Kimberly Jacobs Portfolio Page


Navigation links: ETAP 623 Fall 2023 | Microlearning in the Workplace

About Me

Hi everyone! My name is Kimberly Jacobs. This is my first course in the Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology (CDIT) master's degree program here at SUNY Albany. In 2020, I earned a bachelor of science degree in Management Studies and Organizational Communication from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I currently work remotely as a call center training specialist for AAA Northeast. My professional goal is to begin a new career as an instructional designer. I hope that obtaining this CDIT degree will help me to accomplish that. Outside of work and school, I enjoy reading (something other than a textbook), watching television (especially courtroom dramas and crime tv), and spending time at home with my husband Stephen and our rescue dog Sadie.

Course Topic and Purpose

The topic of this mini-course is microlearning in the workplace. It will cover what microlearning is, its benefits for employees and organizations, content types, and design and delivery best practices. It will conclude with a practice activity asking participants to create their own microlearning content on a subject of their choice, using one of the content types discussed in the course. It will include a takeaway reference sheet of key points, certificate of completion, and feedback survey for participants.

Despite its importance, most employees have very little time to devote to continual career growth and development. In fact, the average employee spends just 20 minutes a week on learning for work (Bersin, 2017, as cited in Zhang & West, 2019).1 In addition, many workers view traditional e-learning lessons as lengthy endeavors with little relevance to their day-to-day job duties. I chose this topic because I believe that when done right, microlearning can completely change how employees learn, and how they feel about learning. Microlearning is about delivering just enough content, at just the right time, using the right methods, so that its value is never questioned.

Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content

Knowledge: this mini-course will educate participants on what microlearning is and how it can be a beneficial learning tool for employees.

Skills: this mini-course will provide participants with the skills necessary to design and deliver effective microlearning content for employees.

Attitudes: this mini-course will give participants a positive view of microlearning as an effective employee training method, and motivate them to begin incorporating it immediately into their training materials.

Needs Assessment

“Needs assessment is an analysis activity that examines the instructional problem, intended learners, and learning context.” 2

A problem in today’s workplace is that employees often don't have the time or motivation to increase and/or improve their skills.

Literature Review Findings:

“Literature shows people learn better and more effectively when learning in small steps with the content broken down into digestible small pieces.” 3

"Microlearning is a training technique that breaks lessons down into smaller, bitesize components that make learning more convenient, less expensive and less disruptive for busy workers." 4

  • Educational opportunity
    • There is an opportunity for training professionals to implement microlearning in order to increase employee engagement and performance.
  • Learners/participants involved
    • Organizational Learning and Development professionals
  • Gap analysis
    • Current State (Know):
      • Participants do not know what microlearning is.
      • Participants do not know how it benefits employees.
      • Participants do not know how to design and deliver it.
    • Course Objectives (Skills Gap):
      • Define microlearning.
      • Recognize employee and organizational benefits.
      • Learn content types.
      • Understand design and delivery best practices.
    • Ideal State (Need to Know):
      • Participants will understand what microlearning is.
      • Participants will know how it benefits employees and organizations.
      • Participants will be able to design and deliver it effectively.
  • Existing efforts to address this gap:
    • Online research
      • Microlearning has become an increasingly favored employee training method.
      • In fact, eight out of ten Learning & Development professionals prefer microlessons to traditional learning courses.5
    • Survey
      • Based on the information above, I conducted a survey with front line employees in my organization.
      • Members in each group were asked to complete a microlearning course entitled, Increasing Your Self-Motivation, in our company LMS.
      • They were then asked to complete a brief feedback survey about the experience.
    • Feedback
      • Survey results were overwhelmingly positive. Front line employees said they enjoyed the experience and would be willing to take other microlearning courses just based on their experience going through this one.
  • Intent statement - how will this mini-course address participant needs?
    • Learning and development professionals who take this course will positively impact employee engagement and performance by being able to design and deliver department specific microlearning.

Learner and Context Analysis


  • The participants for this course are organizational learning and development professionals.
  • Some of these participants are trainers, some are instructional designers, and some are both.
  • The participants taking this mini-course may vary widely in age, performance, skill, and motivation levels.


  • This course will be delivered in an online, asynchronous, and self-paced format.
  • Participants are free to take this course anytime and anywhere they see fit.
  • Units 1-4 should take approximately 5-10 minutes each to complete. Time to complete Units 5 and 6 will vary.
  • Participants will only need a quiet space with reliable internet access to take this course.

Performance-Based Objectives

After completing this mini-course, learners will be able to:

  • Define the term microlearning
  • Explain the relationship between microlearning and the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve
  • Recognize the benefits and challenges of microlearning for employees
  • List different types of microlearning content delivery methods
  • Identify microlearning design & delivery best practices
  • Apply the knowledge and skills gained from the course to a design project

Task and Content Analysis

Before taking this course, the learner should:

  • know how to conduct a training needs analysis
  • be familiar with training delivery method best practices
  • have foundational knowledge of learning development models such as Bloom's Taxonomy and ADDIE
  • understand adult learning theory
  • be actively seeking to learn more about microlearning as a training technique

Course Outline:

Unit 1: What is Microlearning?

Unit 2: Microlearning Content Types

Unit 3: Microlearning Benefits & Challenges

Unit 4: Microlearning Design and Delivery Best Practices

Unit 5: Practice Activity

Unit 6: Course Conclusion

Curriculum Map


1 Zhang, J. & West, R. (2019). Designing Microlearning Instruction for Professional Development Through a Competency Based Approach. Tech Trends. 64. 10.1007/s11528-019-00449-4.

2 Shambaugh, R.N. & Magliaro, A.S. (1997). Mastering the Possibilities: A Process Approach to Instructional Design. (61). Allyn and Bacon.

3 Lee, Y. (2023). Mobile microlearning: a systematic literature review and its implications. Interactive Learning Environments, 31(7), 4636-4561.

4 Schulz, M. (2022, April 15). Maximize training effectiveness. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN). 56 (4), 16. retention-flexibility-for-employees-and-cuts-costs

5 Buljan, M. (2021, December 20). Microlearning 101: an evolving eLearning trend. eLearning Industry.