Engaging the Whole Person in Learning

  Why is it that we spend so much on training (over $150 B in just one year, industry-wide) but see so little change? I watch instructional designers, trainers, and course writers work painstakingly to provide a clear message to the receivers, but then see the learning bounce and skip off, never fully landing at a level that creates true retention. Using the phases of learning that Bloom presents in his cognitive taxonomy is a solid tactic for good instruction. … [Read More]


Creating the Environment for Improvement over Churn

Those who do not study the past are condemned to repeat it. ~Santayana Envision the situation: A team is contracted to build a new statistics course for a bachelor’s degree program. This is exciting because it’s the first offering, and building is always more fun than editing. The scope is set to help students understand statistics enough to better analyze scholarly studies and develop healthy skepticism practices towards research. There is always a rush of pleasure for a writing team … [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]


Academic Coaching Practices

This post represents the culmination of a series on values, mindset, and practices around academic coaching. In reality, coaching is difficult. If we really want to make a difference in the overloaded lives of our adult learners, we can take a page from Daloz’s book, Mentor, and see the challenges, heartbreak, and most importantly, the incredible transformation that gets experienced, both for yourself and the learner. Whether you are an administrator looking to increase retention, a professor who wants to provide the … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Writing Skills

We’ve covered three major areas for academic coaching to target with adult learners, including Academic Expectations, Communication Skills, and Grammar Skills. It can be easy to consider grammar and writing as the same strategy for improvement, but it’s an important differentiation for students, faculty, and coaches to value. Writing skills directly influence stronger communication skills, and in that we focus on flow, articulating thoughts, and presenting information effectively. It’s a natural tendency for academics to want students to focus on … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Grammar Skills

As a continuation of focusing on the specific target areas as a learning coach to adult students, we move from Academic Expectations and Communication Expectations and into the realm of grammar skills. This is a skillset where you will see the majority of your adult learners cringe. It typically doesn’t matter where the reality of their skills lay, there is a perception that they need to do better. In fact, often the perception is that it’s simply too overwhelming to handle. Communication … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Communication Skills

As a continuation of focusing on the specific target areas as a learning coach to adult students, we move from Academic Expectations and into the realm of communication skills. It has been surprising to me how many students nod their heads sagely either virtually or in-person when I discuss the high value of communication skills. Everybody understand the need. And… many think that they are pretty decent at it. Communication is crucial in all types of academic coaching. As a … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Academic Expectations

I had mentioned that there were two major practice levels that an academic coach needs in order to focus on the learning strategies for adult learners in my post titled Inspect and Adapt: A Learning Coach Practice. In that post, I had explored the “big picture” approach to coaching with the underlying goal of helping students transition away from fixed mindset thinking. This second level digs into the target areas for a learning coach to focus along with strategies on addressing … [Read More]


Inspect and Adapt: A Learning Coach Practice

There are two major practice levels that an academic coach needs in order to focus on being a learning coach for adult students need in order for them successful in a fast-paced learning environment. The first level is what I would call “big picture” approach of coaching, regardless of the gaps and goals, there is a mindset towards inspecting and adapting. The second practice level, which I will address in future posts, focus on specific target areas and strategies for addressing … [Read More]


Differentiating Academic Coaching Roles

Extending the conversation from Academic Coaching for Adult Learners, I am finding that the word coach is a bit ambiguous, even within the context of academics only. As the coaching concept has established itself as a norm in business training, both internally and external consulting, more higher education adoptions have become evident, transitioning from terminology of mentorship to academic coaching, but what is that, exactly? One of the major outcomes of Dr. Buch-Wagler and Dr. Rose’s testing my recently developed … [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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