My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Will Thalheimer


This month we start the First Friday of November 2013 with another of my favorite gurus…

Will Thalheimer

I met Will Thalheimer (tall-hi-mer)  at an ISPI conference – 15 or so years ago I believe, but I have really learned from him since then via his web site and occasional posts on Social Media and in an email group associated with ISPI where he and I are members.

Will brings the research into practice, in his writings, presentations, and his consulting practice.

Thalheimer - Will Thalheimer

From his LinkedIn profile

Will is a … Learning-to-performance strategist, learning consultant, learning researcher, learning benchmarker, program evaluator, speaker, workshop provider, simulation architect, instructional designer, business leader, product-line leader.

Specialties: evidence-based practice, instructional design, e-learning design, leadership development, change management, assessment, research.

From Learning Solutions Magazine

Dr. Will Thalheimer began work in the learning-and-performance field in 1985. He has worked as an instructional designer, simulation architect, project manager, product manager, trainer, consultant, and researcher; his clients have included organizations such as Rockwell, Raytheon, Boeing, Kodak, and the U.S. Postal Service. He has published papers, research reports, and articles on instructional design and e-Learning; and spoken at national conferences and local industry meetings. Dr. Thalheimer founded Work-Learning Research in 1998 to compile and disseminate research on learning and performance. He is a recipient of the 2002 International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) Research Grant.

Some Videos

Here are a series of Will on video:

The Learning Landscape Model by Dr. Will Thalheimer

Dr. Will Thalheimer – Situation‐Based Learning Design

Dr. Will Thalheimer – Simulations that Work: What the Research Says..

Learning and Forgetting Curves — In Depth

There are more – and I am sure that you know how to find them!


One Many Things I Learned From Will Thalheimer

The Forgetting Curve. Is steep!

From this Blog Post:

… forgetting depends on many things, for example:

  • The type of material that is being learned
  • The learners’ prior knowledge
  • The learners’ motivation to learn
  • The power of the learning methods used
  • The contextual cues in the learning and remembering situations
  • The amount of time the learning has to be retained
  • The difficulty of the retention test
  • Etc.

He shares his wisdom, and he should be in your crowd….

What I Also Learned From Will 


He follows up the Learning & Forgetting Curve in this free PDF: Spacing Learning Events Over Time:  What the Research Says.

Some Great Resources From Will For You

Are available at his web iste – and 

Will’s Articles & Publications

Many of Will’s writings may be found at various web sites. Search for those. Here are a couple:

In need of some space? Dr. Will Thalheimer understands.

Evaluation e-Learning 2.0: Getting Our Heads Around the Complexity

Connecting and Networking with Will via the Web & Social Media

Will’s LinkedIn page is – here.

His web site is – here.

Will’s Blog is available  – here.

He Tweets – here.

Phone 617-718-0067
Address 2 Belmont Terrace Somerville MA 02143 United States of America

Share Your Stories

If Will  Thalheimer has been a valuable influence and/or resource for you – please share your stories about that in the comments section below.

Or simply share a URL there that is relevant.

And – thank you – for sharing!

The My First Friday Favorite Guru Series

We each have many influencers, mentors, both active and passive, knowingly and unknowingly in their respective roles in our development.

This series is my attempt to acknowledge all of them… one by one… in no particular order… as I attempt to consciously reflect on what I have have learned and who I have learned it from, regarding all things “Performance Improvement” – my focus.

I have a long list.

Lucky me.

Next month – the last of this year –  Bill Wiggenhorn.

Links to All of the Past Posts in the MFFF Guru Series

Here is a page with links to all of the Past Posts below – here.

  • Will Thalheimer – November 2013
  • Roger Kaufman – October 2013
  • Roger Addison – September 2013
  • Ray Svenson – August 2013
  • Dick (Richard E.) Clark – July 2013
  • Allison Rossett – June 2013
  • Carol Panza – May 2013
  • Jane Bozarth – April 2013
  • Judy Hale – March 2013
  • Margo Murray- February 2013
  • Neil Rackham – January 2013
  • Robert (Bob) Mager – December 2012
  • Joe H. Harless – November 2012
  • Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan – September 2012
  • Geary A. Rummler – August 2012
  • Dale Brethower – July 2012

Here is a page with links to all of the above Past Posts – here.

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3 comments on “My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Will Thalheimer

  1. Pingback: T&D: Reflections on 40 Years in the Biz | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: L&D/PI: Thankful for My Many Mentors | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: Review: The My First Friday Favorite Guru Series | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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