Tuesday, June 11

The 1-Minute Learning Nuggets Project!



The mission of the '1-Minute Learning Nuggets' project is to explore and discover the art of creating 1-minute multimedia learning nuggets (or within the 1-minute spectrum: anywhere from 1 second to 1:59 min) , which are perfect for mobile learning or learning-on-the-fly.

If we dissect a lecture or module (or whatever you want to call it). There are probably only 5-10 essential items (or chunks) in a lecture that really needs to be visualized into multimedia with audio narration to have an impact or simplify the learning for students. So, instead converting the whole lecture into multimedia with narration, why not focus our time on building quality learning nuggets that really matter.

Not only will the learning nuggets be great for mobile learning, lecturers will have more time to focus on the critical content that needs to be converted to multimedia. And from a design-point-of-view, your content now also becomes more reusable beyond your lecture.


Creating learning nuggets, snippets, objects or chunks is nothing new! Today, Udacity prides itself for creating learning videos that on the average are one minute long (These learning snippets are then clustered into lessons). During the eLi3 Conference (in Saudi Arabia) I met Roger Schank, who told me during a short chat that people in general only pay real attention to something for max 1 and half minutes. Penn State University has something called the 60-second lecture series. Google demo videos today are usually no longer than one minute. And we can go on and on and on!

Whether it is a trend or not, less content in smaller learning chunks makes sense in today's disruptive and busy world. But, we still need to figure out how to do this efficiently with effective learning output

In a nutshell, this project is about exploring and rethinking content design and discovering authoring  tools and methods to create learning nuggets perfect for mobile learning (or multi-device learning) and reuse. 

By doing so, we can empower and inspire educators at IMU and beyond to do the same!

You are most welcome to join us on this adventure by creating your own learning nuggets and sharing with us how you did it. 


The introduction video to the 1-Minute Learning Nuggets Project  (above)  is certainly not perfect. After I uploaded it to YouTube, I noticed first that the picture frame was too aligned to the right (supposed to be in the middle). The audio was so, so! My drawing was simply ____! 

I was about to redo the introduction video, and then upload a better version to YouTube. But then I thought, let it be as it is, and use it for learning purposes. As this project evolves, it will be fun to look back at the first published learning nugget and see how much I have improved (or not).

So, how did I create this first learning nugget (in brief)?

  1. Created a few slides in PowerPoint 2013.
  2. Converted the slides to PDF (to keep the images and text intact). I could have saved it as a 'PowerPoint Picture Presentation', but when importing that format (using PowerPoint 2013) into Explain Everything, the slides got messed up.
  3. The PDF version was then uploaded (synched) to Google Drive.
  4. Imported the PDF version into Explain Everything ($2.99 USD) on my iPad.
  5. Used Explain Everything on my iPad to record audio and add the visual animations to the slides. No headset with microphone was used. Sat in a reasonably quiet room to avoid background noise (a bit air-con noise can be heard). Not great audio, but not bad either!
  6. Once completed, the content was uploaded directly to YouTube from Explain Everything (cool feature).
  7. Mission accomplished! 
Alright, the output was only so, so. However, I did achieve one target, which was the 1 minute spectrum for a learning nugget (anywhere from 1 second to 1:59 min). The introduction video is: 1:59 min...WOW! That was a close call!

Yes, I did prepare a script for the first learning nugget and even deleted a section (Nothing New! above) to meet the 1-minute spectrum target. Anyway, creating scripts (or just headers) for 1-minute learning nuggets is no big deal, compared to scripts for full-blown lectures. 

In general, if you can do it faster and more natural without a script, then skip it. However, if you can't get started, or keep on changing your mind on what to say, it could actually be faster to prepare a script before recording your learning nugget.  Try both ways to find your flavor to speed up the output and quality.

Free alternatives tools to Explain Everything:
Explain Everything is a pretty cool and user-friendly iPad (only) authoring tool. It is not free, but $2.99 USD for a content authoring tool is pretty cheap if you compare to Articulate and Adobe products. Yes, these products have more features, but do we really need most them for creating learning nuggets? It depends...

Stay tuned to my second learning nugget! Need to at least create one more learning nugget with Explain Everything, before I explore other free or cheap authoring tools to create learning nuggets. 

What authoring tools do you use to create learning nuggets? Do you create learning nuggets in the first place? Or are you still bombarding your learners with never ending 15 minute lectures online...How learning times have changed :)

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