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Let Them Choose

Cafeteria Learning Style for Adults

By  Jillian Douglas, Shannon McKenzie

A model for social experiential learning focused on choice.

Lecturing on its own is ineffective. But what’s the alternative? Combine the best of brain science and learning theory with the power of choice. Deliver meaningful training programs that stimulate your learners, rather than bore them to sleep.

Let Them Choose shows you how to get participants out of their seats and into station-based activities catered to distinct learning preferences, interaction types, and technology options. Part experiential, part social, and part emotional, the Cafeteria Learning Style model encourages learners to explore and absorb content at their own speed and direction. It puts learners in the best position to succeed.

Supercharge the relevance of your content by encouraging learners to act, problem-solve, and construct their own knowledge. Apply content (the ingredients) to a variety of interchangeable activities (the recipes) that result in learning experiences (the meal) that acknowledge their diversity. Allow them to choose whether to engage with your content through collaboration, competition, movement, or reflection, on their own or with a partner or group.

Adult learning experts Shannon McKenzie and Jillian Douglas walk you through designing, facilitating, and measuring a learning experience that’s proven to delight your learners. Watch retention and engagement soar as you use this easily replicable model to give your training program participants the freedom to choose.


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Jillian Douglas

Jillian Douglas is co-founder and chief experience officer for Idea Learning Group. With more than 20 years of experience in adult education, Jillian has a passion for conceptualizing and delivering operational, managerial, and leadership-focused employee development programs. She also facilitates classroom learning and conducts speaking engagements on a wide variety of topics related to adult learning and development. 

Shannon McKenzie
Shannon McKenzie is co-founder and chief operating officer of Idea Learning Group, where she oversees business operations, leads a talented team of learning consultants, and dishes out daily doses of wit. Shannon has a passion for ensuring that each individual’s learning needs are met clearly, simply, and effectively and helping people perform their work more efficiently and businesses excel.


Finally, a book that speaks the truth about the perils of corporate training. Bravo to Jillian and Shannon for addressing the action-oriented, give-it-to-me-quickly learning needs of today’s adults. Cafeteria Learning will be the next evolution of design criteria to usher instructional designers, trainers, and change strategists into the future.”

Tracey L. Adams
Change and Learning Strategist, Nike
Let Them Choose puts adult learners in the driver’s seat by elevating ownership and participation in the learning process. The element of surprise—due to the innovative approach or a moment of self-discovery—will make your learning stick! In a workplace full of distractions, Cafeteria Learning is the best way to deliver training.”
Beth Allen
Director of Learning Service
Viewpoint Construction Software

Book Details

ISBN: 9781562866402

Pages: 144

Pub Date: October 2016

Formats: Paperback, PDF

Product Code: 111617

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