6 Ideas for Using Micro Learning in your Classes

My current lead project at the ISN is Mobler Cards. Mobler Cards is a smart phone app that allows bringing Micro Learning content from ILIAS managed courses to Android and iOS devices. Mobler Cards uses the ILIAS question pool feature for nesting Micro-learning activities into LMS managed courses. This feature is widely used for creating dynamic online assessments. Our Mobler Cards app uses these question pools for supporting mobile micro-learning for your Ilias courses.

In our first demonstrators we used only one question pool per course, but Mobler Cards more capable than that and can use all valid question pools in your courses. This provides a powerful instructional tool, because you can activate and deactivate each question pool independently. I collected five interesting solutions with Mobler Cards for using Micro Learning in your classes and courses.

On the first sight, Mobler Cards looks like a simple quiz app. Although it is simple in many ways, it has some hidden features that help you to leverage the power of mobiles for your classes and courses. One of the core features is that Mobler Cards uses the question pools in your courses on ILIAS as learning resources. This basically means that you can put as many question pools into your course and structure the test items into chapters and sections. Mobler Cards takes care that the learners will work with all the material you have created for them. I think that this alone is already pretty awesome because it puts you in charge what content will be available on your students' devices.

Because I really like the idea that the teacher is in charge of guiding the educational process, Mobler Cards not just takes the content it finds but also it respects the rules that you have defined for your question pools on ILIAS. This empowers you also to define when a question pool will be available to your students.

ILIAS has two ways of controlling the availability of learning material. Firstly, you can define the availability through the group based access privileges. Secondly, you can define a time frame when the content should be available to the learners. For your students this is fully transparent because behind the scenes Mobler Cards takes care that they always work with the correct contents. I played with this features like to share 5 6 advanced applications for the Mobler Cards App.

1 Weekly Quizzes

The first approach is an mobile only approach and works completely disconnected from other activities or classes. For this approach you have to create several question pools in a course. Each question pool contains the test items for each week. For each question pool you define a timing when it is available. Because they are weekly quizzes, each question pool should be available for one week. ILIAS and Mobler Cards do the rest for you: When a question pool becomes available Mobler Cards will start offering questions from that question pool and it removes the questions after the defined time. I found it useful to overlap the intervals for a few hours so the students don't experience any gaps in the course.

2 Mobile blended WBT

Mobile blended web-based training integrates Mobler Cards to a rich web-based course. This approach makes use of ILIAS' "prerequisite" timing. This allows to define that a question pool should become only available after a student has worked with some learning material on the web. That way you can offer mobile exercises for the learning material they are currently working. In order to make this happen you create a question pool for each content section in your course and define a prerequisite rule that binds the question pool to its section.

3 Mobile blended classroom learning

You can also use Mobler Cards for your classroom teaching without really using the WBT component of ILIAS. This is pretty similar to the weekly quizzes, but you define the question pools based on the topics you cover in your class. After each session you make the related question pool available to your students. If you already know the exact timing, you can use ILIAS' timing feature. Alternatively, you can initially remove the student access from all question pools in the course. After each session you then grant the student access rights and Mobler Cards automatically makes the test items available to them. Using this approach you can incrementally increase the amount of test items the students can use for practicing.

4 Mobile flipped classroom

The mobile flipped classroom scenario is very similar to the mobile blended classroom learning. The main difference is that you will provide question pools that cover the topic of the next session. The students can work on several problems in order to prepare for the next session. This helps you that the students have familiarized themselves with some contents and you can focus on explaining the difficult problems and discuss the students' questions. Again you create question pools for each session. You will hide all question pools from the student but the one for the first session. After each session you grant access to the new question pool.

5 Supporting special needs and interests

Sometimes you want to provide additional or special learning material to a group of students in your class or course. These students may have to catch up with a course contents or participate in the course while following a different curriculum than the rest. This scenario you split the students into different groups. For each group you create the question pools that offers best support for their needs. If you have mainstream content that everybody should work with, you just grant access for all student groups in your course. For the specialized question pools you just grant access to the group that should work with it. This way you can hand-select the students that need or should work with the more specialized content, while the rest of our course continues with the mainstream resources.

6 Preparing group discussions

If you want to facilitate discussions in which groups of students should learn about different argumentation lines, e.g., for a role play session. You prepare separate question pools for each line of arguments. Then you separate your students into groups and assign the related question pool to them. You can design your question pool in a way that students have completely independet insights on the topics that you will then integrate with them during the discussion session. This way you can create groups that focus on the pros or cons of a topic while you will moderate the discussion. Of course, you need to give the students some time to work with the test items.


These 6 scenarios provide some idea how to integrate question-pool-based micro learning into WBT and classroom teaching using the Mobler Cards app. In the coming weeks I will provide some step-by-step tutorials how to create and arrange content for implementing these ideas.

If your are interested in Mobler Cards and the related concepts and technologies, feel free to contact me at the ISN.