Business Systems Applied to Academics

Rob Hartman and I presented a session on systems thinking and mindset at Association of Business Administrators of Christian Colleges (ABACC) on February 13, which was an excellent experience. With his expertise on finance and mine on academics, we were able to bridge the gap that gets created between these two essential two departments on developing mindsets of how to thrive rather than merely survive. This entailed an introduction of Real Options where we showed part of Dan North’s vimeo … [Read More]


Process Optimization Enables Fixed Price in Curriculum Design

The focus on the agile curriculum design that has been so valuable for lean curriculum design and delivery is mostly to ensure a quality and relevant piece of curriculum or program is created in the shortest period of time in a just-in-time (JIT) environment. However, upon reflection, another huge benefit of this process is the fixed price changes. Previously, a fixed price was set for writing an entire course, but the process optimization has broken down the development across a … [Read More]


Visualizing Motivation in a Personal Kanban Board

The basic flow of a personal kanban board is pretty straight forward with it’s To Do, Doing, and Done. This alone is an incredible step forward in allowing the individual to visualise the work and limit the work in progress for incredible focus. Combine the tasks with Pomodoro Technique and the essential tools are in place for an incredible mindset adjustment towards productivity, as I’ve discovered with introducing both personal kanban and Pomodoro Technique to college curriculum. Over the last … [Read More]


Time Management: Perspective, Balance, and Flow

My career is rather ever-present in my life, and since it’s mixed with family working at home with a husband on the road quite often, time mastery was quickly moved up the list of priorities. Recently, I discovered something that I’ve always known, but at the same time, never completely clicked. My guilt was always pretty high when I would focus 100% of my mind on my job, yet be so mentally exhausted after 4-5 hours. Yes, I did Pomodoro’s … [Read More]


Introducing Flow and Timeboxing in College Curriculum

Being the writer, designer and a primary facilitator for the orientation courses for our university’s associate and bachelor courses has given me a wonderful opportunity to continually and iteratively improve the quality of the course for both student learning and faculty effectiveness. I note faculty effectiveness as crucial for any course design because student learning cannot be maximized if the faculty are overwhelmed with busy grading. If there is nothing else to justify curriculum designers, it is this balance of … [Read More]


Practicing Agile in Curriculum Design

Scott Marsee, my lead instructional designer, and I were fortunate in our networking at the ASTD 2012 conference this past January with our introduction to Dr. Steven Villachica, a tenured associate professor at Boise State University’s School of Engineering. He is currently teaching an advanced instructional design course for master level students, and when he heard of our successful agile curriculum design techniques, asked if we would present a webinar to his students. This was a wonderful opportunity to get … [Read More]


Systemic Resolution in Curriculum Design

There is a certain amount of pride that I have with our current curriculum development process in that it is very systemic to reduce conflicting information and formatting across courses as well as addressing academic rigor necessary for a top quality degree programme. However, there are several levels of system resolutions available for curriculum design, including the facilitator level. We have started developing communities of practice to represent each expertise area so that while faculty cannot physically change the curriculum … [Read More]


Communities of Practice & Related Boundaries: Part 4 of 4

This post sets the tone of current practice within academics for boundary objects. These empirical studies map back to the theories discussed in Part 2 and provides experiential relevance necessary to apply them in the real world. These posts are draft writing snippets of a systems thesis for adult education I am developing in my doctoral work. If you wish to see a more detailed review of one of the articles referenced, please do not hesitate to contact me. Boundaries … [Read More]


Communities of Practice & Related Boundaries: Part 3 of 4

This post sets the tone of current practice within academics for how boundaries interact with communities of practice. Part 4 will discuss  empirical studies in different disciplines of boundaries and boundary objects. These posts are draft writing snippets of a systems thesis for adult education I am developing in my doctoral work. Boundaries: Understanding the Theory Just as communities of practice can deteriorate, boundaries suggest a limitation that growth minded individuals wish to avoid. However, Wenger (2000) demonstrates the value … [Read More]


Communities of Practice & Related Boundaries: Part 2 of 4

This post sets the tone of current practice within academics for communities of practice. These empirical studies map back to the theories discussed in Part 1 and provides experiential relevance necessary to apply them in the real world. Parts 3 and 4 will discuss  the theory and subsequently empirical studies in different disciplines of boundaries and boundary objects. These posts are draft writing snippets of a systems thesis for adult education I am developing in my doctoral work. If you … [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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