Monday, March 15, 2021

Now Available!

Book Description

Microlearning is all the rage, but what is it exactly? What does a successful microlearning object look like? And, how sound are the pedagogical practices surrounding microlearning design and implementation? Grounded in research-based best practices in instructional and multimedia design, this book will provide a one-stop shop for instructional designers, e-learning professionals, content creators, trainers, and academics in K-12 and higher education interested in designing, creating, and implementing effective, bite-sized learning snippets for educational, training, performance, and talent development contexts.

ISBN 9780367410513
Available May 10, 2021

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
  • Chapter 1. A Multidimensional Roadmap for Implementing Effective Microlearning Solutions 
Maria Elena Corbeil, Joseph Rene Corbeil, and Badrul H. Khan

In this high-tech, high-speed world in which we live, information is the new currency. Organizations face huge challenges in disseminating knowledge and resources to learners and workers that is timely and cost-effective. Yet, as we consider the enormous potential of microlearning in education, training, and talent development, we must also recognize many emerging issues in order to implement it effectively. What does a successful microlearning object look like? How long is microlearning? How do we assess the learning in microlearning? And, how sound are the pedagogical practices surrounding microlearning? This chapter serves two functions. First, it serves as an introduction to the book. Second, it describes a framework for identifying and analyzing the major issues surrounding the thoughtful and purposeful implementation of microlearning in educational, training, performance, and talent development contexts.

  • Chapter 2. What is Microlearning? Origin, Definitions, and Applications 

Carla Torgerson


Although the term has been in use since as early as 2002, the recent proliferation of smartphones and tablets has brought the concept of personalized mobile learning through bite-sized snippets to the forefront. But what exactly is microlearning and what does the term encompass? This chapter will provide an overview of the microlearning phenomenon, reconcile multiple working definitions into one comprehensive and operational definition, and describe how microlearning can be used in educational, professional, and personal learning contexts to help individuals achieve educational goals or improve job performance.

Part II: Designing Microlearning Objects
  • Chapter 3. Sound Pedagogy Practices for Designing and Implementing Microlearning Objects 
Theo Hug

The chapter outlines notions of sound pedagogy and corresponding practices for designing and implementing microlearning. It presents literal and non-literal interpretations of sound pedagogies that have been fueling concepts and practices of microlearning. This contribution is based on an understanding of microdidactics as related to successful management of micro-content and contingencies between microteaching and microlearning. It points out the relevance of explicit considerations of metaphorical uses of ‘soundness’ and ‘sound pedagogy’ as well as the role of discursive contexts and languages of education and learning. It comes to the conclusion that there is a need for deliberations on new pedagogical paradoxes and innovative design principles for educational transformation beyond technically executable learning.

  • Chapter 4. Multimedia Design Principles for Microlearning
Didem Tufan

According to Mayer (2019), “meaningful learning occurs when the learner engages in appropriate cognitive processing during learning” (p. 464). Mayer’s (2009) Principles of Multimedia Learning are based on the view that the most effective learning materials are those that manage limited cognitive resources by emphasizing generative processing, handling cognitive processing, and limiting extraneous processing. The question then arises, how can this be achieved with microlearning? This chapter provides microlearning design tips based on the research-based Principles of Multimedia Learning and the Multimedia Design Principles for Effective Instructional Videos (Mayer, Fiorella, and Stull, 2020). By applying the principles and keeping in mind key tenants of Cognitive Load Theory upon which the principles are based, microlearning objects can be created to maximize learning through web-based multimedia.

  • Chapter 5. Optimizing Microlearning Materials for Mobile Learning
Lucas Kohnke

Microlearning, delivered through mobile devices, can increase levels of interactivity and engagement by using high-impact learning strategies in rich-media environments. Podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, infographics, videos, flashcards, and collaborative spaces are all suitable delivery tools with which one may create engaging learning experiences. Today’s learners are social, mobile, global, digital, and visual; they embrace the possibilities of technology to facilitate their learning. Microlearning leverages familiar, modern learning technology in short bursts to motivate and stimulate learners while they are on the go. This chapter provides suggestions for practical strategies, tools, and best practices in multimedia design. In doing so, it aims to help educators and learning professionals create and deliver microlearning mechanisms that are optimized for mobile learning.

  • Chapter 6. Assessing the Learning in Microlearning
Rita Fennelly-Atkinson & Renee Dyer

As with any other type of instruction, the instructional design process is integral to the development of effective microlearning assessments. Understanding the defining characteristics of microlearning and the target learners is crucial in the design process of significant microlearning assessments. This chapter will guide readers on the design of effective microlearning assessments that are Inventive, Targeted, Specific, and Yielding (ITSY). While there is no road map specific to creating microlearning, the practices and guidelines discussed in this chapter will lay the foundation for microlearning assessments that are effective in measuring progress and informing subsequent steps.

Part III: Microlearning in Academic, Corporate, and Personalized Learning Contexts

  • Chapter 7. Microlearning and Microcredentials in Higher Education 
Megan Kohler, Chris Gamrat, Victoria Raish, and Elizabeth Gross

In the early 1800’s the credit hour was introduced as a more effective and more equitable option for measuring student learning in higher education contexts. Unfortunately, the credit hour has become a roadblock for academia when trying to support and capture the variety of ways students acquire knowledge and skills during their educational career. This has led many educators to pursue alternate options for measuring student learning within the historical construct of credit hours, terms, and elective driven systems. The most promising option thus far has been the inclusion of microlearning and microcredentialing. With a strong foundation in competency-based learning, microlearning provides affordances to learners with unprecedented clarity. This chapter provides an overview of the current state of microlearning in higher education and discusses the contexts in which microlearning offers potential solutions to qualifying student learning in academic settings. Benefits and limitations, as well as the different types of curricular microlearning design are addressed. 

  • Chapter 8. Microlearning in K-12 Settings
Laura Sheneman

Microlearning is an instrumental tool for both educators and students alike. Microlearning objects can be delivered in a variety of formats including short videos, e-learning lessons, infographics, images, and podcasts. Through a spiraling curriculum that repeats and gets more complex as time passes, microlearning objects can be used throughout the lesson cycle to pre-assess students’ knowledge of a concept, during instruction to introduce new concepts and lay a foundation that future lessons, and after a lesson to reinforce concepts post-instruction. This chapter will examine how microlearning can be used in K-12 settings for teaching, learning, and professional development. Examples include online tutorials, microlectures in the flipped classroom, mobile language learning, digital textbooks and open educational resources, and the use of microcredentials in professional development.

  • Chapter 9. Microlearning in Corporate Settings
Pamela S. Hogle

Conventional approaches to corporate training, such as instructor-led training and comprehensive e-learning courses, have significant drawbacks, chiefly their cost and the amount of time they pull employees away from their work for training. Corporate microlearning moves training into the workflow, minimizing disruption. It is a flexible approach to training that appeals to digital consumers. Microlearning is particularly effective as part of a broad training strategy, used to introduce and reinforce deeper training, to provide on-the-job learning and support in applying training, and to teach and review fact-dense content. This chapter will describe the appeal of microlearning in corporate settings and the problems and pain points it addresses. It will present best practices for designing and using microlearning with corporate learners and provide examples of microlearning in a variety of fields and use-case applications.

  • Chapter 10. Microlearning for Personal & Professional Development 
Tracy King

The widespread accessibility of the Internet has created a gotta-access-it-now culture - the expectation one can answer any question as soon as it arises with a few keystrokes. The results a quick internet search returns often include microlearning opportunities to satisfy a knowledge gap or solve a problem. This chapter addresses microlearning from the perspective of the learners, their motives, preferences, and ways in which microlearning is currently being used by individuals for on-demand informal learning and professional skills development. For professional development providers, microlearning is not just a learning format, it is a strategy unto itself. 

Part IV: Microlearning Today and Tomorrow 

  • Chapter 11. Creating Microlearning Objects within Self-Directed Multimodal Learning Contexts
Jako Olivier

Within a communal constructivist approach and a context of contribution-oriented pedagogy, learners not only consume content, they can also produce content for reuse within the educational context. To this end, instructors and facilitators of educational experiences are able to create opportunities for co-creation and collaboration to construct microlearning objects. In addition, learning is becoming increasingly multimodal in terms of individual preferences, interactions, modes of instruction, and delivery at the course and institutional level. Multimodal learning is an approach to education where individual modal preferences, communication through different modalities, and learning, teaching and delivery by means of different modes are considered. This chapter explores the affordances of self-directed multimodal learning for microlearning, presents an illustrative case study, and proposes practical steps to create opportunities conducive to effective student self-directed multimodal learning through microlearning object creation.

  • Chapter 12. Gamifying Microlearning Elements
Alexander Salas 

Microlearning efforts may be met with the same lack of enthusiasm full-fledge learning interventions are often met with. So, how can the designers of microlearning content increase the odds of favorably engaging learner audiences? Gamification may provide the key. Gamification is the application of game mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics in non-gaming contexts. Many game design frameworks are used in the making of serious games and educational games. This chapter provides an overview of several gamification frameworks, presents strategies for combining gamified approaches with microlearning, and addresses foundational design elements of gamified microlearning.

  • Chapter 13. Sharing Microlearning Materials as Open Educational Resources (OER)
Kari Word & Vanessa Dennen

Microlearning and open educational resources (OER) are a natural combination, complementing each other to provide instructors and learners with open access to flexible, small-scale learning materials. This chapter presents key concepts related to OER design and distribution to help instructional designers, IT and learning and development professionals, educators, human resource managers, and trainers make decisions about how they can help support the microlearning movement.

  • Chapter 14. RREDS: An Instructional Design Model Based on Microlearning Events and Curricular Engagement
Melissa Simons & Caroline M. Crawford

The chapter focuses upon the conceptual engagement of learners within microlearning events, born from real world implementation of microlearning design and development within the business and industry training and talent development workforce realm of understanding. The integration of microlearning throughout the learning approaches of pedagogical novice, andragogy, and heutagogy, is articulated through the Recursive Reflect, Engage, Develop and Scaffold (RREDS) Microlearning Model of instructional design within a differentially structured training event understanding. This model is framed through the informational and instructional understandings of learning, highlighting the metaphoric representation of time as progressive and differentiated engagement, emphasizing the ebb and flow of learning and information through an hourglass approach while extending the time metaphor towards approaching curricular engagement within different end-user understandings. 

  • Chapter 15. Microlearning in the Workplace of the Future
Johnny Hamilton, Darci Hall, and Theresa Hamilton

In the next few years, the Learning and Development department in more organizations will be seen less as a completion requirement and more as a strategic driver of organizational growth. Corporate learning will soon have “consumer-grade” experiences that are designed to delight like Netflix has for entertainment and Amazon delivers for shopping. But what will that look like? Through five scenarios, you’ll explore a day in the work life of Olivia in 2025. In each, you will discover what enabling technologies and design considerations are needed to support each of those experiences. You’ll also review how innovation happens in a corporate setting.

Target Audience

This edited book will examine the recent phenomenon of “microlearning” happening in online and traditional learning contexts for enhancing instruction, professional development, training, and personalized learning. Grounded in research-based best practices in instructional and multimedia design, this book will provide a one-stop shop for instructional designers, e-learning professionals, content creators, trainers, and academics in K-12 and higher education interested in designing, creating, and integrating effective, bite-sized learning objects into their instructional units. 

This book will be of great value to designers, developers, instructors, and instructional facilitators of online, blended, and mobile learning education and training content. This book can be used as a textbook or supplementary resource in Educational/Instructional Technology programs and courses focusing on instructional design for e-learning, distance education, and web-based multimedia. This book can also serve as a handbook to guide administrators, IT professionals, human resource managers, instructional designers, mobile app developers, trainers, and faculty in the planning, development, and implementation of successful microlearning content.


    Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
    711 Third Avenue
    New York, NY 10017

    Now Available!

    Book Description Microlearning is all the rage, but what is it exactly? What does a successful microlearning object look like? And, h...