A selection of representative works, as of an artist.
(Definition from Webster’s New World Dictionary)
Every professional should have a portfolio of their work, and I appreciate that the definition above highlights that a portfolio often represents some form of artistry. I do think that the work I do to conceptualize frameworks, design workshops, and write articles and posts is something of an art – albeit art that is often a work-in-progress since ideas evolve over time.
Writing and teaching allow me to satisfy my mission in life – to help learning and development professionals be the best they can be so they can have impact through the work they do. I see my role as a translator – taking useful frameworks and research-based recommendations and making them practical for use in the real world. I hope I achieve that with my writing, courses, workshops, and presentations. I relish sharing what I have learned and – just as importantly – engaging with colleagues around important techniques, trends, and ideas. Writing and talking about a subject are sure ways to explore ideas, clarify thinking, seek input, enrich mutual understanding, and hear differing views.
This page collates my portfolio of public contributions since opening my consulting practice, which has focused on a number of key topics. Full disclosure: this page is as much for me as it is for you. These are lists and links I need to reference with some frequency, and it’s quite handy to have them all in one place.
I do hope you find it useful!
If you would like access to any of these materials, please email me for a copy. And if you’d like to explore development programs or consulting in these areas, contact me for a free consulting session to explore the possibilities.
For well over a decade now, it has been patently obvious that the L&D field needs to expand it scope of influence well beyond formal training to encompass a wide range of modes for learning. Learning strategists and designers need to curate from the internet’s treasure trove of materials and leverage emerging techniques and activities to create a cohesive strategy – at an overarching level, and at the project level. My work on learning environment design and modern learning strategy has been meant to give learning professionals a place to start.
As L&D has embraced building a learning culture, supporting informal and self-directed learning, and learning in the flow of work, it becomes increasingly clear that line managers are critical partners in developing employees. We need to do all we can to support them in this sometimes unfamiliar role. While they don’t need to know all we know about how people learn, we can equip them with guidance on how to develop people and how to ensure their efforts have impact. That’s the impetus for my “leader’s guide to developing people” work.
Several forces have converged to make do-it-yourself learning more popular and possible than ever. People can access learning resources through the internet and their network contacts; companies are not offering as many formal training opportunities; and people aren’t willing to sit through a formal workshop when their needs are more focused. But self-directed learning isn’t as easy as it looks. I have enjoyed exploring what long-standing theory and research can tell us about how to support self-directed learning without overengineering it. And those insights help us as individual learners as well.
The success of modern learning strategies – which include informal, self-directed, digital, social, and experiential elements – hinges on the quality of the organization’s learning culture. The concept of learning culture has been examined by theorists for decades in the form of research and models on culture, learning organizations, and organizational learning and we can use that foundation to inform our efforts to influence and cultivate learning culture.
So much of what we learn is through and with other people; therefore, understanding the dynamics of social learning is critical to making effective recommendations. Theory and research in this arena divides by type of social relationship – communities of practice, coaching, peer-to-peer learning, mentoring, personal knowledge networks, and more. But some core principles emerge across those separate streams of literature, and we can draw from these foundations to support social learning in all forms.
I learned to appreciate the treasure trove of theory and research in our field through my doctoral studies and have since been a strong advocate for grounding our practice in the theory and research of the field. That mode of operating goes by several different names: scholarly practice, research-informed practice, evidence-based practice and more. In my work in this arena, I’ve tried to provide some guidance on how to be a scholar-practitioner with emphasis on doing that as a practitioner in the field, with all the opportunities, challenges, and constraints that brings.
Become an Adult Learning PRO. Training & Development 48(4), published by the Australian Institute of Training and Development. (December 2021)
People who work in L&D roles often have trouble making room for their own professional development, but it’s critical that we do so. The skills that are needed are many and complex. Our work is changing fast, and new roles open up every day. Having been a learning professional for my entire career, I’m full of advice about how to succeed in this field. Hopefully, it’s good advice; certainly, I try to ensure it’s both evidence- and experience-based.
Instructional design, which these days includes learning strategy design in all its forms, is at the core of my work. In developing professionals in our field, I’ve spent time analyzing both the art and the process of design as well as the expansive set of skills that are needed for mastery in this ever-evolving activity.
It is my honor to serve as adjunct faculty for several graduate programs in human resource development. The professionals I meet in these classes give me faith in the future of our profession. I teach online, and I appreciate the opportunity to design these courses myself (for the most part). Syllabi available on request.
Clemson University MS Human Resource Development (2022-present) > Instructional Systems Design – MHRD 8470 > Consulting for Education and Industry – MHRD 8700
University of Georgia MEd Human Resources and Organizational Development (2015, 2020 – present) > Training Design and Delivery – LLOD 7040 > Career Development – LLOD 8410
LaSalle University MS Instructional Design (beginning Fall 2023) MS Instructional Technology Management (2012 – 2018) > The Adult as Learner – ITM 605 > Emerging Technology – ITM 672 > eCollaboration – ITM 640 > Client Communication and Consulting – ITM 630
George Washington University EdD Human and Organizational Learning (2008, 2011, 2017-2019, 2021-22) Classroom-based executive program (courses co-designed and co-taught) > Doctoral Dissertation Practicums > Foundations of Human and Organizational Learning – HOL 8700 > Adult Learning – HOL 381
University of Louisville MS Human Resources and Organizational Development (2018-2021) > Instructional Design and Development – ELFH 672 > Adult and Organizational Learning – ELFH 661 > Performance Improvement – ELFH 671 > Strategic HR Leadership – ELFH 611
Gwynedd Mercy University EdD Leadership in Higher Education (2016-2020) > Dissertation Chair
Drexel University MS Human Resource Development (2012 – 2014, 2016-2018)
Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg MS Training and Development (2014 – 2016)
Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley MS Instructional Systems (2005-2012) | Classroom-based program
Chestnut Hill College MS Instructional Technology (2007-2011) | Hybrid program
I also write a topical newsletter, and I always include links to newly published material. Check out the archive and subscribe below.