Blog Archives

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]


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]


Values and Feedback Loops for the Training Process

The title of this post was going to be Evaluating our Training, but the core message is more than simply evaluation … it’s about setting up reliable feedback loops from all the stakeholders to create positive improvement. Please note that I refer to positive improvement in terms of effectiveness, not a tick mark on a report for training completion. How many times have you provided training, conducted your little satisfaction / request for improvement survey, and then moved on to … [Read More]


Preparing Adult Learners for Success

Academics often express frustration with the poor preparation of learners entering college and being able to succeed with academic rigor, let alone thrive with it. Organizations question our (colleges) ability to produce the individuals with the skills needed as they lament the lack of critical thinking skills, decision-making skills, and communication skills being graduated and brought into the workforce (Hoover, Giambatista, Sorenson, & Bommer, 2010). What is going on? Is everybody just whining? Are the students that ill-prepared and is … [Read More]


Essential Constructs for Developing Courses

There’s nothing quite worse than creating a course that doesn’t quite fit the bill, and you can’t figure out why not. Let’s hypothetically forget about all the essential components of course development that if done wrong, make instructional designers twitch. Pretending that there are no important practices (I refuse to say “best” practices), let’s focus on what you need to develop a course that has clear feedback loops when you teach it … so you can teach it again, better.


Making Facts Relevant

Stories make for very effective learning, sure, but how do you practice using them?



Subscribe to get helpful learning tidbits

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.

Contact