My First Friday Favorite Guru: Patti Shank

Note: This has become an occasional Blog Post Series

Patti Shank, PhD


From Amazon

Patti Shank is an internationally recognized learning designer and analyst, researcher, and author who is cited as one of the elite international learning experts. She works with organizations to analyze and find solutions for organizational performance needs and is regularly asked to speak at conferences and train trainers, instructors, designers, and experts.

Patti authored, co-authored, or edited numerous learning books and eBooks. She was an award-winning contributing editor for Online Learning Magazine and the research director for the eLearning Guild. You can find her articles and research in eLearning Guild publications, Magna Publications’ Online Classroom, eLearning Industry, and ATD’s Science of Learning and Senior Leaders and Executives blogs.

Patti lives in Colorado, USA with her husband and fur babies, and loves to hike, read, cook, and travel.

From ATD

Patti Shank, PhD, CPT, is a learning designer and analyst at Learning Peaks, an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides learning and performance consulting. She is an often-requested speaker at training and instructional technology conferences, is quoted frequently in training publications, and is the co-author of Making Sense of Online Learning, editor of TheOnline Learning Idea Book, co-editor of The E-Learning Handbook, and co-author of Essential Articulate Studio ’09.

Patti was the research director for the eLearning Guild, an award-winning contributing editor for Online Learning Magazine, and her articles are found in eLearning Guild publications, Adobe’s Resource Center, Magna Publication’s Online Classroom, and elsewhere.

Patti completed her PhD at the University of Colorado, Denver, and her interests include interaction design, tools and technologies for interaction, the pragmatics of real world instructional design, and instructional authoring. Her research on new online learners won an EDMEDIA (2002) best research paper award. She is passionate and outspoken about the results needed from instructional design and instruction and engaged in improving instructional design practices and instructional outcomes.

I Am a Big Fan!

I first met Patti via an email exchange when I was recruiting speakers for my ISPI Charlotte Chapter back in 2009. I have followed her via Social Media since before that, and continue to respect her depth of knowledge about the research in the L&D/T&D field. And her willingness to share.

Of special note, Patti asked me to review her two latest books, and I was honored to do so. These two are #2 and #3 in her Deeper Learning Series – and all three – plus all future additions – should be on your physical or virtual bookshelf.

In the third book of that Deeper Learning series, Patti asked if she might reference my chapter, #11, in the 2006 Handbook of Human Performance Technology, I I agreed and she did:

Modeling Mastery Performance and Systematically Deriving the Enablers for Performance Improvement

Keep on the lookout for more books from Patti!

Resources > Training Research

Patti offers research resources related to Training on her website:

Patti’s Awards & Recognition

Patti’s 9 Books

  • Manage Memory for Deeper Learning: 21 evidence-based and easy-to-apply tactics that support memory while learning and beyond
  • Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning: 26 evidence-based and easy-to-apply tactics that promote deeper learning and application (Make It Learnable)

  • Write and Organize for Deeper Learning: 28 evidence-based and easy-to-apply tactics that will make your instruction better for learning (Make It Learnable Book 1)

  • The E-Learning Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Learning
  • The Online Learning Idea Book, Volume Two: Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning

  • The Online Learning Idea Book, Volume 1: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning

  • Be the (Best) Boss of You

  • Essential Articulate Studio ’09 (Wordware Applications Library)

  • Making Sense of Online Learning: A Guide for Beginners and the Truly Skeptical

For more information and/or to order, please go – here.


Patti on Video

Here are some of the videos you’ll find online featuring Patti…

Patti Shank & Mirjam Neelen – Future L&D – LT18 Conference

Patti Shank: Does instructional design have a future? LT15 Conference

TLDC 002: Patti Shank, PhD

eLearnChat 99: Dr. Patti Shank

eLearnChat 58: Patti Shank talks about extinction

eLearnChat 215: Patti Shank

Patti’s Consulting Services

Speaking and workshops

She does conference presentations and workshops on the following topics. All topics are based on actionable tactics from training research, learning research, information design principles, usability principles, and user experience principles. You need to know these to get the best possible outcomes from learning, training, and performance solutions.

  • The training and performance solutions needed in today’s chaotic business environments

  • Writing and organizing learnable instruction

  • Building needed practice activities and feedback

  • Building learnable multimedia

  • Analyzing performance problems and needs

Connect With Patti

On Twitter: @pattishank 

On LinkedIn:

Her Website:


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My First Friday Favorite Guru Series

Note: this Blog Post Series ran monthly from July 2012 until December 2015 when I adjusted its posting schedule from routine and monthly, to an occasional if not infrequent one.

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

This series of Blog Postings is my attempt to acknowledge all of them… one by one… in no particular order… as I try to consciously reflect on what I have have learned – and whom I have learned it from, regarding all things “Performance Improvement” – my focus – in my professional development over the past 30+ years.

To see the index of My First Friday Favorite Gurus, please go – here.

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