D. Kamilali, C. Sofianopoulou

Harokopio University (GREECE)
Web 2.0 encourages teaching and learning processes, based on personalization, collaboration and having learners take responsibility for learning. Focusing on these aspects, this paper examines the possibility of combining the theories of Microlearning and Self Directed Learning (SDL), for a new educational approach.

Microlearning is an emerging theory of learning that utilizes web content, with activities of short duration. It offers a new way of designing and organizing learning, like learning in small steps and small units of content, with structure and classification created by the learner.

SDL is a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.
SDL can be implemented in an educational context by the application of Garrison’s model, which has three dimensions: self-management, self-monitoring and motivation.

Microlearning and Self-management:
Microlearning uses the endless educational resources of the Internet in enhancing self-management, which depends on available educational resources. Self-management, however, sets rules and standards of education (what and how it should be learned).

Microlearning and Self-monitoring:
In Microlearning, learners are producers and consumers of content, building their own mental structures through exploration and social interaction. Through these activities, the learner can be responsible for the creation of personal meaning, and accept the assessment of the quality of learning outcomes in an educational context, as provided by self-monitoring.

Microlearning and Motivation:
To be strongly motivated, learners need to understand how learning goals will satisfy their needs and will be achievable. Microlearning does not require learners to spend a great deal of their time, is flexible and can be integrated into the daily lives of working adults.

Taking one by one the three dimensions of Garrison’s model, this paper examines if Microlearning theory and SDL, can complement each other. As it is shown, it seems that their combined application is possible. The benefits of this new educational approach might be the development of new methods to exploit the endless web resources, while promoting self-direction in learning, in an educational context.