Going Beyond Adult Learning Theory

These are some of the filters we use at Hartke Designs to push our instructional design thinking. This list started as I worked alongside Anna Belyaev at Type A Learning Agency from 2004-2008 and has been honed, shaped, and sharpened by every project since.

The filters

  1. How can we ask learners to put a stake in the ground? …to find their why?
  2. Are we making sure no one can miss the main point?
  3. Does this sound like we are in an actual conversation?
  4. What do our learners need to unlearn or let go of?
  5. What stores will bring this content to life? What other perspectives can we weave in?
  6. Telling ain’t training*… how can we push the experience to include applying, doing, practice?
  7. Can we have people get real work done?
  8. What can we cut?
  9. What can we make visible?
  10. What rhythms or routines can we put in place?

* Reading Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps in graduate school has always stuck with me. It’s worth a read and was updated in 2011.

Questions to consider

  • How has one of these filters shown up in your work?
  • What filter would you like to “play with” on a current project? How might it make a difference?
  • Is there a filter you use to get unstuck or push your thinking?

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