Micro-Learning That Adds Up

And by “Adds Up” I mean at both the Output Levels – and at the Job Levels.

Whole Tasks and Whole Jobs.

Too often, in my 40+ years of X (Experience) I saw Instructional/Learning Content that fell short in both regards.

Too Micro and Too Partial.

Whole Task (and Output)

To me, Whole Task Instruction/ Training/ Learning/ Learning Experience must address whatever it takes to produce a Worthy Output – or it simply falls short and leaves the Learner hanging, and needing to find some sources for Social and/or Informal Learning.

In his classic book, Human Competence (1978), Tom Gilbert warned about the Cult of Behaviors – where a focus on Behaviors alone, and not the Accomplishments, or Outputs that they produced, was a mistake found too often in the Processes and Practices of ISD WAY BACK THEN.

I think it is too prevalent in today’s LXD Processes and Practices.

So, not much has changed IMO since WAY BACK THEN – other than the Cult has formed branches such as:

  • The Cult of Topics*
  • The Cult of Partial Task-Sets*
  • The Cult of Micro-Learning*

And the * refers to Instructional Experiences/Learner Experiences where they fell short of addressing “HOW TO APPLY” that Topic, Partial Task-Set, or Micro-Learning Content to the Behavioral & Cognitive Tasks required – in the WorkFlow – to produce a Worthy Output that became a Worthy Input to the “Recieving Systems” downstream.

To me, since 1979, it’s always been about the Output – and whatever it takes, Instructional Interventions of any blend, or other Initiatives with or without Instruction, to enable the production of Outputs, both tangible (a physical Report) – and intangible (a mental Decision).

This, from a Praxis Workshop circa 1972…

Praxis was the consulting firm of Geary A. Rummler, PhD., (RIP), and Thomas F. Gilbert, PhD., (RIP) WAY BACK IN THE 1970s. Something that was given to me to study sometime in the Fall of 1979.

Whole Job

Not that every Job with the same Job Title is exactly the same – as assignments and focus could be varied from others.

That’s why I suggest that T&D Paths, Learning Paths, Learning Experience Journeys, etc., should be:

As Rigorous as Required and/but As Flexible as Feasible

A Focus on Performance Back-on-the-Job Is Critical to Getting Both Whole Task and Whole Job Learning Experiences Right

Paths Provide Guidance for Effective & Efficient Learning Journeys

I’ve done 77 CAD projects creating over 100 modular Paths (or Maps or Blueprints, etc.) for my clients since my first as an employee at Motorola in 1981.

Many times those “Modules” are today’s Micro-Learning – to provide Flexibility in what one might target and when one might get it. My bias has been to the Mode of Self-Paced Instruction, since 1981. And then to Coached. And then to Group-Paced.

And doing the one (or a blend) that makes the greatest business sense for my clients – that they and their people – have a hand in deciding which gets treated how.

This 2004 Path was for a Global Audience where varied Regulator Requirements drove the modularization.

This project was completed after a Lean/SixSigma effort took place – but didn’t generate the level of detail in the Outputs, Tasks, and enabling K/Ss necessary for my client (since 1995) to produce a Path that I had helped their staff learn how to do. The spotlight was on this effort, so they decided to bring me in on this effort. Probably unnecessary.

References & Resources

I’ve got many Resources for you, For Free and For a Fee.

As I’ve been doing this since before all of the name changes – you’ll find tons of resources in the Resource Tab and if you search using either “CAD” or “Curriculum Architecture Design” you find content that addresses the Whole Job – and under “MCD” or “Modular Curriculum Development” addressing the Whole Task.

All with a focus on the Terminal Performance Requirements & Objectives Back-on-the-Job.

Plus Books

You can see all of my books at Amazon – here.



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