VCoL in action: The many benefits of micro-VCoLing
Micro-VCoLing™ is the best way to build real-world knowledge and skills. It’s easy, fun, efficient, effective, low risk, and impactful.
Micro-VCoLing is easy to learn because it plugs into the brain’s inborn learning system. In essence, we-re all born micro-VCoLing. However, most of us unlearn it in school, where it is replaced with “learning skills,” and we need to relearn it as adults.
Micro-VCoLs are itty bitty, momentary, frequently repeated learning cycles that occur during everyday activities. Like any VCoL, they involve setting a learning goal, gathering information, applying information, and reflecting on outcomes (preferably with input from others). But in the case of the micro-VCoL, the focus is on the smaller skills (micro-skills) that make up complex sets of skills.
Fortunately, because the process of micro-VCoLing plugs into the brain’s inborn learning system, micro-VCoLing is not only easy to learn, it readily becomes a habit. And once it becomes a habit? Well, we’ve got a highly effective life-long learner on our hands.
Once adults have built micro-VCoLing skills, they report having more fun learning. This is because micro-VCoLing recruits the brain’s learning motivation system — the dopamine opioid cycle. This is the same cycle involved in flow, meditation, and addiction. Micro-VCoLing is fun because it stimulates curiosity, interest, flow, and our natural passion for learning.
Micro-VCoLing is an efficient learning practice.
- It’s quick. Micro-VCoLing happens on the fly during natural learning moments.
- It’s always available. You can do it anytime without having to pull together special resources.
- Finally, microVCoLing reduces learning effort by ensuring that we automate essential skills before building upon them. This increases learning efficiency because once skills are automated, we can build upon them without having to hold them in our conscious minds.
Micro VCoLing is a highly effective way to learn. It helps people learn faster and better. How does it do this?
- Micro-VCoLing richly integrates new knowledge and skills into existing networks. Each new instance of micro-VCoLing either reinforces existing networks or creates new connections. These networks become the foundation for future learning.
- The conscious reflection step of a micro-VCoL puts system 2 — the reasoning brain — in control of how events and information are remembered. This gradually reduces the influence of our inborn cognitive biases.
In conventional learning contexts, we generally learn about a broad skill, then immediately begin to practice it in real-world contexts. Under these conditions, people make mistakes — often big ones.
In contrast, micro-VCoLing focuses on micro-skills practiced in micro-moments. Learners practice each micro-skill until it becomes habituated, then go on to the next micro-skill. Under these conditions, big mistakes are rare.
Another way in which micro-VCoLing reduces risk is by allowing the learner to determine how much of a stretch, in terms of learning challenge, they are comfortable taking on. This can be especially important for individuals who have very negative emotions around making mistakes or not understanding.
Micro-VCoLing has both long-term and large-scale impacts.
- Micro-VCoLing doesn’t just network knowledge, it also builds skills that make people increasingly effective in life and work.
- As noted above, micro-VCoLing puts system 2 — the reasoning brain — in control of how events and information are remembered, thus combating cognitive biases. A side benefit of combating these biases is an educated system 1 (the fast unconscious brain)—one that produces increasingly robust intuitions. This makes for more effective and agile decision-making even under pressure of time or stress.
- Finally, on an organizational level, micro-VCoLing can be a foundational component of a true learning culture, because it can simultaneously prepare members with essential skills for learning, doing, and interacting.