Blog Archives

Disrupting the Addiction of Status Quo

Change. It is the mind killer for a large percentage of the workforce. There is a percentage of those employees who have the capacity to embrace change as opportunity for learning. There is a much larger percentage of those employees whose foreheads hit the desk as soon as a new process is announced … in other words, more change. It is not terribly challenging to engage the employees already aware of the bigger picture and looking for continuous improvement opportunities. … [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]


Reporting Org Bias to Increase Learning at Agile 2016

A workshop that I facilitated around cultivating a learning organisation for Agile 2016 had a section on understanding why we don’t learn, and the biases that prevent us from learning more effectively. Gino and Staats article on Why Organisations Don’t Learn published through the Harvard Business Review provided a great catalyst for an activity within my workshop. The Experiment Without identifying the biases, I asked everybody to denote where they felt that their organisation or team stood between the two … [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]


Problem Solving Isn’t Always about the Problem Presented

I’ve had all this army, all these officers… This damn Hooker, this damn idiot Meade. All of them. The whole bloody, lousy mess of sick-brained, potbellied scareheads. They ain’t fit to lead a johnny detail. They ain’t fit to pour pee out of a boot with instructions written under the heel. I’m tired. It’s always easy for me to watch Gettysburg because while I possibly have much of the script memorised, my empathy with their emotions experiences change and often … [Read More]


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]


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.


Transparency in Bloom’s Taxonomy for Training

For most instructional designers, this phrase simply means that you make sure the student can read the expected outcome just before an activity or are made aware of it as they go into an activity. However, Liz Keogh nicely blended the affective learning levels of receiving, responding, and valuing into her training due to her complete integration of the cognitive learning levels with the training.


Right-brain? Left-Brain? Diversifying the Learning Experience

Next on the list for my blog series for developing effective curriculum is a look at not only selecting and optimising appropriate activities to ensure outcomes or objectives fulfillment, but that you also deepen your activity diversity for maximal learning impact.


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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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