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MicroLearning

MicroLearning is a globally leading learning technology and learning methodology developed by Research Studios Austria (RSA) for digital end devices of nearly every kind. MicroLearning has been a focal point of research activities at RSA since 2003. That same year, the company filed the first patent application for a ‘digital learning pacemaker’.

Feature variety for all end devices

The main goal is to develop high-quality learning software solutions for all clients (currently available for web browsers, Windows Phones as well as the operating systems Windows, Android and iOS) with individually configurable features such as learning strategies, push notifications/time spacing, match functionality and sharing features.

During the production of MicroLearning content, printed or digital ‘linear’ knowledge is distilled into its propositional content and reconfigured in the form of questions and answer options for multimedia knowledge cards.

Automated content generation

This transformation of the knowledge narrative is still carried out manually. Research Studio MINE has recently begun work on semi-automated content generation techniques, however, in particular the transformation of declarative sentences (propositions) into questions and answer options. This process involves the research areas of natural language processing, text mining and content automation.

Granular resolution and reconfiguration of knowledge

The digital MicroLearning knowledge cards dissolve existing knowledge in a ‘granular’ manner and put it into a new order. They can be used in didactically flexible ways in order to achieve clear objectives: various learning strategies facilitate, e.g., rapid learning, a test mode, or repetition-based ‘deep learning’ with a learning algorithm adapted from Sebastian Leitner’s research (2- to 5-times recall strategy).

The presentation of knowledge thus takes place in a user- and algorithm-driven manner, but it is always personalized.

Our empirical research has yielded an optimal knowledge card design: knowledge cards mainly employ multiple-choice multiple-select questions (MCMS questions) and multiple-choice single-select questions (MCSS questions), popular among users. Ideally, they consist of the four content areas question, hint, answer and explanation, use hyperlinks and enliven the text content through images, audio files and videos.

The current research focus of Studio MINE includes:

  • Gamification: how successful knowledge acquisition can be enabled through playful learning (so-called KnowledgeMatches) including social networking effects (invitations from participants via Facebook, SMS, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • Social learning: how crowd-sourced content can have a positive effect on learning motivation and content quality
  • Shareable learning: how learning motivation can be increased by sharing courses, learning cards or learning progress
  • Content automation: how semi-automatic content generation can be employed to help companies and organizations save time and resources
  • Learning analytics: how digital knowledge technologies can accurately depict users’ learning progress
  • Just-in-time learning: how it is possible to learn effectively at any time and in any place
  • Living content: how user engagement can be enhanced by creating your own knowledge cards, as well as feedback, search and index options
     

The learning solution KnowledgeFox is available on the market as a result of the research conducted by Research Studio MINE. The product is distributed and marketed by KnowledgeFox GmbH, founded in 2012 as a spin-off of Research Studios Austria. The KnowledgeFox learning solution is currently in use by approximately 50 major customers in 23 countries around the world. Customers such as SAMSUNG Austria, ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways), CA Immo, MPreis or Credit Suisse are training as many as several hundred employees with the KnowledgeFox software.

Web links:

http://mine.researchstudio.at/

http://microlearning.org/ with news blog http://microlearning.org/newsblog/

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikrolernen

https://knowledgefox.net/ with news blog https://knowledgefox.net/news/

 

Basic literature:

BINGHAM, Tony/CONNER, Marcia (2015): The New Social Learning: Connect. Collaborate. Work. Alexandria: ATD Press.

LEITNER, Sebastian (201118): So lernt man Lernen. Der Weg zum Erfolg. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder.

SMOLLE, Josef (2008): Klinische MC-Fragen rasch und einfach erstellen. Ein Praxisleitfaden für Lehrende. Berlin: de Gruyter.

STAMPFL, Nora S. (2012): Die verspielte Gesellschaft. Gamification oder Leben im Zeitalter des Computerspiels. Hannover: dpunkt/Reihe Telepolis.

 

Current literature:

GÖSCHLBERGER, Bernhard (2016): Social Microlearning Motivates Learners to Pursue Higher-Level Cognitive Objectives, in print.

SIMONS, L. P., FOERSTER, F., BRUCK, Peter A. et al. (2015): Microlearning mApp raises health competence: hybrid service design. Health Technol (Berlin). 5(1): pgs. 35-43. Online here.

 

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