Catherine's Learning Journal

A Momentous Year

While I have been horribly neglectful of my blog in 2015, it has been a pretty big year for me. My writing and sharing hasn’t been abandoned, it simply hasn’t appeared much in this space. Here’s a quick roundup of my 2015 contributions, appearing elsewhere:

Learning Environments by Design

It isn’t every year that one publishes a book, and I have that accomplishment to celebrate in 2015. Learning Environments by Design describes concrete recommendations on how to utilize a vast learning and performance ecosystem to craft a comprehensive strategy for learning. It’s a useful little book, if I do say so myself!

I have done a few articles, interviews and podcasts on learning environment design as well, not all of which have been published as yet. Here’s what you can find:

You may have seen me at several conferences this year as well, presenting on concepts related to learning environment design. Here are slide decks from those events:

Research for Practice

I am also a big proponent of ensuring that our practices are grounded in the theory base and research of our field. To that end, I have contributed to the ATD Science of Learning blog. I’ve been working with colleagues at the Academy of Human Resource Development to share the terrific work of researchers and theorists by summarizing AHRD journal articles for practitioners, and some of my posts are part of that project. Here are my 2015 posts:

Faculty development at Delaware Tech.

In March, I took on a new role as Director of the Center for Creative Instruction and Technology and Delaware Technical Community College and have since immersed myself in deepening my understanding of faculty development techniques, learning about the community college context, and getting to know my terrific team. We spent a good part of the last quarter of 2015 immersed in a fairly extensive needs assessment, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves to revitalize our faculty development strategy in 2016. Really exiting stuff!

On tap for 2016

I plan to continue writing about how learning is supported in the digital age. There are those who tell us that no one cares about learning – they care only about performance. To me, though, that’s like saying we don’t care about breathing, only about remaining alive. But of course we care about breathing, especially when it proves difficult, when the air isn’t clear, or our body systems aren’t working properly to circulate well-oxygenated blood.

We care about learning as well, which, while as natural as breathing, often proves challenging. The access to resources and networks that fuels the digital age is both a boon to learning and a hindrance, because with abundance of options comes indecision about what, where, how, and who to engage. People are also finding it difficult to carve out the time and head space needed for deeper learning within the swirl created by the pace of change and the pressures of work. In this context, learning needs to be championed and supported, and I, for one, will continue to offer ruminations and recommendations on how to support learning in the work and school environments we find in today’s world.

Stay tuned. And best wishes for your own plans for 2016.


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