Leveraging Microlearning: A Comprehensive Guide through Merrill's First Principle of Instruction

  • Nurul Fitriah Alias
  • Rafiza Abdul Razak


In today's fast-paced world, where information overload is a constant challenge, the traditional methods of learning are being challenged by the demand for quick, efficient, and effective knowledge acquisition. Learners, whether in formal educational settings or corporate training environments, seek solutions that align with their busy schedules and attention spans. Microlearning emerges as a promising solution, offering bite-sized learning modules that can be consumed in short bursts, fitting seamlessly into our hectic lives. These compact learning units not only accommodate learners' time constraints but also capitalize on modern learners' preference for on-demand, just-in-time learning experiences. This study delves into the intersection of microlearning and Merrill's First Principle of Instruction, a foundational framework in instructional design. Merrill's First Principle emphasizes the importance of engaging learners in real-world problem-solving activities to facilitate meaningful learning. By elucidating how microlearning can be strategically integrated with Merrill's Principle, this study provides a comprehensive guide for educators, trainers, and instructional designers. It offers actionable insights and practical strategies for leveraging the synergies between microlearning's concise format and Merrill's focus on authentic, application-based learning. By understanding Merrill's First Principle and implementing microlearning strategies, educators can transcend the limitations of traditional instructional approaches. They can create engaging, impactful learning experiences that not only foster retention of knowledge but also facilitate its transfer and application in diverse contexts. This study underscores the transformative potential of combining microlearning with Merrill's Principle, empowering educators to adapt their instructional practices to meet the evolving needs of learners in the digital age.


Afzal, A., Khan, S., Daud, S., Ahmad, Z., & Butt, A. (2023). Addressing the digital divide: Access and use of technology in Education. Journal of Social Sciences Review, 3(2), 883-895. https://doi.org/10.54183/jssr.v3i2.326
Al-Zahrani A. M. (2024). Enhancing postgraduate students’ learning outcomes through flipped mobile-based microlearning. Research in Learning Technology, 32. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v32.3110
Alias, N. F., & Abdul Razak, R. (2023). Exploring the pedagogical aspects of microlearning in educational settings: A systematic literature review. Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction, 20(2), 267-294. https://doi.org/10.32890/mjli2020.20.2.267-294
Badali, M., Hatami, J., Farrokhnia, M., & Noroozi, O. (2020). The effects of using Merrill’s first principles of instruction on learning and satisfaction in MOOC. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 59(2), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2020.1813187
Cai, Q., & Moallem, M. (2022). Applying Merrill’s first principles of instruction to redesign an online graduate course through the rapid prototyping approach. TechTrends, 66, 212–222. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-021-00658-w
Choudhary, H., & Pandita, D. (2023). Maximizing learning outcomes in the digital age: The role of microlearning for Gen Z. Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLO-02-2023-0038
Cookson, A., Kim, D., & Hartsell, T. (2020). Enhancing student achievement, engagement, and satisfaction using animated instructional videos. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 16 (3), 113–125. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJICTE.2020070108
Dolasinski, M. J., & Reynolds, J. (2020). Microlearning: A new learning model. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 44 (3), 551-561. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348020901579
Dong, A., Jong, M. S.-Y., & King, R. B. (2020). How does prior knowledge influence learning engagement? The mediating roles of cognitive load and help-seeking. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.591203
East, M. (2015). Task-Based Teaching and Learning: Pedagogical Implications. In: Van Deusen-Scholl, N., May, S. (eds) Second and Foreign Language Education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02323-6_8-1
Fidan, M. (2023). The effects of microlearning-supported flipped classroom on pre-service teachers’ learning performance, motivation, and engagement. Educational Information Technology, 28, 12687–12714. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-023-11639-2
Fitria, T. N. (2022). Microlearning in teaching and learning process: A review. CENDEKIA: Jurnal Ilmu Sosial, Bahasa Dan Pendidikan, 2(4), 114–135. https://doi.org/10.55606/cendikia.v2i4.473
Ghafar, Z. N., Abdullkarim, S. T., Mhamad, L. M., Kareem, R. A., Rasul, P. A., & Mahmud,
T. I. (2023). Microlearning as a learning tool for teaching and learning in acquiring language: applications, advantages, and influences on the language. Canadian Journal of Educational and Social Studies, 3(2), 45-62. https://doi.org/10.53103/cjess.v3i2.127
Hajian, S. (2019). Transfer of learning and teaching: A review of transfer theories and effective instructional practices. IAFOR Journal of Education, 7(1).
Hebert, E. (2018). The effects of observing a learning model (or two) on motor skill acquisition. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 6(1), 4–17. https://doi.org/10.1123/jmld.2016-0037
Hesse, A., Ospina, P., Wieland, M., Leal Yepes, F. A., Nguyen, B., & Heuwieser, W. (2019). Microlearning courses are effective at increasing the feelings of confidence and accuracy in the work of dairy personnel. Journal of Dairy Science, 102(10), 9505-9511. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15927
Jahnke, I., Lee, Y. M., Pham, M., He, H., & Austin, L. (2020). Unpacking the inherent design principles of mobile microlearning. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 25(3), 585-619. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-019-09413-w
Jalilehvand, M. (2016). Study the impact of Merrill’s first principles of instruction on students’ creativity. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 7(2), 313. https://doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n2p313
Kadiev, A., Tan, E., & Specht, M. (2021). An evaluation framework for microlearning tools for designing and delivering microlearning content. Delft University of Technology. http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:819700a5-b1fa-4ae3-86cd-f2c242092f63
Kossen, C., & Ooi, C.Y. (2021). Trialling micro-learning design to increase engagement in online courses. Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, 16(3), 299-310. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAOUJ-09-2021-0107
Lee, Y.-M. (2021). Mobile microlearning: A systematic literature review and its implications. Interactive Learning Environments, 20(2), 267-294. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2021.1977964
Leong, K., Sung, A., Au, D., & Blanchard, C. (2021) A review of the trend of microlearning. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 13 (1), 88-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-10-2020-0044
Li, J. (2021). Learner-centred learning tasks in higher education: A study on perception among students. Education Sciences, 11(5), 230. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11050230
Lin, X., Tang, W., Ma, W., Liu, Y., & Ding, F. (2023). The impact of media diversity and cognitive style on learning experience in programming video lecture: A brainwave analysis. Educational Information Technology, 28, 10617–10637. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-023-11608-9
Liu, C., & Elms, P. (2019). Animating student engagement: The impacts of cartoon instructional videos on learning experience. Research in Learning Technology, 27, Article 2124. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v27.2124
Luhanga, U., Chen, W., Minor, S., Drowos, J., Berry, A., Rudd, M., Gupta, S., & Bailey, J. M. (2021). Promoting transfer of learning to practice in online continuing professional development. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 4. https://doi.org/10.1097/CEH.0000000000000393
Manning, K. D., Spicer, J. O., Golub, L., Akbashev, M., & Klein, R. (2021). The micro revolution: effect of bite-sized teaching (BST) on learner engagement and learning in postgraduate medical education. BMC Medical Education, 21 (69), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-021-02496-z
Makransky, G., & Mayer, R. E. (2022). Benefits of Taking a Virtual Field Trip in Immersive Virtual Reality: Evidence for the Immersion Principle in Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychology Review, 34, 1771–1798. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-022-09675-4
Mebert, L., Barnes, R., Dalley, J., Gawarecki, L., Ghazi-Nezami, F., Shafer, G., Slater, J., & Yezbick, E. (2020). Fostering student engagement through a real-world, collaborative project across disciplines and institutions. Higher Education Pedagogies, 5(1), 30-511. https://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2020.1750306
Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43–59. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02505024
Mohammed, G. S., Wakil, K., & Nawroly, S. S. M. (2018). The effectiveness of microlearning to improve students’ learning ability. International Journal of Educational Research Review, 3(3), 32-38. https://doi.org/10.24331/ijere.415824
Nikkhoo, I., Ahmadi, Z., Akbari, M., Imannezhad, S., Anvari Ardekani, S., & Lashgari, H. (2023). Microlearning for today’s students: A rapid review of essentials and considerations. Medical Education Bulletin, 4(1), 673-685. https://doi.org/10.22034/meb.2022.355659.1066
Pölzl-Stefanec, E., & Geißler, C. (2022). “Micro-steps” on the route to successful online professional development for Austrian early childhood educators. International Journal of Educational Research, 115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2022.102042
Salleh, D., Khairudin, N., & Ibrahim, M. (2022). Micro learning: motivating students’ learning interests. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, 36(1), 153-162.
Sankaranarayanan, R., Leung, J., Abramenka-Lachheb, V., Seo, G., & Lachheb, A. (2023). Microlearning in diverse contexts: A bibliometric analysis. TechTrends, 67, 260–276. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-022-00794-x
Schumacher, R., & Stern, E. (2022). Promoting the construction of intelligent knowledge with the help of various methods of cognitively activating instruction. Frontiers in Education, 7, https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2022.979430
Shabadurai, Y., Chua, F. F., & Lim, T. Y. (2022). Investigating the employees’ perspectives and experiences of microlearning content design for online training. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 12(8), 786-793. https://doi.org/10.18178/ijiet.2022.12.8.1685
Shaik, A. H., Prabhu, M., Hussain, S. M., & Poloju, K. K. (2022). An interactive design tool for assessing student understanding in digital environments. SHS Web of Conferences. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/202315609004
Shail, M. S. (2019). Using Micro-learning on Mobile Applications to increase knowledge retention and work performance: A review of literature. Cureus, 11(8), e5307. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.5307
Shamir-Inbal, T., & Blau, I. (2022). Micro-learning in designing professional development for ICT teacher leaders: The role of self-regulation and perceived learning. Professional Development in Education, 48(5), 734-750. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2020.1763434
Sharma, A., Thakur, K., Kapoor, D. S., & Singh, K. J. (2023). Promoting deeper, meaningful learning in the contemporary educational landscape. In The Impact and Importance of Instructional Design in the Educational Landscape (pp. 30-51). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-6684-8208-7.ch005
Slade, M. L., Burnham, T. J., Catalana, S. M., & Waters, T. (2019). The impact of reflective practice on teacher candidates’ learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(2), Article 15. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2019.130215
Sozmen, E., Karaca, O., & Batı, A. H. (2021). The effectiveness of interactive training and microlearning approaches on motivation and independent learning of medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 60. (3), 734-750. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2021.1966488
Sung, A., Leong, K., & Lee, C. (2023). A study of learners’ interactive preference on multimedia microlearning. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 15(1), 96-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-01-2022-0007
Taylor, A., & Hung, W. (2022). The effects of microlearning: A scoping review. Educational Technology Research and Development, 70(2), 363–395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-022-10084-1
Thillainadesan, J., Le Couteur, D.G., Haq, I., & Wilkinson, T.J. (2022). When I say … microlearning. Medical Education, 56, 791–792.
Zulkifli, Muhammad Kristiawan, & Rambat Nur Sasongko. (2022). Improving students’ active learning through demonstration method. AL-ISHLAH Jurnal Pendidikan, 14(4), 6539–6550. https://doi.org/10.35445/alishlah.v14i4.2313
How to Cite
ALIAS, Nurul Fitriah; ABDUL RAZAK, Rafiza. Leveraging Microlearning: A Comprehensive Guide through Merrill's First Principle of Instruction. Asian Journal of Research in Education and Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 468-481, mar. 2024. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/ajress/article/view/25941>. Date accessed: 19 may 2024.
English Section