Communities of Practice & Related Boundaries: Part 1 of 4

This post sets the theoretical background of communities of practice necessary to understand in order to really engage the dynamics of communities and their related boundaries. Part 2 will discuss empirical studies developed in formalized learning settings. 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. Communities of Practice: … [Read More]

Learning Models within Paradigms

During Agile 2011 I had the pleasure of leading an Open Jam session that focused on learning models and how they fit within learning theories or worldviews. We took at look at the progress made with learning theories in general starting with behaviorism and noted that each one presented excellent viewpoints and needs that we have as humans. We recognised the value of not being despotic about a particular paradigm, but to recognise and pull the values needed, especially when … [Read More]

Agile 2011 Learning Reflection

The sessions and conversations gave me tremendous insight into future improvements for my own life and team. Agile 2011 in Salt Lake City was a ridiculous amount of fun and learning, two things that should always be synonymous.

Achieving Group Consensus for Online Learning

A professional colleague of mine, Scott Marsee, and I recently presented at No Educator Left Behind hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University’s adult education division. We focused on how to facilitate online groups effectively by discovering how adult learners are motivated in group environments and subsequently employing strategies that maximizes learning.

Ensuring Students Hold Faculty Accountable

As educators for adult learners we are passionate about providing awareness and motivation to students. We research, study, design and implement methods to improve the learning experience. The cornerstone of strategies involves adult and social learning theories, and we seek to ensure those theories stay current. Our curriculum is stellar, full of experiential learning, reflection, and tools for successful critical thinking. We pour hours of investment into faculty training. However, in our excitement for the world of andragogy, we easily … [Read More]

Instructional Design Applied to Agile Coaching

Agile coaching requires observant facilitation with an ability to engage learners actively. This parallels almost identically with accelerated adult learning at the university level. “Guide on the side” instead of “sage on the stage” is a common mantra necessary for all effective facilitators to embrace when motivating adult learners. There are scores of interactive instructional strategies that not only provide relevance to the learners, but also allows for quantifiable assessment of the learning growth. However, for this post, I will … [Read More]

Effectively Using Social Media in Academic Settings

A major challenge is finding effective strategies to stimulation social learning for online adult learners. Twitter and Facebook both have good reputations as social networking sites, but utilizing either effectively in an academic environment is more challenging. Literature provides many excellent insights to ensuring academic implications for Twitter, and explains how to differentiate educational networking from social networking. Johnson (2010) discusses that often educators desire a social environment for their students, but fall into a trap rife with potential inappropriate actions … [Read More]

Applying Network Analysis to Social Media Relationships

My doctoral efforts on a thesis about social change has led me to the edges of the network analysis world, and how practical applications of it can be utilized to improve our understanding of social media relationships.

Reducing Attrition for Online Learners

Despite the growth for online and asynchronous learning, there remains a very high attrition level as well. This can be attributed to a number of things, but the most commonly identified in research include low self-efficacy or self-regulation, as well as a lack of external or internal motivators. While researchers have been kind enough to identify the biggest obstacles educators have to overcome, the strategies to overcome such difficulties are not always so obvious. Hee Jun and Park (2009) developed … [Read More]

Rural Social Transformation

How often do we tuck ourselves in our own world with coffee cup in hand ready to meet the crisis of the week? I know in my own world, it is easy to stress about the little things. While the little things are important building blocks to address those large issues, we should often step back and examine how our work impacts the big picture. Are we arguing over semantics or making an impact? Are the semantics important to effective … [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.