Kanban Moves Upward in Academic Administration

This is the story of the Princess and the Pea. Sort of. Actually, this is the story of how administration felt the effects of kanban being used in areas that were not immediately visible. Only in this case, the effect the pea (kanban) had on the princess was so positive that she demanded more peas!


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]


Acton University Reflections

It always surprises me that, after a week of incredible sharing, thinking, and reflecting, I’m exhausted. That week was also a changing point in my doctorate from despair to inspiration. The week ended with my learning how to use all four positions on the cello and watching an enlightening talk about embracing uncertainty by Dan North. Topping that week’s experience is going to be difficult, but frankly, I’m not sure my brain is up to it anyway at the moment! … [Read More]


Intentional Silo-busting

It’s always a joy to get insights into another industry that has an effect of silo-busting. Any time we experience interdisciplinary research or practice, that is also a great silo-busting experience. A big scale example is how neuroscience has been positively impacted by several disciplines for ground breaking discovery of how our brain develops. A more immediate example for me is how agile methodology and lean systems for software is the inspiration for  the curriculum design model I developed. However, … [Read More]


Agile Experience Reports: Writing vs Reviewing

One year ago I wrote my experience report about applying agile methodologies to the curriculum design process I use in my university. Tim O’Conner was a great shepherd providing insight on what the community needed to hear from me. Something that he recommended to me was to provide a “giving back” section. Granted, there should be strong implication of how the experiences are in the article can apply to other situations. However, this extremely intentional bullet pointed section was extremely … [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]


Embracing and Exposing Scholarly Work in Agile

This is my call for help! As a doctoral student, one of my passions is lean and agile practices in academics both as a curriculum designer and higher education administrator. I am hopeful that my dissertation will be the qualitative exploration of links between agile intentionality and sustainability in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. A lead-up into this dissertation planning is a major thesis on systems in academics, with a strong focus on lean and social systems. In fact, the application … [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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