Puzzles with business woman

Lean Forward

How do you deal with an unprecedented situation for which you have no pre-existing mental frameworks… no appropriate prior knowledge?That’s the challenge our entire planet has been facing for the past several months.How are YOU facing it? How are you holding up?If you’re like most of us, you may have been finding this time incredibly

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group of people on Zoom

The Perspectives of 2020

If you think back to New Year’s Eve, 2020 (that sweet and innocent time Before the Dawn of Covid), you may remember that the general mood was one of happy expectation.  Individually and collectively, we were hoping for great things from 2020, not least because the number makes us think of having perfect vision and

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Russian nesting dolls standing in a line

Designing the different levels of a course

We’ve talked about the five domains of learning defined by educational researcher and theorist Robert M. Gagné.Gagné divided learning up into the following major types:Verbal information (declarative knowledge)Attitudes (mindset)Cognitive strategies (learning how to learn)Intellectual skills (how-to)Motor skills (physical movement)The  Course Design Formula® that I teach in my book and course provides research-based guidance on how

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Social distancing, keep distance in public society people to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak spreading concept, businessman, woman keep distance away by drawing circle with virus pathogens

The current pandemic and learning

At the most fundamental, biological, level, learning is the process of adapting to one’s environment in ways that promote survival.  Which means that all of humanity is currently facing a learning task of tremendous proportions. One of the things I’ve heard most often during the past week, is that we can’t know how to adapt, because we

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composition of human face and technological elements to serve as background in works on mind, reason, intelligence and imagination

Engaging the senses in online learning

As the world goes through a sudden, enforced global experiment in living online, we’ve all come face to face with what the online interface can, and can’t do well.The online interface CAN (thankfully) connect us in ways that allow us to interact with each other, conduct many kinds of work, and counteract physical distance with

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People connected by online learning even though they can't shake hands in person

Creating Community Online

How are you feeling right now? What changes have you had to make to adapt to the coronavirus threat? Do you find yourself suddenly needing to take programs, meetings, clases, processes that work well in the physical world, and put them online? Would you like some guidance and help in figuring out how to do that, effectively and

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blackboard with drawn checked boxes. Text next to boxes reads: Present the instruction/ Provide guided practice/ promote independent performance

Three steps to take WHILE presenting instruction

You’ve warmed up your audience. You’ve gotten their attention. You’ve told them what they’re about to learn, and you’ve reminded them of their prior related knowledge.  It’s time to start actually teaching….this is the exciting part! “Actually teaching” is a three-step process, if you want your course participants to actually REMEMBER and be able to use

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A young couple live in a van. She is lying down and reading a book on the bed. He is working on a laptop in the space next to the bed.

Tiny House, Huge Impact

In my book, Course Design Formula®: How to Teach Anything to Anyone Online, I use the process of building a house as a metaphor for the process of building a course. Watching the fascinating series, Tiny House Nation,  on Netflix recently, I realized that building an online course is not just like building ANY house.Building an

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Human Brain Lobes on Blackboard.

Three things to do BEFORE you present instruction

Educational theorist and researcher Robert M. Gagné observed skilled teachers in action, and noticed that they followed nine specific steps in order to create effective learning. He codified these steps and called them “The Nine Events of Instruction”. Let’s take a closer look at the three things Gagné  noticed highly effective teachers do, BEFORE they present

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Illustration of hands raised in the air enthusiastically

Love and Learning

Love is the greatest motivator for learning, that there is.  We’re biologically hard-wired to make it so. When we are newborn and helpless, our parents…the people who (hopefully!) love us most in the whole wide world, are our first teachers.Incredible amounts of learning take place in early childhood. A baby dropping the spoon over and

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Students Wearing Lighted Mind Reading Helmets

How to make anything easier to learn

As a student, or just a regular person going about your daily life, have you ever tried to learn how to do something, that was presented as being easy… and you just could not for the life of you figure out how to do it?As a teacher, parent, or coach, have you ever tried to

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computer repair toolbox

What the Tech???

Technology. Can’t live without it, can’t hurl it out the window. Amiright?If your life has been anything like mine recently, the window hurling option may be starting to seem attractive. (Don’t do it! Gravity is not your friend!).What is going on? I don’t know if it’s sunspots, or a flux in the space-time continuum, but the

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Hand coloured circular stripes background patter

What are your three words for 2020?

Master business storyteller Chris Brogan has come up with a fascinating and creative way to set himself and his business up for success for a new year. He calls his technique “My Three Words” and you can learn about it on his blog at has been using this method since 2006, and in the process

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9 different colored sticky notes on a blackboard

The 9 Events of Instruction

What has to happen in order to actually teach someone something?If simply exposing people to information is not the same as actually teaching them, how DO we actually teach, especially online?Educational theorist and researcher Robert M. Gagné studied good teachers in action, and discovered what they were doing that made their teaching effective.His research revealed

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Sign in page on computer screen. Desktop computer with login form and sign in button. User account. Modern concept. Creative flat design vector illustration

Teaching vs. exposing people to information

We’ve talked about the difference between being exposed to information (especially online), and actually learning it.But what about teaching? What’s the difference between simply presenting information online, and actually teaching it?You heard right: presenting information is not the same as teaching it.Just because you’ve said something (using text, video, or audio) doesn’t mean you’ve taught

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