technologies. This trip brought me to Boston and to San Francisco. This article is about the group's visit to Google and Coursera, where we discussed their global MOOC activities. The night before, Christian Simm and Benjamin Bellmann welcomed us at Swissnex San Francisco. Christian highlighted in his short reception speech that Big Data is the main trend at the US West Coast.

Save the Date: Applications of Clicker Apps in Swiss Higher Education

On March, 17 from 13:00-18:00 the CIEL @ University of Geneva and the EduHub SIG Mobile Learning are organising a mini symposium on clicker apps in Swiss Higher Education.

We have confirmed presentations from ETHZ, HES-SO, University Basel, University Bern and University of Geneva. Stay tuned for more details soon.

2 E-Learning Stellen an der HTW Chur / 2 E-Learning Positions at the HTW Chur

Die HTW Chur sucht ab sofort je eine(n) online content/UX Entwickler(in) und eine(n) Moodle System-Entwickler/Administrator(in) zur Verstärkung des Blended Learning Center Teams. Die Aufgaben umfassen die technische Umsetzung von interaktiven online und mobilen Lernkomponenten für die HTW Lernplattform und der Betreuung und Erweiterung Systemumgebung. Für beide Stellen werden fundierte HTML und JavaScript-Kenntnisse von den Bewerberinnen und Bewerbern vorausgesetzt.

Zur offiziellen Ausschreibung.

The HTW Chur is looking for an online content/UX developer and a Moodle system developer/administrator to support the Blended Learning Center. The tasks include the technical development of online and mobile learning components for the HTW learning environment as well as the support and expansion of the underpinning Moodle system. Both positions require HTML and JavaScript knowledge.

The official Job Announcement (in German)

Inverted World: Smaller Devices Are No Longer Premium

A new rumor is spreading regarding a 4-inch iPhone. What is interesting is that the article suggests that the smaller device is not considered at the same level than the premium models of the same brand. This is inline with a develpoment that I observe also with other vendors: Almost all small phones cripple the design of the modern smart phone while the premium devices are really phablets rather than smart phones: The small phones are designed with small memory, bad cameras and poor screen resolution. They often lack useful sensors and come with weak processors - and are shipped too often with completely outdated operating systems. Yet, these devices perform even worse when it comes to battery life.

If the rumor is true, Apple seems to follow that idea instead of buying into a different perspective: a small device may contain the same power and sensors for all the awesome features of the bigger brothers and sisters. Really, there is only one good reason for a bigger screen in a thinner phone: the battery life. With the given performance of the devices, I would be excited if a vendor would offer a super-power device that lasts a week with one charge even if it does not provide desktop-level computing power.

The interesting aspect of this present development to bigger screen devices is the difference to the perception of laptops and notebooks: the smaller device is not considered as the executive version of the bigger "assistant" version. Personally, I won't mind at all to carry a smaller "executive-style" phone that still gives me the premium functions plus a premium of battery duration.

© 2002-2016, Christian Glahn and Michael Valersi