In one part of my volunteer life I serve as a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Professional Development Council. There are 20 of us from a good mix of associations representing talent development, accountants, speech-language-hearing professionals, credentialing, building owners & managers, science…and even the study of sleep. There’s an association for everything!
This is a group providing training, engagement opportunities, and resources for association professionals interested and passionate about professional development. I love this council because it provides me with a lot of opportunities to challenge my thinking with really cool people.
I joined this council for both personal development and client development. I was interested in ways I could serve my own clients better. My association clients are wanting numerous and relevant ways to educate and train their members. Their personal and professional development menus include conferences, workshops, five-day-long institutes, webinars, manuals, worksheets, reflection notebooks, etc. Each offering has specific learning outcomes, trainers, and often, layers of complexity.
One thing that has been overlooked is the micro-learning session. “Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners are in control of what and when they’re learning.” Some micro-learning sessions can be as short as 5 minutes, others, as long as 30-minutes.
Just yesterday I facilitated a 30-minute freebie coffee break for this council called, “Coffee, Tea, and PD (professional development)!” People signed up in advance just so we could know how many people were attending.
The topic was on mentoring and it was a very informal, fun, and fast-paced opportunity to talk about:
- Our own experiences with mentors and with mentoring others
- What has worked and not worked
- Different types of mentors
- The value of group mentoring
- Formal and informal mentoring programs in associations
It was a great reminder that learning and teaching comes in all sizes and sometimes the most impactful are those that give a good burst of information and motivation.
What have been your experiences with micro-learning?
What have those topics been?
What are some topics you would be interested in learning more about, in a short burst of information?