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]


Limiting Purpose in Progress

While speaking with my husband (@erwilleke), we realized that we were going through a very similar journey of understanding in our careers despite working in very different areas: Eric striving to align thousands of people against a common purpose in the corporate world, Marian developing learning experiences to expose individuals to opportunities of personal transformation in the educational world (for now). Based on our combined interest and application in this topic concerning organizational behavior and human learning behaviors, we co-wrote … [Read More]


Growth Mindset for Adult Learners

Iteration after iteration. Milestone after milestone. Year after year. The life cycle of a PhD experience is unique unto itself, testing far more than intelligence. Endurance, patience, discipline, and possibly a dash of insanity are all necessary components. Most importantly is that a PhD student must have a mindset of continuous improvement. Upon completion, I now see that the entire PhD process is one large milestone, offering me the discipline to create effective and long-lasting social change. So what 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?


Leading Learning Workshops

Today was a fantastic day leading a collaboration and learning workshop in Ohio for humanities and social science adjunct faculty, blending methods from Open Space and Lean Coffee to facilitate the workshop. Not having a strong sense of the faculty needs initially, I hosted several Lean Coffees across different cities in Ohio where this institution maintained sites this past February and March, as well as an online Lean Coffee, which was quite interesting, and successful, I must say. This drove … [Read More]


Ownership vs Training

In my experience as an operations director at small, private university, I have found myself amused with some of the training snafus that I discovered. My favourite was when my Program Manager skyped me with this question.


Forgetting the value of limiting WIP! Again.

Back in June I was gloating over my success of balancing life by truly adhering to the value of limiting my WIP. Whups! Six months have come and gone. Yeah, that wasn’t because I was sipping tea on the porch. In fact, by the time November hit, I was busy having a physical breakdown trying to keep too many balls in the air. As long as everything tended to “take turns” in priority, everything worked. However, when my director role … [Read More]


Minimising Personal Kanban

Personal Kanban. It’s that thing that changed my life from being productive to being super productive. Then I realized something, and uber productivity started kicking into place. I remember when I thought the ticket was visualization. Granted, that was absurdly awesome, especially since it allowed me to balance education, career, and family in one view. Then prioritization crept in …. slowly but surely. Control freak behavior started dissipating into confidence that everything would be fine. Emergencies transitioned into simply re-prioritizing. … [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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