I originally thought that this concept of “micro-lectures” was just a rebranding of mini-lectures. In other words, short, pointed, lectures that focus a single topic quickly. This isn’t the case. It is about boiling down a long class lecture into a couple minutes.
I’d say that’s a great idea. If you can do something as well in less time, then do it. The problem is, I doubt this is the case. What people are going to do is boil down the lecture into keywords and give some links for students to follow. I don’t necessarily think that this is bad, if done well, but seeing how elearning has developed over the years I don’t see this being done well by most teachers.
I will say, though, that this is aimed on online/blended classes. For these, I think it is a great idea. I know that I can’t watch an online lecture for 20 minutes without checking my email, getting a snack, and maybe even watching a little TV. Short, focused lectures paired with relevant resources and guided discussion seems like a darn good class format to me.
I’ll agree, though, that there are limitations, but I think that they are fewer than suggested in the article. The only exception for me is in situations when a good narrative is required and/or when I can get the information quicker from a lecture than from the resources.
That being said, I think that I am going to experiment with my own version next fall in my writing classes. Having a library of lectures could really come in handy when trying to individualize instruction for mixed-ability classes as I always have.