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Mobile microlearning design and effects on learning efficacy and learner experience

Abstract

Mobile microlearning platforms have increased over the years. Literature shows that platforms use specific instructions or media, such as videos or multiformat materials (e.g., text, audio, quizzes, hands-on exercises). However, few studies investigate whether or how specific design principles used on these platforms contribute to learning efficacy. A mobile microlearning course for journalism education was developed using the design principles and instructional flow reported in literature. The goal of this formative research was to study the mobile microcourse’s learning efficacy, defined as effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal. Learners’ knowledge before and after the mobile microcourse was analyzed using semistructured questionnaires as well as pretests and posttests to measure differences. The results indicate that learners of this mobile microcourse had an increase in knowledge, more certainty in decisions about practical applications, and an increase in confidence in performing skills. However, automated feedback, timed gamified exercises, and interactive real-world content indicate room for improvement to enhance effective learning.

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Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to the study participants who spent their time to conduct the course. We also thank the research assistants of the Information Experience Lab (ielab.missouri.edu) in particular Minh Pham, Nathan Riedel, and Michele Kroll, who helped with data collection. Finally, we thank the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia for supporting this project.

Funding

This study was funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), University of Missouri–Columbia.

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Correspondence to Yen-Mei Lee.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Table 9.

Table 9 An outline of the instructional sequence of a mobile microcourse titled “The 5 Cs of writing news for mobile audiences” (5 min per lesson) and the study process

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Lee, YM., Jahnke, I. & Austin, L. Mobile microlearning design and effects on learning efficacy and learner experience. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 885–915 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09931-w

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Keywords

  • Microlearning
  • Instructional flow
  • Microcourses
  • Mobile devices
  • User experience
  • Learning efficacy