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Friday Finds — MicroLearning, Automating Creativity & Better Video for Learning

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"To begin is easy, to persist is art"

― German proverb

You might spot a little twist in this week's newsletter format. With a jam-packed fall of teaching, speaking, and writing, I'm tweaking things to make my newsletter routine a tad smoother. My hope? To save some precious time on my end and deliver an even more curated experience for you. Imagine sifting through hundreds of sources and now getting only the best of the best! Dive in and share your thoughts. Do you love it, like it, or feel meh about it? Any suggestions for a sprinkle of extra magic? Hit ‘Reply’ and let me know! 😊

Thanks for reading!

🎶 What I’m Listening To

If you’re been around here long, you know I’m an 80’s kid. Nothing says 80’s to me more than Tears for Fears which I’m spinning today with a big smile on my face.

👆 Last Week’s Most Clicked

Neuroscience Warns Against the Thank You Slide

📰 News & Notes

Focus on the ‘Learning’ of MicroLearning

This post from the Learning Scientists blog by Dr. Nidhi Sachdeva delves into the concept of "microlearning." Coined in 2002, microlearning refers to shorter learning sessions compared to traditional teaching. While the exact duration of a microlearning session remains debated, its defining characteristic is its brevity. However, the term has become somewhat ambiguous in literature. Dr. Sachdeva introduces a new term, "MicroLearning," emphasizing lessons designed with evidence-based principles. These lessons should focus on limited content to avoid cognitive overload. She proposes six principles for creating MicroLearning content: valuable content, clear instructional purpose, appropriate length and structure, timing, format, and interactivity. The aim is to bridge the gap between the science of learning and the application of microlearning in formal educational settings.

🎯 Take away: In sum, the length and structure of a microlesson should be informed by cognitive load theory and not by time frame.

Automating Creativity

Ethan Mollick delves into the world of AI and creativity, revealing that AI isn't just about logic—it's a budding creative genius! Through various studies, it's clear that AI can whip up innovative ideas that often outshine human efforts. Yet, our most imaginative minds still have the upper hand. When guiding AI, you don't need fancy prompts; simple ones do the trick. And if you're looking for a sprinkle of originality, set some constraints. At its core, AI's brilliance lies in its knack for recombining existing ideas, acting as a bridge between seemingly unrelated concepts. Read this to learn more about AI’s practical prowess in idea generation.

🎯 Take away: There is now strong evidence that AI can help make us more innovative.

Creating Better Video For Learning: Processing Instructional Video

Patti Shank delves into the art of crafting effective instructional videos. She emphasizes that while many often overlook or skim through these videos, active mental engagement is crucial for genuine learning. By incorporating design elements like freeze-framing and zooming, and principles such as signaling, we can guide viewers' attention. Shank champions embedding thought-provoking questions within videos to foster deeper engagement and comprehension. Leveraging interactive tools and crafting well-framed questions can amplify this effect. Ultimately, the essence lies in facilitating mental processing, using enhanced visuals, and adhering to Mayer's principles to ensure viewers not only watch but truly grasp the content.

🎯 Take away: Patti Shank underscores the power of intentional design and interactive questions in instructional videos to transform passive viewing into active learning.

Visit and subscribe to the Neovation Learning Hub for free eLearning resources – L&D superpowers that you can use to improve your eLearning initiatives and help you be more creative, productive, and valuable to your L&D team!

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🧰 Tech Tools & Tips

If tools are your jam, check out my new Work Smarter newsletter.

Start every learning project off right with a Learning Environment Analysis (LEA), a powerful framework for uncovering learners’ problems, constraints, and needs to prescribe the right solution. This comprehensive guide introduces the LEA and the specific tools to use at each stage, from learner discovery to analyzing findings.

🎧 Podcast

This is the conversation that caught my ear this week. Check out previous episodes in the Friday Finds podcast playlist.


PowerPoint + iSpring: Get Started in eLearning Fast

4 Webinars to Get You Creating eLearning Like a Pro

Guided by seasoned instructional designers, you’ll discover every button you need to click to turn an ordinary presentation into an immersive online course with characters, animated objects, interactive modules, and narration.

🧳 Where’s Mike?

If you or your event needs a speaker or workshop that is highly interactive and super practical we should talk.

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Friday Finds is an independent publication that I produce in my free time. You can support my work by sharing it with the world, booking an advertising spot, or by buying me a coffee. NNN

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