Using micro-learning seminars to enhance and create true knowledge in distance learning higher education faculty

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

In a time sensitive environment, what is the most direct path of faculty development through a distance learning platform? Although not an entirely new concept, mirco-learning may increase the effectiveness of a series of brief seminars as a method for enhancing the value of the brief seminars for faculty development.


Amanda Major, Ed.D., CPLP, PMP enjoys contributing to instructional design initiatives and leading projects to enhance online higher education. Dr. Major has experience delivering results in a variety of learner-focused and client-oriented environments. Prior to arriving at UCF as an instructional designer Amanda taught online courses, oversaw online program management, participated in strategic planning efforts, developed policies, offered instructional design assistance, and improved business processes to contribute to quality online programs at a large, public, research-intensive University. Actively contributing to the field of online learning, she has presented at national and international conferences and has peer-reviewed publications about organizational development, as well as e-learning operations and projects in higher education. Dr. Major holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institution (PMI) and a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance certification from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Additionally, she has earned certifications from the Online Learning Consortium and Quality Matters focused specifically on online learning in higher education. Her academic credentials include an Ed.D. in educational leadership, policy and law; an M.A. in industrial organizational psychology; and a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social psychological issues.
Tina Calandrino has worked as an educator in higher learning for over 25 years. She began her college career as Faculty at Miami-Dade College, and later St. Petersburg College. She has embraced what technology can do for students, and sought to share that knowledge with other educators around the world. Currently serving as Instructional Design Faculty at the University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning, her research currently focuses on Competency Based Education, and Faculty Development for Online Learning.

Extended Abstract

Mirco-learning as a strategy for increasing the effectiveness of faculty development should enhance a series of brief seminars focused on trends and best practices in distance education. Factors to enhance effectiveness encompasses a focus on internal marketing efforts and participants’ recollection of content presented, application and configurations of their learning, and overall value this brief faculty development format brings to the faculty and the institution.

Higher education faculty members who teach online or web-enhanced courses attend these Seminars seeking to enhance their online teaching effectiveness. Faculty attend Seminars for just-in-time, highly effective focused presentation and discussion within just a 30-minute duration. Each seminar has a new trending topic. Past topics were personalized adaptive learning, Universal Design for Learning, synchronous communication (like webcasts), using social media, engagement strategies for large section sizes, and many others. These are co-presented by the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) and members of the University of Central Florida teaching faculty, designed to continue the dialogue around best practices in online teaching. Participants may attend in person, online, or simply elect to view the recording after the seminar is over. These recordings and resources from the Seminar are tagged for ease of the teaching communities access on the CDL website. Participants attend the Seminars to bridge their knowledge gap or gain inspiration for effective online instruction in hopes of improving student learning outcomes.

Effectiveness of the professional development Seminars are examined marketing and learning efforts. Data from social media marketing, emails, including newsletter announcements, and flyer distribution provided some information about marketing efforts, especially in regards to the impact of emails. Efforts and participants’ recollection of content presented, as well as applicatications and configurations of their learning were evident. Participants noted the lack of time for interaction and application. Microlearning could perhaps bridge this application gap.

Microlearning as a component of the Seminars will be explored because there is a question if the ½ hour session is enough time for participants to attain the content, learn the skills, and apply those skills to their online or web-enhanced classrooms. As a follow-up component of each Seminar, adding one or more mircolearning components could improve the overall value of this short format.

“Just in time and just enough,” with microlearning “size does matter“ for integrating the application of learning in work settings (Poulin, 2013). Perhaps microlearning was inspired by the practice of teacher education in which teacher educators practice newly acquired knowledge about teaching approaches by delivering a short lesson to their fellow teacher educators and their trainer (or faculty member) for the group’s feedback, perhaps recording the session by video, and reflecting on the delivery,  individually and as a group (Orlova, 2009; Koureios, 2016). The professional development community defines the idea more broadly as a short form of applicable learning and eponymizes it as microlearning.

Microlearning involves small focused learning nuggets intended for a performance gain and tied to learning objective as a step toward a larger goal (Khurgin, 2015; Sing, 2014). It is short regarding cognitive load and content, focused in scope, low in cost, and occurs during opportune learning moments (Khurgin, 2015). Both formal and, more often, informal and associated with device delivery, microlearning can be easily accessed and completed by learners (Sing, 2014), hence the importance of using learner relevant tags and keywords (Poulin, 2013).

This Discovery Session will allow participants to gather micro-learning resources, useful marketing strategies that will appeal to distance learning faculty, and pragmatic, convincing reflections for instructor growth through micro-learning session.



Khurgin, A. (2015). Will the real microlearning please stand up: Microlearning as a perspective, not a prescription. Retrieved

Poulin, M. (2013). In learning, size matters. Chief Learning Officer, 12(2), 38-56. Retrieved from

Singh, R. P. (2014). 17 awesome resources on microlearning. Retrieved from

Kourieos, S. (2016). Video-Mediated Microteaching--A Stimulus for Reflection and Teacher Growth. Australian Journal Of Teacher Education, 41(1), 65-80. Retrieved from

Orlova, N. (2009).  Video recording as a stimulus for reflection in pre-service EFL teacher training. English Teaching Forum, 2, 30-35. Retrieved from