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Microlearning Basics: 6 Types of Microlearning

types of microlearning

A few days ago I had an opportunity to speak with Robyn Defelice and Karl Kapp, authors of the book Microlearning Short and Sweet. They shared their insights on what microlearning is, what it isn’t, whether a specific time limit is appropriate in order to qualify as “microlearning”, whether microlearning saves time when it comes to training development and they named at least six types of microlearning. They wrapped the conversation up by squaring off against one another in a training trivia challenge.


Brian Washburn: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Train Like You Listen, a podcast about all things learning and development in bite-sized chunks. I’m Brian Washburn, I’m your host. I’m also the Co-founder of Endurance Learning. And today I am very excited because I am joined by two of my favorite people in the whole world of learning and development.

We have Karl Kapp and Robyn Defelice; they wrote– co-wrote a book called Microlearning: Short and Sweet. Robyn is a Learning Strategist and a Consultant who’s done a ton of research, and continues to do a ton of research, and written many articles about how long it takes to develop various forms of training, among some of her other research and work. Karl is a Professor at Bloomsburg University and knower of all things gamification. We’re gonna get to them in just a moment.

Before I go any further, I do wanna mention that our sponsor today for this podcast is a software tool called Soapbox. Soapbox is an online tool that you can use for about 5 or 10 minutes, and you can take care of about 50 or 60% of the work when it comes to developing a live, instructor-led training. So basically you go in, you tell the computer how long your presentation is, how many people are going to attend it, whether it’s gonna be in-person or virtual, what your learning objectives are, and then boom! Soapbox instantly generates a training plan for you with clusters of training activities that are designed to help you accomplish your learning outcomes. So if you don’t want to sit there and think, “How am I going to engage my audience?” You may wanna give Soapbox a try. You don’t just have to listen to me babble on about it, you should try it out for free for two weeks – if you go to

One-Word Intro

Brian Washburn: Okay. Now we are here. Normally, we do introductions of the guests, the guests introduce themselves using the six-word sentence. But today, because we’re talking about microlearning, we’re gonna have our guests introduce themselves with one word that kind of  describes them or their work or who they are or something they like to do. So I’m gonna start with Robyn. How would you like to introduce yourself to our multitudes in the audience?

Robyn Defelice: I have one word. So this is a little different, but “empowering” is the word I chose.

Brian Washburn: All right. I like that. I like that. Maybe we’ll unpack that a little bit as we get going. How about you, Karl? How would you introduce yourself to the masses in one word?

Karl Kapp: Yeah. So I have a word that I, kind of, made up. So it’s “eclectifying.”

Brian Washburn: (CHUCKLES) That is even better than hyphenating a word.

Karl Kapp: (LAUGHING)


Brian Washburn: I like it. All right. So, just– we’re gonna get started here. I know the two of you co-authored a book called Microlearning: Short and Sweet, and so many people out there think so many different things about this word “microlearning.” It’s been kind of a hot topic in the world of learning and development for a little while now, but it seems like different people use the word in different ways. And just to set a baseline, so that when people are listening, whether or not it’s the definition they use, so that we can all be talking about the same thing or hearing about the same thing when we use that term in this conversation. Could one of you just give us a definition of microlearning?

What Is Microlearning?

Robyn Defelice: I’ll kick off, but I think this’ll be a Karl and Robyn discussion here. One of the things that I’ve learned over– so since we wrote the book, we have a definition in there. I know Karl can speak to how it was formulated. We both agree it’s kind of technical. 

One of the challenges I’ve learned over the last couple of years with helping folks work on projects, whether to get them started or something they’re in the middle of with a microlearning project that they’ve created, is there’s a struggle in the context. So if you’re starting out a project and you’re thinking about microlearning, you’re thinking more about the concept and maybe the process of how you execute it. And then there’s that tangible item, which is what I believe Karl and I created as a definition. So I do think context is really relevant. 

So as we talk today, maybe as we discuss it, we’ll make sure to be mindful if we’re talking more conceptually, process, the method, like the approach that you’re going for and/or, you know if it’s the actual tangible thing. Karl, do you wanna…?

Karl Kapp: Yeah, we actually– Robyn and I spent quite some time, actually, trying to look at the definition because there were, as you said, Brian, a ton of definitions out there. And we wanted to figure out: What does it really mean from an instructional perspective? 

Microlearning is an instructional unit that provides a short engagement in an activity intentionally designed to elicit a specific outcome from the participant.

So our formal definition is that microlearning is an instructional unit that provides a short engagement in an activity intentionally designed to elicit a specific outcome from the participant. So we were very careful in the words that we chose. We wanted “instructional unit”. Notice we didn’t have a sense of time – a number of definitions out there were timebound. And we didn’t think that made sense because could you really get your specific outcome if it was all 20 minutes or 5 minutes or 2 minutes? So we wanted to be more outcome-based. And we didn’t necessarily want to use the term “learner” because in some cases with microlearning, the goal is to get you through a process, not to have you learn that process. So the concept really was of a participant. And it needed to be intentionally designed, which basically meant you can’t take 60 minutes of instruction, chop it up into 60 one-minute sessions, and call that microlearning. That’s not intentionally designed to be microlearning. That was supposed to be an hour-long activity, and now you’ve kind of corrupted it. 

So we wanted to make sure that certain elements were in our definition. So it’s an instructional unit, it’s a short engagement, it’s an activity – but it’s intentionally designed – it elicits a specific outcome, and it’s for the participants. So that’s kind of our general, official, academic definition.

Brian Washburn: Yeah, this is– I love this and I love setting the baseline here. Just outta curiosity, do you have any thoughts or philosophy on how long it should be? Or people who insist that microlearning can be no longer X time – 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 60 minutes? You know, what is your thinking in terms of people who insist that it has to have some sort of time limit?

Is There a Time Limit on Microlearning?

Robyn Defelice: I think we’re both kinda holding on–

Karl Kapp: Yeah.

Robyn Defelice: But it’s kind of, in my opinion, it’s a no. I think maybe JD Dillon said it really well about the time being the right amount of time to cover the objective but fits in the right amount of time that the participant has.

Brian Washburn: Mhm.

Robyn Defelice: So that sounds very ambiguous, but–

Brian Washburn: Well, it’s a good rule of thumb, right? So it’s yeah.

It totally misses the point when you make the learning timebound.

Karl Kapp: Yeah. And the other time thing is, that’s the wrong measurement, right? It’s like measuring butts-in-seats, right? How many people did you train last year? You know, how good was your training? Well, we trained 10,000 people last year. Well, is that good or not? We don’t know. How was your microlearning? Oh, it’s 10 minutes. Oh, okay. That’s great. Right? So it totally misses the point when you make the learning timebound.

Brian Washburn: Yeah.

Karl Kapp: It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

Brian Washburn: And I love that point that you just made now. When we think of microlearning, we think of short, right? So we’re thinking of timebound. Now the name obviously implies “micro” learning, but there’s also “learning” in it as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts in terms of how you think that microlearning and effective learning theory come together. Is there enough time for effective learning theory to fit into microlearning?

How Do Microlearning and Effective Learning Theory Come Together?

Robyn Defelice: You can go ahead, Karl.

Karl Kapp: Robyn, you wanna? I mean, Robyn mostly wrote a lot of theoretical parts of the book and a lot of practical. I mean, it’s very collaborative. But if you look at learning theory– in fact, if you look at research, research supports the use of microlearning – small chunks of knowledge over time. And although we don’t wanna talk about it being timebound, there are some research studies that show certain amount of time actually are very effective from a learning perspective. 

So we know that they call it “massed rehearsal” or “massed practice”, which is a lot of time, which most courses, most workshops are eight hours. I’m telling you, you’re not learning something all eight hours. So the idea is that using instructional strategies, like gaining attention, recalling past knowledge, you can bam! have the information be right there. 

I was interviewing one time a gentleman – he’s an Emmy award-winning sound editor – worked on a bunch of different places for, like, Skywalker Ranch and working on some Marvel stuff and all kinds of stuff. And somebody asked him one time, like, “What’s the shortest amount of time you can use to tell a story?” And he said, “30 seconds.” And we said, “Well, why 30 seconds?” He says, “Because look at the commercials. They tell complete stories. Sometimes they have you in tears – 30 seconds.” So, if you think about employing instructional strategies and good design, you can do that in a very small amount of time. 

We can't think of microlearning as a one-time event. It's a process. It's a journey.

Then the question becomes: Will that meet your instructional goal? So maybe you have to have several of these strung together. Like, a lot of people think microlearning is this one-time event, right? We’ll shazam you with this information in 8 minutes, 8.5 minutes, and you’ll know everything you need to know about customer service. No. But what if every day for 5 minutes you got a message about good customer service for a year and a half? Well, guess what? You will be better at customer service. So we can’t think of microlearning as a one-time event. It’s a process. It’s a journey.

Robyn Defelice: Agreed on all points of that for Karl. And of course, I don’t know why when you say commercials, I started thinking about commercials like you remember from when maybe you were a kid or as an adult. Like, especially Super Bowl commercials, they’re very, you know, pervasive and there’s a behavior to that, right? If we think marketing behavior, the behavior is we want you to purchase, or we’re helping to inform you maybe don’t, you know, “don’t do drugs” or “try to stop smoking”, “smoking’s bad”. So there’s behavioral performances that are coming from those. So that 30 seconds is eliciting something, and if we go back to the definition that Karl shared with you, you know, from our book there’s that eliciting action and that behavior and performance. 

You don't throw out good design principles that we all have learned in our field just because the word "micro" gets in front of it.

So we’re seeking the same. We may need more than 30 minutes, but if we think about like if somebody wants to say, “Oh, you can’t use constructivism or humanism or connectivism.” whatever theory you want to put in there, you can still do that. And it’s funny because I was thinking about this – it doesn’t matter what principal you apply. It doesn’t matter, you know, if it’s 30 seconds or an hour, the principles still remain. They’re good tenants for design to elicit. And to Karl’s point, you have to be creating something that is the measure of what you want. So if it’s compliance-based, is it you’re trying to increase safety and decrease risk? Or, you know, make sure that folks are reporting properly? There’s different ways to do these things, but you don’t throw out good design principles that we all have learned in our field just because the word “micro” gets in front of it. Because again, to Karl’s point, then you are taking a shortcut that actually affects the performance or behavior you were actually seeking.

Brian Washburn: Yeah. And this all goes back to a few of the points that you made. One is that it has to be intentional, right? And I think there’s another point in there that I was like, “Ooh, that connects to it too.” And I cannot for the life of me–

Karl Kapp: Outcome-driven – it has to be outcome-driven.

Robyn Defelice: Outcome-driven, context.

Brian Washburn: Yeah.

Robyn Defelice: If you don’t put the right context, like sometimes people think, “Oh, microlearning is we’ll create these little fun cartoons.” Well, sometimes, you know, making a cartoon out of a very serious topic does not give it that context and intentionality that you’re seeking to change the behavior. You know, it might have been done that way to maybe lighten the seriousness of something. But when something’s serious, you need it to be that serious level if you expect it to change performance or behavior or attitude or aptitude.

Brian Washburn: Yeah. Thank you for filling in my brain fart. I appreciate that because that’s exactly where it was going. Now, Robyn, I know that you have done a ton of work and research in our field about how long it takes to put learning together. Have you found that organizations can save time developing learning programs that are microlearning-based?

Can Organizations Save Time Developing Microlearning Programs?

Robyn Defelice: This is a good question, and I’d love to answer it. And actually, the research that I’ve done, this is where Karl and I started our time together was– well, other than he was my professor at one point. But he graciously, always answers all my “whys.” Like why does it take this long, the design? So Karl’s actually the one that was the genesis of this question. But he’s, you know, moved on to doing the gaming piece, and I’ve kind of picked that up as my nerdy little data baton that I like to wield in this field for everybody.

But for microlearning, the first time we actually introduced that research was just a little bit over maybe a year or so ago, and we started to ask questions in this survey on how long it takes to develop training. What is microlearning? I’ll give you two contexts: one, the research, and then what I know from application, and I’m sure Karl has some thoughts on this too. From the research, we did not do a good job in segmenting out the microlearning piece. But we didn’t discover that until after we asked the question because we started to realize, “Wow if I create an infographic, that time is totally different than creating a video or like this podcast.” There’s different development times because you need different resources and different talents and different skills to do these different things. So the average seedtime we were seeing for a piece of microlearning being created – if we wanna go back to that question – was six minutes, but we don’t know what that six minutes was for. Was it for a podcast? Was it for a video? Was it for eLearning? Was it for an infographic? We don’t know.

So that’s part of the future research is to dig into those pieces, but now I’m going to talk practical application. To me, the answer is no. And we’re going to go back to that statement, “You don’t take shortcuts with good principles of instructional design.” You still have to plan. And I think– and Karl and I have talked about this- I think you have to do more preplanning to think about your implementation because Karl talked a moment ago about stringing together pieces. If you don’t have a plan in place to lay those out and time those out in some way, then you’re not truly thinking about the total picture of the project and program that you’re creating. 

Actually your time can increase because you have to do a lot more front-end thinking. 

And then furthermore, Karl and I just discussed with you and, you know, we all agreed, it’s the evaluative piece. So you also need to think about, “Well, how are each one of these pieces creating a total data set that I can tell a story from, as a quantitative or qualitative?” So actually your time can increase because you have to do a lot more front-end thinking. 

But once you get back into the pieces of designing, as long as you understand those principles of design – that you need to be more concise, you need to be more intentional, you need to be more contextualized – those types of things – you can kind of move along more quickly in that development of it. Much like you would with eLearning or anything else – maybe you have a template, maybe you have, you know what I mean, intros and outros already pre-created – that type of stuff. That’s where you can save your time. But my short answer is no. Karl, I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that.

Karl Kapp: No, there’s a famous saying– I always thought it was my grandmother, but apparently somebody more famous than her said this, “I don’t have time to write you a long letter– or short letter, so I’m gonna write you a long letter.” So basically the amount of time and energy and effort to condense something sometimes is higher than just, you know, verbally going on and on and on. So, it does take a little bit longer to create that. 

But the other thing I wanna talk about is– or mention real quick is- that Robyn and I identified, like, six different types of microlearning. So there’s not just one type of microlearning. So some type of microlearning might be relatively quickly to put together. Okay, we’re just gonna put this together because everybody’s having a problem with this, put this little video together and send it out. And that may be very quick, and you don’t have to do a whole course. But others we wanna change behavior, we wanna change attitude over time. That takes a little longer to plan out and map out and that kind of stuff. 

One of the problems I think that a lot of people get into with microlearning is they lump all what they deem as short learning into this microlearning. - Karl Kapp on the types of microlearning

So one of the problems I think that a lot of people get into with microlearning is they lump all what they deem as short learning into this microlearning. And, oh, it’s all– I think that’s one of the problems in the learning field, in general, is we’ve got one word for “learning.” So learning to tie my shoe is the same thing as learning to perform brain surgery. Yeah, no. But we have one word: learning. So, we gotta work with that. So what we tried to do was we tried to make microlearning– we tried to parse it into different types of microlearning, and so that you approach each one a little bit differently. And of course, there’s overlaps and there’s mix and matches, but that’s it. But to just think that, “Oh, microlearning is great, I’ll just shazam it out. We will be done. And this will be half the time,” is really not helpful in terms of meeting the outcomes.

Brian Washburn: So do you– could you preview for us this– I mean, I’m assuming going into Microlearning: Short and Sweet, you can get a whole long look at the six different types, but what are the six different types of microlearning?

The Six Types of Microlearning

Karl Kapp: Yeah, so, one is primary microlearning. So that’s where you’re using it primarily to learn. That’s your only mode of learning, it’s not part of a bigger course or anything. 

There’s preparation microlearning, which means basically you’re preparing somebody – it’s pre-work that you’re going to have to do. 

There’s pensive microlearning, where you’re forcing the person to think through a question. So you might say, you know, “Hey, what’s your competitor doing in an area?” And you might answer like maybe an AI type of application, “Hey, they’re trying to be a low-cost provider.” And you might say, “Well, okay.” Then the AI mimics back, “Well, what’s a con of being a low-cost provider?” So that’s pensive – to get you to think about a subject or to kind of problem solve a little bit on your own or through the AI. 

There’s performance-based where it walks you step-by-step-by-step through the process. 

There’s persuasive microlearning, which is interesting, where it’s trying to get you to change a behavior or an attitude. People say, “Oh, well, I work in a corporation. We’re not changing behavior or attitude.” Well, you’re trying to have a behavior toward quality. You’re trying to have a behavior towards safety. You’re absolutely changing behavior toward customer service. You’re totally in the behavioral-changing business, whether you think you are or not. So that’s persuasive. 

And then we also have post instruction, which of course is at the end. It’s the follow-through because we forget a lot if we are jammed in with instruction. And then, we also talked about– so those are the– I think that’s–

Oh, practice-based is the last one where– actually this is kind of cool. This is like a coach in a pocket where, you have an application or some learning, and it actually walks you through a process and then allows you to practice a process and then evaluates the process. So one of the– there’s a tool called “Presentr” – it ‘s present with an R. And it’s a coach, it’s a speaking coach in your pocket. So you can pull this out on your mobile device. You can speak into it. It will see whether or not you have interruptions like, “ah”, “um”, “mmm.” If you’re too loud, too soft, if your pacing’s right, if your pacing’s wrong, all that kind of stuff. And then gives you feedback and you can practice and then keep that process. So that’s practice-based microlearning. So those are the different types, but we certainly believe there will be more. Those are just the starter pack.

Brian Washburn: I am fascinated by all of this stuff, and I could talk– we could probably talk about your entire book here, but we need to give people a reason to maybe check it out. But before I do finish the questions, I do have one final question just in terms of– and I think that you’re already on the road to answering this with there are lots of different types of microlearning. It’s not one size fits all. What do you wish people knew more about– or knew better about- designing and bringing microlearning into their organizations?

What Do You Wish People Knew More About Bringing Microlearning Into Their Organizations?

Robyn Defelice: I think where I really get about I wish what they knew, I kind of spoke about in the beginning. I wish a little more that there was that thought, that initial thinking, the concept of it, what we want to do with it, and the planning. It’s not to say that folks aren’t doing that, but most people that I’ve been working with just want to know how to create one, “I just want to create microlearning.” And there’s so much more that goes into just creating microlearning, especially if you’re coming into the field. 

So when organizations are looking at it, I wrote a lot of articles about this. One: You already have content that might work or work well to convert into microlearning, you know? Think about new hire onboard training. I think Karl was talking about customer service. There’s definitely different topics that are already relatable and relevant that you could maybe think about from a budgetary standpoint. How are you thinking about what you want to do with this? Is it to save money but also to increase retention of new hires? Well, then maybe you might want to think about breaking down some of the stuff that, you know, could potentially be the risks or issues of why your new hires aren’t coming in. So, you know, there’s– try taking approach to it– this is what I would say- try taking an approach to it, but do the thinking and the pre-planning to help yourself do it. 

 My stance is always performance. If you are not looking at measuring much, then I'm not quite sure why you're going towards microlearning. 
I really think it has such a valuable piece towards performance and behavioral change and aptitude and skills and everything that it just seems like wasted effort to create these little mini things and never know the effect of 'em.

And, you know, there’s just that other piece: it’s performance. My stance is always performance. If you are not looking at measuring much, then I’m not quite sure why you’re going towards microlearning. That’s just my stance. I don’t know if it’s Karl’s, but that’s just always been my stance since writing the book. I really think it has such a valuable piece towards performance and behavioral change and aptitude and skills and everything that it just seems like wasted effort to create these little mini things and never know the effect of ’em. It just seems like you’re wasting your time almost.

Brian Washburn: Yeah. Karl, do you have any kind of hopes and wishes and dreams?

Karl Kapp: Robyn’s right on, I don’t know that I can add a whole lot more insight into that. My genesis of getting into microlearning and really understanding it was because a lot of people were doing gamification, like short chunks of information. And they were really motivating people to get to the content, and then the content was not good. I’m like, “Oh, we make all this effort to get people to the content. And now, ugh, like, did you think about this?” “Yeah, we just cut it up.” You know, I call that shrunken head learning, right? You take a 60-minute and you cut it up into a 10-minute microlearning without any thought or predesign. 

If you don't go back to why are we even doing the learning in the first place, you, kind of, miss the boat.

So, I think that you really, like Robyn said, you wanna focus on the quality and the performance and what behavior do you wanna change based on the microlearning? And then you can motivate people to get to it through gamification, or you could use it as pensive microlearning or performance or whatever. But if you don’t go back to why are we even doing the learning in the first place, you, kind of, miss the boat.

Brian Washburn: Yeah, it seems to all come back to intention. Not necessarily, “Ooh. We think this is– people just don’t have time, so let’s put something together.” There needs to be some more thought.

Karl Kapp: (CHUCKLES) Yeah. And you can’t teach every– the other thing is you can’t teach everything with microlearning, right? I mean, we’re not gonna make great worldwide leaders through 30-second microbursts. It’s not gonna happen, right?

Brian Washburn: Yeah.

Karl Kapp: We’re not gonna make deep thinkers or critical thinkers through microlearning. But we are gonna make people safer. We might make them better customer service reps. We might give them tips to make them a better employee. So let’s use microlearning as the tool that it should be used as, and let’s not try to open the door with a chainsaw.

Robyn Defelice: (CHUCKLES)

Brian Washburn: This has been so much fun. And one of the things that I love about some of my favorite podcasts and guests is that I find myself just kind of sitting back and listening and ready to take notes as opposed to even paying attention to the questions that I have. So thank you both for giving us just, kind of, a glimpse into this world of microlearning, which I think a lot of people are really trying to figure out, “How do I do this right?” 

So– but before we go, I have one last fun activity planned here, a little competition to see, you know, when it comes to Robyn when it comes to Karl, who might wear the crown of training trivia challenge? So, are you both ready for a little game– maybe to five of training trivia challenge?

Karl Kapp: Yeah. Let’s go. Although I was told there’d be no trivia. So anyway. (LAUGHS)

Robyn Defelice: I thought when you asked Karl the six p’s of microlearning, that was the quiz. 

Karl Kapp: That was– I was like struggling on that one. Yeah. And I’m like trying to count my fingers.Do I have enough? Yep. That takes two hands!


Train Like You Listen Trivia 1

Training Trivia Challenge

Brian Washburn: Awesome. All right. So the way this is gonna work. I’m gonna read a trivia question to you. If you think, you know the answer, go ahead and buzz in. I don’t have buzzers. You’re gonna have to shout out your name. And the first person whose name I hear will get control.And if they get it correct, they get a point. If they get incorrect, then that person has a chance to steal. But we’ll play to five correct answers or five points. The first person to have five points will be our champion for today. Are you ready? 

Robyn Defelice: As ready as all I’ll ever be. 

Karl Kapp: I’ll let you know in five minutes.

Brian Washburn: All right. We’ll start with an easy one. So, question number one, what company makes the PostIt?

Robyn Defelice: 3M? 

Karl Kapp: Karl. 3M. 

Brian Washburn: Oh, we’ll go with the person who obeys the rules, Karl–

Karl Kapp: (LAUGHS)

Robyn Defelice: Fair, fair.

Karl Kapp: Like, like jeopardy, right? His phrase is a question. 

Brian Washburn: –who said his name and then he said the answer and it is correct, 3M. See, easy peasy. Score is Karl one, Robyn yet to be on the board. The next question is who is the editor for ATD’s Handbook for Training and Talent Development?

Karl Kapp: Karl.

Brian Washburn: Karl.

Karl Kapp: So I have the handbook right here. So it’s Elaine Biech.

Brian Washburn: Elaine Biech is correct. And I guess outside resources–

Karl Kapp: It’s heavy.

Brian Washburn: Totally. It is heavy. 

Karl Kapp: Yeah. Is this open-book or now? I didn’t know. 

Brian Washburn: It’s totally open-book. Yeah. If, if you wanna Google something or whatever. If you think you have time. 

Robyn Defelice: Oh!

Karl Kapp: Oh, I meant like on your desk. So yeah, I had Elaine’s book right here. 

Brian Washburn: All right. So we have Karl two, Robyn zero. But maybe Robyn can get on board with this one because according to research published in January 2021, what is the average time in hours to develop a six-minute microlearning module?

Robyn Defelice: (LAUGHING) That’s my article!

Karl Kapp: Oh, I’m so Googling that.

Robyn Defelice: Oh my God. I’m sitting here going 129 hours, I don’t know. Do you hear us ferociously looking for like– you know.

Brian Washburn: I do!

Robyn Defelice: Let’s Google that. 

Brian Washburn: I’ll help you out here.

Karl Kapp: Wait, wait, wait. 

Brian Washburn: Karl, do you think you found it?  

Karl Kapp: What did you say? January 2021? 

Brian Washburn: Yes. The average amount of time, in hours, it takes to develop a six-minute microlearning module.

Karl Kapp: Six-minute. Oh, my goodness. It’s not loading very quickly. I’m gonna say, 20 hours. Karl, 20 hours. 

Brian Washburn: 20 hours is close but incorrect. Robyn, do you wanna give it a stab?

Robyn Defelice: Robyn says 28 hours. 

Brian Washburn: 28 hours. You have the eight correct. but it’s 18. 18 hours, 18. That research brought to you by Robyn Defelice. 

Karl Kapp: Robyn Defelice. 


Karl Kapp: I found the article was a little too late. 

Robyn Defelice: So ashamed.

Brian Washburn: All right. So we still have Karl two, Robyn zero. Next question. What Atari video game is credited for having the first Easter egg? 

Karl Kapp: Karl. 

Brian Washburn: Karl.

Karl Kapp: I’m drawing a blank. I want to say Zelda, but that’s not right. 

Brian Washburn: Nintendo, not correct. Robin. You wanna give it–

Karl Kapp: AH! 

Brian Washburn: Maybe, have you listened to a podcast that I may have done with Karl before? Maybe you’ve seen Ready Player One

Robyn Defelice: I feel like it’s an Atari game. So I’m gonna say Robyn, Atari. No. 

Karl Kapp: Oh, okay. 

Brian Washburn: It’s an Atari game.

Robyn Defelice: I want to say E.T., I’m going to say E.T.

Brian Washburn: (LAUGHING)

Karl Kapp: Oh, no, that was like the worst video game of all time. 

Robyn Defelice: It was, they buried a whole bunch of them in a hole and they did. I’m not– Oh, Starship was what it was. Was it really an Atari game? 

Brian Washburn: According to my Googling was a game called Adventure

Karl Kapp: Adventure? 

Brian Washburn: Yeah. 

Karl Kapp: Ah, okay. 

Robyn Defelice: I’m gonna have to go look cause I still have my Atari 2600, my whole whole and games. 

Brian Washburn: But E.T. 

Karl Kapp: There’s some controversy over the first Easter egg, apparently. It’s okay though. 

Brian Washburn: Well, dumb question. There’ll be– 

Karl Kapp: Adventure. No game console. Okay. Yeah. 

Brian Washburn: All right. So, next question. In the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, what subject did Mr. Holland teach? 

Robyn Defelice: Robyn, music. 

Brian Washburn: Robyn is on the board. 

Karl Kapp: Yay, Robyn! 


Brian Washburn: Two to one. 

Robyn Defelice: Thank you, Richard Dreyfus. 

Brian Washburn: The whole time he was writing his Opus. So next question. who wrote the book Map It: The Hands-On Guide to Strategic Training Design? People furiously Googling. They think they know it. 

Karl Kapp: Is it? I think…

Robyn Defelice: Oh, Robyn. 

Brian Washburn: Yes, Robyn. You have control. Do it. 

Robyn Defelice: Oh crap, Cathy. 

Brian Washburn: Yes. 

Karl Kapp: Cathy Moore

Robyn Defelice: Yes. Yes. Moore. 

Brian Washburn: I’ll give it to Robyn. She knew her – he person. Yeah. Why not? Yeah. 

Karl Kapp: Yeah. I thought it was Moore, but I didn’t wanna give credit to the wrong author. 

Robyn Defelice: I could see the cover in my head! 

Karl Kapp: That was a great book. I teach that in my graduate course. 

Brian Washburn: Our team just did a book club with that that was a really, really cool book. 

Karl Kapp: Yeah, yeah. 

Brian Washburn: Great discussion came from it. All right, so two to two. Next question is a yes or no question. So if you guess wrong, the other person might steal it. Do people have a longer attention span than goldfish? 

Karl Kapp: Karl. Yes. 

Brian Washburn: Karl is correct. Yes. Oh, silly research. 

Karl Kapp: Yes. Well, you can thank Clark Quinn for that. You know, his book about myths – learning myths. 

Brian Washburn: It is a myth, for anybody who’s listening – the whole goldfish thing is a myth. All right, so next question. 

Karl Kapp: I didn’t eat them in college, either. That’s a myth as well. So just want everybody to know that. I did not swallow a goldfish fish in college. 

Brian Washburn: You did not? 

Karl Kapp: That’s a myth. I don’t want anybody to, you know– 

Brian Washburn: Is that a rumor floating out there? Karl swallows goldfish? 

Karl Kapp: It might be, the pictures are faked, so I don’t want anybody to.

Robyn Defelice: They were Pepperidge Farm. They were little goldfish.

Karl Kapp: Deep fake, deep fake.

Brian Washburn: Ah, gotcha. Next question. What is the original name of the organization now known as The Learning Guild

Robyn Defelice: Robyn. The eLearning Guild. 

Brian Washburn: Robyn is correct. Three to three! 

Karl Kapp: Ah. Good job, Robyn. This game is like we’re scratching point for point.

Robyn Defelice: I know, it’s desperation here. 


Brian Washburn: Along the same lines of training associations, who is the current President and CEO of the Association for Talent Development.

Karl Kapp: Karl.

Brian Washburn: Karl!

Karl Kapp: Tony Bingham.

Brian Washburn: Tony Bingham is correct. So Karl has four, Robyn has three. 

Robyn Defelice: I questioned my own name because I was trying to say Tony’s name. I was like, “Robyn?” 

Karl Kapp: That’s tough, right? It’s like looking at the color of blue but having it written in green. 

Robyn Defelice: Right! Exactly. We love you, Tony. 

Brian Washburn: Next question. In what year was PowerPoint unleashed on the public?

Karl Kapp: Ooof, uhhh…

Brian Washburn: It was the same year that I was in seventh grade, if that helps. 

Karl Kapp: Yeah, no.

Brian Washburn: (CHUCKLES)

Robyn Defelice: Robyn?

Brian Washburn: Robyn.

Robyn Defelice: Maybe I’m being generous on age, I don’t know. 19– 

Brian Washburn: It was in 1900s, yes.

Robyn Defelice: I’m going with 1988. 

Brian Washburn: SO CLOSE! 

Karl Kapp: Karl, 1987!

Brian Washburn: 1987 IS CORRECT!

Karl Kapp: And it’s like the Price is Right, right? You can’t go over. Nearest to the number, but not going over.

Brian Washburn: Well, but–

Karl Kapp: 1987. So I was– in 86, 85. I think I was in college then. 

Brian Washburn: But to be fair to Robyn, I was also in seventh grade in 1988. So that may not have been a very helpful clue. 

Brian Washburn:  You threw her off. 

Brian Washburn: I did. I was– it was the 87 88 school year. So close. 

Robyn Defelice: I’m throwing shenanigans. I’m throwing the shenanigan card down.


Brian Washburn: Well, we have come to an end with our champion, Karl Kapp. Thank you both so much for humoring me and playing that game.

Karl Kapp: I think that’s a strong word. I think champion is a really strong word for this I wouldn’t go that far.


Brian Washburn: Thank you everyone else for listening to another opposite of Train Like You Listen. If you know somebody who would find today’s conversation about microlearning and the exciting trivia competition to be entertaining and informational, go ahead and pass along a link. Even better is if you were to go to Apple, Spotify, wherever you’re getting your podcasts and give us a review. It just takes you a minute and would mean a lot to me. If you’re interested in learning more about a broad range of learning and development strategies, obviously with microlearning, you can pick up Microlearning: Short and Sweet. You can also pick up this fun little book called What’s Your Formula? Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training. Both of those are Amazon or at Until next time, happy training everyone.

This week’s podcast is sponsored by Soapbox. Sign up today for a free demo below.

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