Friday, July 24, 2015

Mini-Lessons – How to Begin

The learner needs to understand and grasp the subject, and to satisfy themselves or others that they know the intention of the lesson – and, in the case of mini-lessons, achieve all this really quickly. 
The first thing to determine is the outcome – ask yourself, What do I want the learner to learn?
  • Just one outcome is ideal.
  • With mini-lessons, refinement is the key.  Drill to the essential essence of your defined outcome – finding the ‘kernel’ of the piece of knowledge is one way to express this focus.
  • This is the most important, and sometimes the most difficult, aspect of developing the mini-lesson.  However, without this refinement it is difficult to develop clear steps to provide easy and fast learning.
Once the expected outcome is clear, then either the knowledge or the learning activities to achieve this can be tackled. 
  • Essentially, the knowledge gives the learner the information to provide the answer to the expected outcome. 
  • Learning activity provides the practice or revision of that knowledge.
This approach may seem back to front.  But it works!  Starting with the end, or the outcome, and knowing your goal means you can more easily construct the mini-lesson to achieve that goal.

About the Author:
Anne Mills
Director/Developer, Learning Solutions


Anne is a graphic designer whose skills have enabled her to produce appealing learning objects and engaging online learning experiences. Through her collaboration with Caryl Oliver, and Raptivity, she has created a range of learning and training courses for clients as small as a hospitality college in India to industry giants like the Linfox Group in Australia.

Currently Anne is contracted to Achievement for All in the UK producing material that supports the charity in its work with vulnerable children. With its reach into 2000 schools, the task to transform their main programme from face-to-face training of school personnel to predominantly online learning is a challenge for them as well as for Anne.