Incremental Credentials

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog

When production and transport costs are high, we make, ship and sell things in large batches. It minimizes the distribution overhead and makes sense for most physical goods. Shipping physical books or going to a test center to take an exam all cost time and money, so we batch them up and do them in largish chunks to offset the overhead.

However, in the digital world, distribution and attendance are effectively free. The old economies of scale do not apply any more. We can consume content or take exams in small batches. We do not need a giant book to learn about project management, or a four-hour exam to prove we learned it.

Instead, we can download and consume content in small batches, say 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Likewise, we can confirm understanding and application from online situational questions.

In fact, since we do not learn in large batches, why should we use large-batch learning materials like big study guides and monolithic tests? Perhaps a better approach is incremental learning—in bite-sized chunks with confirmation and testing as we go.

The microlearning trend brings small-batch economics and convenience to training and learning. If you just want to learn how to wire a plug rather than a whole house, we can watch an online video on just that topic. Then consume just what we need, just when we need it. Right-sized and on-demand …

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"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are. "

- Gore Vidal