Let’s learn OUTSIDE the room too!

When we hear “we’ll be doing some training” from the boss, is it met with a groan? A silver lining that you’ll at least get to catch up on email? As the boss, do you promise yourself that “this training will be different for them … THIS one will truly engage positive change” while you cross your fingers? Training is an important aspect of the learning process. Thankfully, we have great ways now to engage the adult learner much more … [Read More]


Creating the Environment for Improvement over Churn

Those who do not study the past are condemned to repeat it. ~Santayana Envision the situation: A team is contracted to build a new statistics course for a bachelor’s degree program. This is exciting because it’s the first offering, and building is always more fun than editing. The scope is set to help students understand statistics enough to better analyze scholarly studies and develop healthy skepticism practices towards research. There is always a rush of pleasure for a writing team … [Read More]


Effectively using taxonomies to structure an amazing learning experience!

Last year I wrote about a course mapping process that I created to help any individual structure a learning experience that would include measurable outcomes (cognitive), proficiency, and true engagement (affective). Once the scope of a course is established, a frequent next step is to select action verbs to ensure participants know what they will measurably achieve (cognitive taxonomy). However, measuring cognitive understanding is not the same thing as becoming proficient in practice. As such, setting up a graph such … [Read More]


Let’s Look at Collaboration Models!

It is only human to find collaboration natural. Collaboration is the oil that keeps us running smoothly, but too much oil can reduce effectiveness. A couple examples are the “squirrel” effect that prevents completion, or context shifting that makes completion take longer than necessary. There are huge benefits to collaboration, but it’s easy to forget the soft dollar costs that are absorbed with the meetings, email, and continual communication online or in an open floor plan … all this culminating … [Read More]


Moving from pedagogy to andragogy … and why.

The most common differentiation I hear between pedagogy and andragogy is the simple definition … the art and science of teaching children (pedagogy) or teaching adults (andragogy). Well, that defines the term, thank you … but how are these differences conceptualized? How does it change how I look at 1) designing learning, 2) planning for facilitation, or 3) evaluating outcomes? This infograph is a representation of why we look at pedagogy and andragogy differently in all three critical roles of 1) instructional designer, 2) … [Read More]


Aligning Workplace Learning to Organisational Paradigms

Being exposed to Reinventing Organizations has been incredibly effective for me to better articulate the dynamics of how a company or large groups within a company are conducting management strategy. That articulation then removes judgment, on my part at least, and provides simple acknowledgement of current status. Models and frameworks such as exhibit 1 below help us develop necessary shared language, and in this particular one, Laloux helps us visualise more effective strategy for incremental evolution forward. My mind then goes to … [Read More]


Options-Based Learning

I believe in prescribed learning for adult learners. I believe in options-based learning for adult learners. Isn’t that a conflict? Not in my mind, and here’s why. Prescribed learning, whether higher education curriculum or corporate training programs, provides the framework that is assured to scaffold throughout the program. Strong programs have an excellent architecture in place supported with well-designed learning. The prescribed flow is best developed in a centralized capacity, guiding the experience and knowledge of subject matter experts into … [Read More]


Mindsets for Flow in Agile ISD

An inherent value to the agile mindset is the respect and implementation of continuous improvement, especially, in my mind, to a framework based on agile principles. True to that belief, we have taken the the agile instructional design model that Scott Marsee and I developed back in 2011 that focused on iterative stages of course development into another state of improvement through simplication. The framework of Scrum gave us the insights to help put aside the frustrating limitations that the … [Read More]


Representing Affective Learning in the Materials

We crave expression of feeling, as proven by our incessant need to construct emotional representation in our typing. Remember <3 ? Then it got exciting when we got the red heart. Now we have broken hearts, beating hearts, and rainbowed hearts, but you see my point. Words are never enough. So, my dear instructional designers, trainers, and facilitators out there, why do we settle for cognitive learning instead of blending it with affect?


The Value of Guidelines over Rules

It may be my natural rebellion against rules. It may be my frustration when I say something in the declarative as a consultant and it’s received as a rule. It may be my annoyance watching people make up rules because they simply aren’t able to explain the why. Whatever the motivation, I’m becoming more aware of the need to embrace guidelines instead of set rules when coaching or training individuals or teams working with models. For example, instructional design focuses … [Read More]


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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