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Microlearning an Evolving Elearning Trend


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This article is analyzing the meanings of the micro-learning trend, as they have emerged and developed over the last few years. Exploring how the term micro-learning is used to organize and order a set of pedagogical and technological phenomena and concepts in new and interesting ways, it is brought into focus the most popular and widely used learning management platforms that embrace this concept.
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Scientific Bulletin
Vol. XXII No 1(43) 2017
Luminiţa GIURGIU
This article is analyzing the meanings of the micro-learning
trend, as they have emerged and developed over the last few years.
Exploring how the term micro-learning is used to organize and order
a set of pedagogical and technological phenomena and concepts in
new and interesting ways, it is brought into focus the most popular
and widely used learning management platforms that embrace this
Micro-learning, elearning, micro-content
1. Why micro-learning?
Social, economic and technological
everyday changes trigger new concepts and
strategies which support learning. Education
needs transformations in an appropriate
way in which we live, work and learn.
Recent studies indicate that a short content
may increase information retention by 20 %.
Researchers at Dresden University of
Technology in Germany have launched a
study to examine this issue.
It is well known that most e-learning
materials format is a piece of content,
followed by an evaluation question.
The study’s goal was to see if students
respond better to these questions when they
watched several small pieces of content
answering many appropriate questions, or
when they watched large amounts of
content with fewer evaluation sections.
So, the e-learning material was sixteen
chapters of content and the students were
divided into three groups, as following: the
first group responded to a question after
reading each of the 16 chapters; the second
group answered four questions after reading
each group of four chapters; group number
three received eight questions after each
half of the original text. Passing through
this first stage, in the second stage students
have supported the same test of multiple
choice items covering the whole course
Results demonstrated that smaller
slices content helped participants to better
retain information and better perform in
each of the two stages:
the first group took 28 % less time
to answer their assessment questions than
the third group, and did 20 % better;
the first group performed 8 %
better on the comprehensive test than the
students in the third group had to
read again more than three times the
number of sections than the first group did;
in the second stage of the study,
the first group accomplished 22.2 % better
DOI: 10.1515/bsaft-2017-0003
© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.
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than the third group and 8.4 % better than
the second group.
Giving students a long content at once
leads to very little interaction between
information and the learner. This way, the
content may exceed the capacity of working
memory and drives to uncertainty in the
learning environment. Another facet of the
problem is that, knowing what is expected
with introduced information is crucial in an
easier retention.
So it has been proved that micro-
learning offers students the opportunity to
more easily absorb and retain the
information provided by the course lessons
and activities that are more manageable and
digestible. Micro-learning or Micro-
eLearning education is often referred to as
bite-sized because the entire educational
process is detached in small chunks that
usually last no longer than a few minutes.
The way micro-learning addresses
short size of learning content that is made
up of fine-grained, interconnected and
loosely-coupled short learning activities,
determines the focus on the individual
learning needs (Singh, 2014).
2. Micro-learning Associated Concepts
Influencing each other, micro-learning
is closely related to the following concepts:
Micro-content Micro-learning
and micro-content together define how to
deliver a quantity of knowledge and
information, structured in several short
chapters, fine-grained, well-defined and
interconnected. Micro-content refers to
information whose length is determined by
a single topic, content that covers a single
idea or concept and is accessible via a
single URL, being suitable for presentation
in handheld devices, emails, web-browsers.
Thus, micro-content is the part that
integrates into micro-learning.
Social software Through its main
feature to support social interaction, social
software brings together individuals with
different interests and different previous
knowledge via social networks, based on
collaboration. Micro-learning can be
supported by social software because it
allows on the one hand the rapid delivery of
content in short and flexible formats and,
on the other hand social interactions based
on that content.
Web 2.0 Since Web 2.0 encourages
the teaching and learning processes based
on personalization and collaboration with
students taking responsibility for learning,
currently, Web 2.0 platforms are used for
professional development, enhancing
education in the classroom. An important
aspect of Web 2.0 that micro-learning can
rely on is the active participation of
students in the process of co-creation and
distribution of content.
Informal learning One of the
challenges already launched in contemporary
society is the need for rethinking education,
by articulating three ways: formal, non-
formal and informal education. As a
permanent dimension of human existence,
education must have a global character,
effectively combining the formal education
with the non-formal and informal. Because
micro-learning does not require a long-term
involvement of the student's attention and
every day activities, it can be useful to
learning activities as needed, providing a
bridge between formal and informal
Personal Learning Environments
Personal Learning Environments (PLE),
especially in contrast to traditional learning
management systems, are particularly
successful and are about to change the
paradigm of learning and teaching. There
are some aspects where these changes are
more obvious or that seem most important.
In short, learning in PLE brings changes
concerning: (1) the role of student as the
creator of active and self-organized content,
(2) personalization thanks to the support
and data of community members, (3) learning
content is an unlimited collection, (4) the
crucial role of social participation, (5) the
significance of self-organized learning to
the pedagogical culture of the organization
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and (6) technological aspects of using
software tools and grouping of social
multiple sources.
Work-based learning The
contribution that work-based learning has in
sustaining economic competitiveness and
beyond is widely recognized, so
organizations that have training systems
well developed and, in particular, well
established systems of apprenticeship, tend
to achieve better performance. Following
this idea, the term micro-training could be
the micro-learning equivalent, related to the
work-based learning. The real added value
of micro-training in combination with Web
2.0 and social software is its ability to
integrate short formats with user-generated
content and social interaction.
3. Micro-learning Tools and Platforms
3.1. Grovo
The micro-learning approach used in
this learning management system is the
exposure of the information bit by bit, in a
concentrated form. For each theme are
presented the most important issues on the
one hand, and on the other hand, is exposed
the whole picture. The method is greeted by
students through a favorable response,
obtaining better results and retaining
information presented much easier. Lessons
or learning units, which are taken by students,
by watching short videos, cover a wide range
of topics such as market strategies online or
methods for the management of a project,
and other topics of interest such as social
networks dynamic. In the Grovo environment
videos between 60 and 90 seconds are
created every day, so teams within
corporations to be constantly updated with
the most useful technology on the market.
In addition to the over 4,500 existing
video in the platform, each company has the
opportunity to record their own videos, thus
projecting adaptability to the specific needs
of each environment separately. So, if the
intention is to deliver certain information to
employees of companies that were not
already covered by those conducting
educational materials, the situation is easily
remedied as Grovo platform is flexible in
this regard. Using the Create Training
option, managers can tailor content
provided by Grovo according to their needs.
Thus, they can reorder clips, edit titles,
descriptions or questions within them can
add chapters and can combine existing
elements with additional ones created by
The system can be configured so
users can be added, grouped or removed.
There are many tools available at the
instructor level that can monitor the
progress of each user, taking account also
of their strengths and weaknesses.
Depending on their level, each student can
advance to a higher level.
Not only individual progress, but that
of an entire team can be easily monitored
by the teacher using the Dashboard section.
As each student can scroll through lessons
at their own pace, the birth of discrepancies
between the levels attained by each is
inevitable. Therefore, the platform provides
the instructor a graph that presents an
overview of the learning situation. He can
see who carried out the activity and who is
not, who fell and who promoted and who
did not start at all the activity.
3.2. Coursmos platform
Coursmos is another online learning
platform that supports micro-learning.
It hosts several hundred micro-courses
online courses, which are divided into
smaller, more manageable units. These
lessons are characterized by minutes-long
duration that learners can do on their own
time, even using the smartphone.
Personalized learning experience perfectly
combined with any curriculum is a very
attractive way to educate.
The platform learning unit is the
micro-course, a format that has seven video
lessons, for three-five minutes each
(see Figure no. 1).
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Figure no. 1 Example of a Coursmos window
The predictions concerning the future
of learning, made by the Coursmos
platform, are quite simple and common
sense; given the environment where digital
technology will continue to grow, the facts
about learning are as following: “learning is
an added value and so people’s careers have
built-in learning”, “Learning ads value.
Time spent learning is regarded as a
positive boost to performance improvement”,
Learning will no longer be just an add-on
to corporate life; it will be the source of
power at work” (Kostochka, 2016). We
witness “the beginning of the learning
economy” and the “miniaturization of
everything”. That is why “learning has been
miniaturized to fit the bits and pieces in our
3.3. Yammer platform
Yammer is a closed circuit social
networking platform for companies. The
users of an organization can share
information, experiences and can work
together on projects, can comment, provide
feedback, etc. They can also create groups,
subgroups, communities, blogs, etc.
(see Figura no. 2).
As people are encouraged to engage
in conversation, but be sure that the
information remains within the
organization, Yammer is as Facebook for
business”. Yammer accelerates processes
just by this opportunity to discuss a
problem anywhere and anytime in an
informal manner, which stimulates
creativity, non invasive but still
controllable. Another interesting detail
related to Yammer is that users cannot
make accounts using generalist email
addresses, such Gmail or Yahoo,
(see Figure no. 3).
Yammer is a service available in
freemium mode (basic version is free,
premium version with money) and there are
applications for all mobile platforms
iPhone, Windows Phone, Android,
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Figure no. 2 groups
Figure no. 3 Yammer networking platform
4. Conclusion
In a globalized business world, with
expectations of increasingly large and
increasing influence of social media and
networking, organizations are in the
position to look for new ways to engage
employees in learning and organization
problem solving. The use of social media
and micro-learning offer many possibilities,
not only to draw attention to key messages,
but also to create a collaborative
environment focused on improving business.
Based on the facts and arguments
above, micro-learning can be described as a
pragmatic innovation for lifelong learning.
Pragmatic because it is congruent with
current information and communication
models and can be easily adapted to support
individual learning needs, especially in
informal learning contexts. Innovation
because it offers a new way to design and
organize learning, such as learning in small
steps and small units of content, structure
and sequencing based on the co-creation of
content, generation and use of content
through social interaction
(, 2017).
Also, as another conclusion, it is
interesting to compare the new micro-
learning option with the old one, the macro-
learning way. Speaking in terms of time
and scope, the differences between micro-
learning and macro-learning are condensed
in Figure no. 4.
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Figure no. 4 Comparison between micro and macro-learning
There is a general perception that the
new generation of employees will be more
technology oriented than previous ones.
They are self-confident, open, optimistic
and receptive to new ideas and work styles.
They are the first generation in history
always connectedand to keep them close,
employers will be forced to rethink their
learning and communication strategies.
Kostochka, R. (2016). What is the future of E-Learning?, available at:
Singh, R. P. (2014). 17 Awesome resources on micro-learning, available at:
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... Studi terbaru menunjukkan bahwa konten pendek dapat meningkatkan retensi informasi sebesar 20% (Giurgiu, 2017). Microcontent dapat digambarkan sebagai informasi yang dipublikasikan dalam bentuk singkat, dengan durasi ditentukan oleh kebutuhan pada satu topik utama berdasarkan keterbatasan fisik dan teknis dari perangkat lunak yang digunakan (Buchem & Hamelmann, 2010). ...
... Hal ini dimaksudkan untuk meningkatkan efektivitas pembelajaran. Hal ini sejalan dengan hasil penelitian Giurgiu (2017) yang menemukan bahwa siswa yang belajar dengan cara microlearning lebih efektif 22,2% dibandingan dengan yang macrolearning dan lebih hemat waktu dalam proses penilaiannya. ...
... Keempat, membuat panduan Math- Tujuan utama dari program kemitraan ini pengembangan konten pembelajaran online guru mitra, sehingga tim dosen Program Kemitraan Masyarakat (PKM) Universitas Borneo Tarakan melakukan pendampingan pengembangan microcontent dan mengemasnya dalam media pembelajaran video interaktif. Giurgiu (2017) mengemukakan bahwa siswa yang belajar dengan cara microlearning lebih efektif 22,2% dibandingan dengan yang macrolearning dan lebih hemat waktu dalam proses penilaiannya. Pemilihan video sebagai media pembelajaran memperhatikan adanya situs gratis dan familiar untuk menyimpan media sehingga menjadi open access seperti youtube. ...
... Microlearning design is a learning design that divides the scope of learning into several smaller partitions, so that the information provided in the learning process can be maximally studied and the learning process becomes simpler [2][3] [4]. One topic or whole material in mathematics learning is partitioned according to categories or characteristics that are compatible with each other, so that each small partition can be studied and does not miss as a complete unit of material or previous topics [5] [6]. ...
... Providing long content or subject topics to be studied by students at once will cause minimal interaction between learning information and learners, and will also exceed the capacity of students' working memory which ultimately leads to instability in the learning process [2]. With microlearning, students are given the opportunity to more easily absorb and store information obtained from the learning process. ...
... The participants explained that they narrowed and chunked the assessment criteria into small bite-sized as an attempt to maintain their performance and well-being in ERT (Giurgiu, 2017). Furthermore, participants also felt relieved when the Ministry of Education gave the authority to all schools to use the emergency curriculum. ...
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It gives us great pleasure to present to you the proceedings of the 29th MELTA International Conference, 'Be Future Ready: Shaping New Understandings in the ELT Landscape'. The conference features ELT professionals sharing innovations in exploring and embracing education for the future. The conference brings together education policymakers, practitioners, and scholars to engage and collaborate with colleagues from around the world to evolve solutions in English language education focused on developing sustainable literacies that are future-proof and relevant focusing on the following sub-themes: • Teacher Professional Development • Pedagogy • Assessment and Evaluation • Literature • Technology • Creative Teacher Showcase, Creative Student-Teacher Showcase and Higher Education Teaching Innovation • Project-Based Learning in STREAM
... The participants explained that they narrowed and chunked the assessment criteria into small bite-sized as an attempt to maintain their performance and well-being in ERT (Giurgiu, 2017). Furthermore, participants also felt relieved when the Ministry of Education gave the authority to all schools to use the emergency curriculum. ...
... There may be more than one trainer who conveys their knowledge or skills via speeches, demonstrations, and negotiations with other participant groups.Learning Management Systems (LMS) acts like an engine that controls e-learning. Normally it consists of two components:A Server that carries out the principal functionality (assisting notifications and data, delivering, managing, and creating courses, user verification, etc.) A user interface that act as a web (like Facebook or Gmail) used by trainer, learners, and administrators and runs inside the user's browser [6].Micro-learningis about getting e-Learning based education with short term learning units, activities, and notes that you can understand in a small period (opposite of macro learning which deals with e-learning in heavy doses with long term study by taking classes of a subject and exercises at school) [7].Webinars is an online session used to share ideas and knowledge via video lectures, presentations, or workshops to a worldwide audience. ...
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E-learning has brought great dynamics and parameters in the field of education and research. It has revolutionized the way learning has imparted to students. The perks of e-learning include consistency, scalability, cost cut down, in contrast to the traditional learning method. It is equally well-being and doing great in every field of learning. During this period of COvid-19 e-learning is developing and has completely taken over and administrated the education system. But along with the advancement of the field there comes the challenges. One would always keen to look up for the technology to make the learning process reliable, faster, easier to use, and can enhance with more interactive features. This is the spot where cloud computing stands with a bunch of its unmatchable capabilities. Cloud Computing refers to provide the computing assets on the internet which may include storage, servers, software systems, databases, online management systems, and online applications. Having a paradigm like Cloud Computing gives an edge for innovators and entrepreneurs to design and develop their mainstream projects and products with ease. This paper provides an insight into how Cloud Computing has the potential and can be the primary driver of e-learning. How the field of e-learning can benefit from this revolutionary technology. This research discusses the cloud services, architecture nature as a service for the e-learning environment. Further, the comprehensive converses about the impact of Cloud Computing on e-learning along with the security fears and features can potentially get the most out of the combination of both fields with the introduction of auditing of the system .
Online training is expected to increase retention of information and be less time-consuming. This leads to a motivation to identify a more effective content delivery for online training. Microlearning indicates that bite-sized content is delivered in short fragments that can fit into anyone’s hectic schedule. However, the perspective of microlearning and its content design is still indefinite. It is challenging to design content for training that optimizes microlearning’s characteristics. The purpose of this research is to identify the perspective towards microlearning and the significance of the design of micro-sized content for online training for employees. This study investigated two questions which are how to design an effective micro-sized content for enhancing employees learning opportunities and the type of topics which are relevant to learning. The study was carried out with employees from education industries and training service providers. Data was collected through a survey and focus group interview. The study recognised that employees are primarily familiar only with video-based microlearning content and they have inadequate knowledge on the application of other microlearning elements for content design. One of the most common microlearning elements – Video, that is between 5-7 minutes in length, is considered to be the most applicable element in microlearning. In conclusion, the perspectives concerning the challenges in designing microlearning content were discussed. The study also proposed 2 different architectures with different objectives for the overall microlearning content design based on the employee’s experiences and perspective.
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Aktuelle Forschungsdiskurse zum Lernen in informellen und non-formalen Lernkontexten verdeutlichen einen Mangel berufsspezifischer Forschungsaktivitäten, die eine zielgruppengerechte und lernortübergreifende Gestaltung betrieblicher Gelegenheitsstrukturen ermöglichen. Gerade für Beschäftigte der Pflegeberufe gewinnen orts- und zeitflexible Lernaktivitäten aufgrund technischer, medizinischer, pandemischer und gesetzlicher Änderungen an Bedeutung, da regelmäßige Veränderungen und Neuerungen einen kontinuierlichen Wissenserwerb bedingen. Unklar bleibt,welche Charakteristika Lernaktivitäten in informellen und non-formalen betrieblichen Lernkontexten aufweisen, welche Einflussfaktoren die Wahrnehmung von Lernsituationen beeinflussen und inwiefern tätigkeitsbezogene Unterschiede in den Lernaktivitäten erkennbar sind. Bisherige Querschnittsanalysen gehen mit der Gefahr der Untererfassung von Lernaktivitäten am Arbeitsplatz einher und weisen infolge differenzierter Erhebungskonzepte eine geringe Vergleichbarkeit auf. Die längsschnittlichen Befunde der vorliegenden Studie ermöglichen eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Charakteristika und Einflussfaktoren der Lernsituationen in informellen und non-formalen betrieblichen Lernkontexten von Beschäftigten der Pflegeberufe. Grundlage des multimethodischen Untersuchungsdesigns bildet ein prozessorientiertes Lernverständnis, das verschiedene theoretische Erklärungsansätze miteinander vereint. In einem ersten Analyseschritt dienen 27 episodische Interviews dazu, arbeitsbezogene Lernsituationen der Beschäftigten der Gesundheitsberufe zu rekonstruieren. Die Ergebnisse der explorativen Vorstudie bilden die Grundlage für die Konzeption der Erhebungsinstrumente der Lerntagebuchstudie. In der 14-tägigen Längsschnittstudie werden differenzierte Lernsituationen von 40 Beschäftigten dermPflegeberufe erfasst. Die Befunde zeigen, dass Lernsituationen vornehmlich während dialogisch-interaktiver Tätigkeiten entstehen, wobei der Lernzuwachs eher unbewusst erfolgt. Insgesamt verweisen die Befunde auf die Dominanz fremdselektiver Prozesse. Demnach berichten Beschäftigte eher von Lernsituationen, wenn sie regelmäßig in den Austausch mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen treten, Zugang zu einem Desktop-Computer erhalten und digitale Endgeräte nutzen. Die Leitungsperson nimmt hierbei eine Schlüsselposition ein, da sie durch die Weitergabe der Arbeitsaufgaben auf die Lernförderlichkeit der Tätigkeiten der Beschäftigten wirkt. Aus den Ergebnissen der Studie werden Implikationen für die Forschung und Handlungsempfehlungen für die zukünftige lernförderliche Gestaltung der Arbeitsplätze der Pflegeberufe abgeleitet.
Recently, digital technology and digital materials have started to be widely used in education from primary school to college worldwide. Microlearning is one of the innovative teaching techniques that use digital technologies. In this review, benefits and disadvantages of microlearning is discussed. Many studies show that microlearning facilitated learning by dividing into smaller pieces encourages students to study. A wide range of activities might be used in this technique and it can be easily integrated into daily routine, it allows on-demand learning for the students. On the other hand, the success of microlearning techniques is closely related to the personal characteristics of learners, teachers’ prone to use digital technology and the external factors such as access to learning materials. Its effectiveness on behavior and outcome which were defined in the third and fourth levels of Kirkpatrick’s learning model is still obscure. In the light of the literature, it should be decided which microlearning method will be used for which educational subjects.
Microlearning has gained popularity in both the training industry and professional studies disciplines over the last several years. While substantial information exists in industry articles and commentaries on the definition of microlearning—along with how to create, develop, and implement it—a closer look at the existing research is important. Further study is needed to understand how to inform instructional design professionals of current trends and the effects of microlearning training on the enhancement of learner performance in both workplace and academic settings. Thus, this scoping review aims to examine the literature and identify noticeable trends, patterns, and evidence of how microlearning has been used and implemented in both academic learning and industry training settings.
Information and communication technologies are evolving rapidly at an unprecedented rate, with repercussions on all areas of society. Developments in key innovative technologies are at the center of revolutionary advancements in education, business, health, and government. At the same time, technological progress poses diverse challenges that can compromise inclusivity and sustainabilitySustainability and increase security, ethical and privacy concerns. This chapter examines the key technological trends associated with social networksSocial Networks, artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of ThingsIoT (Internet of Things) and big dataBig Data, and extended reality. It explores their most recent developments and applications and the challenges they pose across several sectors. It also examines the fundamental role that sustainability and the digital divide play in an era of galloping technological development.
17 Awesome resources on micro-learning
  • R P Singh
Singh, R. P. (2014). 17 Awesome resources on micro-learning, available at:
What is the future of E-Learning?
  • R Kostochka
Kostochka, R. (2016). What is the future of E-Learning?, available at:
What is the future of E-Learning?, available at: 17 Awesome resources on micro-learning, available at:
  • R Kostochka
  • R P Singh
Kostochka, R. (2016). What is the future of E-Learning?, available at: Singh, R. P. (2014). 17 Awesome resources on micro-learning, available at: