Social media as a tool for microlearning in the context of higher education

Yana Grevtseva, Julie Willems, Chie Adachi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Higher education is in a time of great change. In part, this is due to the introduction of new technologies, and in part due to emergent alternative pedagogies that arise consequently. Social media is an example of such catalysts. As will be argued in this paper, it may be considered as an ideal conduit for microlearning-an innovative pedagogical trend in teaching and learning in higher education. Microlearning is gaining prominence as an innovative trend of pedagogical delivery within the tertiary sector. Conjointly, microlearning is a learner-centred teaching and learning approach, which is outcome oriented and utilises opportunities to learn the material in bite-sized segments. This conceptual-position paper explores the intersection of social media and microlearning and the growing contributions to the democratisation of higher education that may be achieved through these mediums and methodology. Additionally, it will draw upon theoretical underpinnings to highlight the consensus that microlearning has a role to play in the tertiary space. By exploring calls for both social and peer-Assisted learning as well as connectivity in non-Traditional educational settings, the paper reiterates the effectiveness of both microlearning and social media to achieve these outcomes. Further, the effectiveness of this pedagogical approach will be presented in line with a cognitive theory for multimedia learning. Social media as an effective channel for delivering microlearning will be extrapolated. The paper will highlight several examples to showcase the effective adaptation of social media tools into task-specific, short lessons which will assist educators in formulating specific microlearning content. Moreover, the paper provides a checklist for practical learning design to be considered when designing microlearning activities with social media, in the higher education context. In conclusion, the paper sheds lights on the links between the theories presented, the highlighted examples as well as the trending drivers within the sector, bringing forward recommendations for academic staff and researchers to design and trial microlearning practices, in an effort to achieve better student outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2017)
EditorsAelita Skarzauskiene, Nomeda Gudeliene
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218463
ISBN (Print)9781510845206
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Conference on Social Media 2017 - Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania
Duration: 3 Jul 20174 Jul 2017
Conference number: 4th


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Social Media 2017
Abbreviated titleECSM2017


  • Higher education
  • Microlearning
  • Social media
  • Student

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