DIY Adaptive Microlearning

Get Updates via OttoLearn's Newsletter

Thank you!
Oops! Please try again.

Humans have used various training methods over time, moving from analog to online training as technologies have improved.  

Here’s an example of how everything old is new again, to illustrate that today’s adaptive microlearning technologies are based on “the way things used to be” when it comes to repetitive learning.

Ever study for a test? Have a child prep for a quiz?  Prepare yourself for a certification exam?

Chances are your study habits focus on reading and then re-reading your text. Perhaps you do the "highlight notes you think are important" thing or maybe you've read one of the hundreds of articles that advise you to “rewrite your notes if you are a kinesthetic learner”.

Except as it turns out, these are terrible ways to study. They don’t work and they aren’t efficient, leading to test anxiety and poor outcomes. Plus there's actually no such thing as being a “kinesthetic learner” or having any particular “learning style", but that’s a whole different article.

The Cognitive Science Behind OttoLearn - OttoLearn Adaptive MicrolearningThe Cognitive Science Behind OttoLearn - OttoLearn Microlearning

Hi Josh,

About a week before I began getting my Ottolearn Mastery Moments, I had a popup window from Adobe appear on my screen as I was working on another project, prompting me to update my version of Flash. We do use Flash, so like an idiot, I clicked on the popup and asked it to start the update—and only then noticed that the url was not an adobe address. Of course, I closed the popup window using the X in the upper corner, which didn’t solve anything. Our IT guys did the best they could for me, but my computer is still compromised, and is being replaced.

Fast forward to Ottolearn and your Online Security for Employees course. After completing several mastery moments, I have now learned what to do with popups like that. This morning, as I restarted my computer again, that same Adobe popup appeared and this time I was ready! I opened task manager and killed that little $%^&^ dead in its tracks.

I know the point of letting us try out OttoLearn as participants was for us to experience the power of this platform from the learner’s point of view. I can tell you that I personally am very grateful for the training you provided to me, and the fact that I was able to let others in my company know how to kill off those nasty virus-carrying popups. Yes, it works. Yes, it’s fun! And yes, I have a true feeling of accomplishment.

I can’t wait for the point at which we can talk more about developing courses for our clients.

Thank you!

What you need to do is to practice recalling and retrieving the information from memory which will strengthen the memories and facilitate future recall.

Here’s an easy hack using file cards to roll out your own adaptive learning system.

Get a set of file cards and three file boxes. Label your boxes Box 1, Box 2, Box 3.

Write down the facts you want to commit to memory on the cards—questions on one side, answers on the reverse—and place all of them into Box 1.

Step 1 - OttoLearn Microlearning

Next, do the following:

Quiz yourself on the cards in Box 1.

Rate your performance on each card from Box 1:

  1. If you had immediate, accurate recall: place the card in Box 3.
  2. If you had slower, accurate recall: place the card in Box 2.
  3. If you were incorrect: place the card back in Box 1, behind all the other cards.
Step 2 - OttoLearn Microlearning

Do no more than 3 to 5 rounds on Box 1 per day. Do not try to over study.

Every second day, go through Box 2.

Every third day, go through Box 3.

That’s it! Using this methodology—based on the Leitner Box method, developed by Sebastian Leitner in the 1970’s—you’ll rapidly learn the material. At first, you’ll feel like you’re not learning or remembering at all, but by day 3 or 4 you’ll be pretty impressed with yourself.

But who wants to lug around 3 boxes, and shuffle cards during a busy work or school day? How much easier would it be if your adaptive training existed on a pocket-sized device that you were already using for many other purposes? And what if that device reminded YOU when it was time to take a refresher moment—a Mastery Moment.

OttoLearn is designed to help your learners master material, and then ensure retention using a combination of cognitive theories such as spaced repetition and interleaved learning.

Oh, and just one more side benefit we want to mention about using OttoLearn—you’ll never have to worry about picking up the cards when your cat knocks the boxes off the table.

Want to learn more? Talk to an expert!

No items found.

Experience

Exp.

High

New accounting rules

Workplace violence & harassment prevention

Low

Framing a basement

Changing a tire

High

Low

Perceived Relevance

Option

Pros

Cons

Seats

  • Super easy to understand
  • Very predictable cost, if you have a specific number of users (eg: employees)
  • Doesn’t differentiate between users that have different volumes.
  • Have to purchase seats for your maximum number of users.‍

Active Users
(Typically the number of users that log in during a month)

  • You don’t need a license for every specific user, you can often only license half of your users (since perhaps only half ever log in during a month)
  • Typically there is a large cost for going over your licensed number of users, which can be incredibly expensive (eg: 5-10x more than your licensed cost)
  • You often have to “play games” as an administrator, not wanting to do a mass course enrollment if you have only have your users licensed in a month

For workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention, you have High Experience & Low Relevance.

  • ‍Why? You’ve worked in an office setting for years, so you’ve been through a number of workplace compliance courses.  You have a lot of experience in this area, and you really aren’t excited about it.  
  • What is going to motivate you?  Not much.  It won’t matter if there is a slick expensive video, you’re going to click through the material to get the quiz as quickly as possible, so make the material as short as possible or provide a pre-assessment to skip past the content.

For new Accounting Rules you have High Experience & High Relevance.

  • Why? This is directly related to your job, and builds on your existing knowledge.  You’re going to want to absorb the information efficiently, since you process related information every day.
  • What is going to motivate you?  Efficiently written information.  Just the facts, in as little a time as possible.  Video takes too much time, text is perfect.

For changing  a Tire, you have Low Experience & Low Relevance.  

  • Why? You don’t own a car or drive. You don’t feel that you need to know this, and you also know you can find the information on demand, if and when you actually need it.  
  • What is going to motivate you? Very little, this is the most difficult category. For learners in this category, it’s best to try to engage them through story telling techniques to create a sense of relevance. This could be through text and/or video.

For framing a Basement you have Low Experience & High Relevance.

  • Why?  You don’t know much about it, but you’re highly motivated to learn!  
  • What is going to motivate your? You’ll pretty much consume any form of training, but you’re most likely to seek out rich media experiences, to understand the topic from multiple angles. This is the only category for which video is a perfect fit.

Seats

Pros

  • Super easy to understand
  • Very predictable cost, if you have a specific number of users (eg: employees)

Cons

  • Doesn’t differentiate between users that have different volumes.
  • Have to purchase seats for your maximum number of users.

Active Users
(Typically the number of users that log in during a month)

Pros

  • You don’t need a license for every specific user, you can often only license half of your users (since perhaps only half ever log in during a month)

Cons

  • Typically there is a large cost for going over your licensed number of users, which can be incredibly expensive (eg: 5-10x more than your licensed cost)
  • You often have to “play games” as an administrator, not wanting to do a mass course enrollment if you have only have your users licensed in a month
No items found.

Engagement Factors

Experience

Exp.

High

  • Best possible quadrant for engagement 
  • Will overcome learning obstacles
  • Will find a way to learn, even if materials are poor  
  • Won’t need nudging or incentives
  • Text is great
  • Can easily learn something
  • May need to work up the energy to engage in low quality materials  
  • May procrastinate, so incentives can help motivate.
  • Text is great

Low

  • Wants to learn
  • Has little experience so can benefit from more instructional quality
  • Greatest benefit of video and other rich media
  • Worst possible quadrant  
  • May not have experience in the topic
  • May not really care about it
  • Will require a lot of motivation to see engagement
  • Video can help

High

Low

Perceived Relevance

Option

Pros

Cons

User-based
(Seats)

  • Cost predictability. Each seat costs you $x/month
  • Typically more expensive than a usage-based license

Usage-based

  • Typically less expensive than a seats license
  • Cost variability tempered by pre-purchasing usage credits that never expire and consume them over time

User-based (Seats)

Pros

  • Cost predictability. Each seat costs you $x/month

Cons

  • Typically more expensive than a usage-based license

Usage-based

Pros

  • Typically less expensive than a seats license

Cons

  • Cost variability tempered by pre-purchasing usage credits that never expire and consume them over time
Training Engagement, Retention, and Microlearning - OttoLearn MicrolearningNeovation Learning Solutions Team - OttoLearn Microlearning is a product of Neovation Learning Solutions

Want more posts like this one?

Subscribe to the OttoLearn blog mailing list and never miss another post!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What's the latest OttoLearn news?

Stay current—read all about the latest OttoLearn release updates in our release notes.

View the Release Notes

Extra! Extra! Read all about it:

Want even more? Check out the full blog archive.