Facilitator and Learning Designer
Beth Cougler Blom Facilitation
EDST Degree/s and graduation year/s
Adult Learning and Education (ALE)
Sooke, BC, Canada
Beth Cougler Blom is a facilitator and learning designer/instructional designer who works with clients across all sectors to help them design and facilitate great learning experiences, both in person and online. Beth has held administrative and learning design roles in non-profit, municipal government, and post-secondary institutions. She launched her company, Beth Cougler Blom Facilitation, in 2011. Beth spent several years on the instructional design team at Royal Roads University and has taught in RRU’s Graduate Certificate in Workplace Innovation and through RRU Professional & Continuing Studies. She regularly also teaches faculty development workshops for BCcampus and other clients and organizations, as well as public offerings through her own company. Beth is a Facilitator and Trainer of the Instructional Skills Workshop and has been deeply involved in the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) courses offered by Royal Roads University and BCcampus for many years. Her first book, Design to Engage: How to Create and Facilitate a Great Learning Experience For Any Group, was published in 2021. Beth co-stewards the Vancouver Island Liberating Structures User Group in addition to convening the Victoria Facilitators Group. She also hosts the Facilitating on Purpose podcast, which is all about designing and facilitating learning. Beth graduated with her M.Ed. in Adult Education from UBC in 2005. She can be reached via https://bethcouglerblom.com
What are some accomplishments or highlights that you are most proud of?
I’ve had the good fortune to work on a wide variety of interesting design and facilitation-related projects but particularly my involvement with the Instructional Skills Workshop and the Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) courses – including being a co-author of an open textbook about how to implement the FLO courses – have been impactful. Writing a book in the field – Design to Engage: How to Create and Facilitate a Great Learning Experience For Any Group – has probably been my biggest accomplishment to date.
What is something that you needed to learn (beyond your degree) or unlearn to be able to work in your sector?
Beyond the time I spent doing my degree I had to educate myself about the practical aspects of learning design and facilitation while on the job and while working with different clients across all sectors. One example of something I had to really go out and teach myself is why learning outcomes are such a foundational part of a learning design process, how to write them and how to design participatory, active sessions that align with outcomes. Learning about adult learning theories is great, but it has to be then followed up by real life practical on the job experience, to see how things work and don’t in real life. Because I balance both work as a learning designer and a facilitator, I don’t rely on just theories to get me through, I can see what works and what doesn’t with real learners – either in person or online.
What does meaningful contribution mean to you?
Meaningful contribution means not only accumulating knowledge for myself as I go throughout my career, and sharing that with my clients, but giving back to the community as much as I can. Because of this, I lead/co-lead two different communities of practice for people who are facilitators/learning designers, and highly value both the learning that I get from being a part of these groups and leading them, and also what I’m able to bring to others…a place to learn, connect, and grow with each other. I’ve always held an abundant mindset about doing this kind of work as an entrepreneur. There are many of us out there in the same position, so why would we view each other as competitors? I’ve always viewed colleagues as collaborators, and this has been a way for us all to meaningfully contribute to each other, and to the field. Similarly, I spend a lot of time on social media sharing tips and strategies around learning design and facilitation, to help the entire field grow and learn.