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  • Writer's pictureEric Knitel

What is microlearning?  And how do instructional designers apply it in practice? 


There are a variety of definitions surrounding microlearning and there are many ways as instructional designers to apply it in practice. Tipton defines it as, “short bursts of focused right-size content to help people achieve a specific outcome.” Let us take that definition and break it down. Observe that several things are clear-it presents no specific time frame or subject matter. What it does provide is that the goal is to be appropriately sized and that the performance results must be concrete (Tipton, 2022). According to Winger, “Microlearning focuses on one learning concept at a time and presents bite-sized bits of information meant to be consumed in a short period of time through a technology-based medium.

The format microlearning takes will vary situationally according to learner content and the instructor’s choice in tech tools, but it often surfaces in the form of short videos, tutorials, games, podcasts, graphics, or quizzes.” (Winger, 2018). Zhang & West focus on a central problem or skill that,” should be centered on one problem or skill. Including more problems or skills interferes with the objective of allowing individuals to learn a new skill or knowledge cluster within a short amount of time. The problem or skill should be contextualized in real situations connected to learners' jobs and careers so that they can immediately apply the learning.” (Zhang & West, 2020) 


The first fully “digitally native” generation otherwise known as Gen Z, has a desire for speed over precision. Because of this emphasis, instructional designers and educators are turning to microlearning as an option to escalate effectiveness and facilitate learning regardless of location, time constraints, or technology (Gherman, et al., 2022). Creating and offering microlearning opportunities by employers and organizations is a growing trend because of the time constraints and costs associated with traditional training. The basic concept of microlearning consists of quick, bite-sized learning chunks that are accessible from any mobile device and provide the learning audience with focus around a skill or concept that needs attention or reinforcement.   

Idoceo is a student management and gradebook app perfectly suited to aid these instructors in dealing with many classes of students. When dealing with these students, the challenge of keeping flexible and detailed data on each class, and all learners, is overwhelming. As a new user of this app, educators need a quick start to successfully implement all the robust and available features inside this digital tool. 

The microlearning course is entitled: Creating & copying class data into the iDoceo planner and grade book app. The training experience will consist of a brief how-to video with a short multiple-choice assessment. Getting started and up and running in the most efficient and straightforward manner is explained in a quick and easy to understand way. 

Take a look at some other resources regarding microlearning:

What is Microlearning? A great video by Rued Riis:

References: eLearning vs. microlearning: what are the differences? Elearning Partners. 

Gherman, O., Turcu, C. E., & Turcu, C. O. (2022). An approach to adaptive microlearning in higher education

Riis, Rued. (2020, December 23). What is microlearning? [2-Minute Explainer]. YouTube. 

Tipton, S. (2022, May 1). Small scale learning can reap big rewards: myths about microlearning are preventing the modality from being as effective as it can be. TD Magazine, 76(5), 36. 

Winger, A. (2018). Supersized tips for implementing microlearning in macro ways. Distance Learning, 15(4), 51–55. 

Zhang, J., & West, R. E. (2020). Designing microlearning instruction for professional development through a competency-based approach. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 64(2), 310–318. 

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