Spark: The Art and Science of Adult Learning

Spark: The Art and Science of Adult Learning

Event Information


Feb 12, 2018 - Feb 14, 2018 Eastern


Virtual - Online with Voice over IP audio

CAE Hours:




Member Price:


NonMember Price:


Access Points:



CAE Credits: Registrants will earn a maximum of 12 CAE credits.

Providing professional development programs that align with your association’s goals is increasingly challenging in an environment where technology is constantly evolving, member expectations are rising, and competition is growing. Spark: The Art and Science of Adult Learning is a three-day virtual conference designed for association professionals to explore current trends in association education and plan future directions for professional development programs that drive nondues revenue.

Through a virtual and interactive platform, Spark incorporates live chat into sessions, allowing you to share your insights and learn from your peers about adult learning strategy, instructional design methodology, and the art and science of personalized learning, engagement, and technology. Register today to:

  • explore association professional development trends
  • discover strategies to remain nimble in the face of technological advances
  • learn best-practice techniques and how to apply them to your programming.

The online conference is scheduled over a three-day period and features live online sessions and facilitated chat discussions. Before the first day of the online conference, registrants will receive login information and links to test their computer and become acquainted with the platform. Participants will have access to recorded sessions, reference materials, and more for up to 60 days following the program.

Registration for this online conference will close Friday, February 9, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Register here for the full series, or register for one or more individual sessions:

Day 1: Learning Design, Theory, Tools

Day 2: Learning Applications and Case Studies

Day 3: Learning Strategy, Impact, and Future Trends

  • Agenda

    • Monday, February 12, 2018

      11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
      Opening Keynote: Emerging Perspectives on Adult Learning Styles in Associations

      12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
      Adult Learning Theory: Andragogy Model of Malcolm Knowles
      Pursuing Excellence in Curriculum Development and Assessments

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Experiential Learning: Experience as the Framework for Learning
      Mastering the Latest E-Tools in Adult Learning

      3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
      Learning Issues in Organizations Today: Challenges and Solutions
      Intellectual Property Rights and Legal Issues in Adult Learning

      Tuesday, February 13, 2018

      11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
      Best Practice for Learning: Principles That Engage and Inspire Adult Learners

      12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
      Learning Through Framing: Content and Conceptualization
      Speaker Training: Transitioning From Face-to-Face to Virtual Conferences

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Deep Dive Into Software Used to Design Online Learning
      Deep Dive for Social Learning: The Art of Observation

      3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
      Project Management and E-Learning: Stages, Tools, and Techniques
      High-Impact Surveys: Effective Assessment of Learning

      Wednesday, February 14, 2018

      11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
      Aligning Learning Solutions With Corporate Strategy

      12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
      Strategic Education Development: Strategic Planning for Learning
      Using Behavioral Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making to Improve Learning Outcomes

      2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      Low-cost Virtual Reality Solutions for Learning
      Using Gamification to Drive Learner Performance

      3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
      Closing Keynote: Future Trends in Adult Learning in Associations

  • Speakers

    • author image

      Debra A. Zabloudil, FACHE, CAE

      Debra Zabloudil, CAE, FACHE serves as the President, CEO, and Founder of the Learning Studio, which serves the association and corporate communities in a variety of consulting, thought leadership and training needs. She travels the globe, producing educational content for leaders, running consulting projects for professional and trade associations and speaking, facilitating and designing workshops and learning labs for customers, members and staffs of organizations worldwide. She is a frequent speaker and writer on all topics related to adult education and how to create high quality, and profitable, education offerings for members. She works regularly with various well-known organizations such as The Young Presidents Organization (YPO), International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, The American Hospital Association, the American Planning Association, The Association Forum and more. She is also an Association Forum John T. Thiel award winner, a PCMA “Best in Class” speaker and a graduate of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. helping the overall education portfolio become high functioning, as well as developing products and services for specific market niches. Prior to launching this new firm, Debra served in various roles in association management, including Regional Director, the Young Presidents Organization, Director of Learning Experiences at the Association Forum of Chicagoland, Director of Education of the Joint Commission and various senior roles at the American College of Healthcare Executives. Debra received her bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University, and her master’s degree in Management of Public Service from DePaul University. She has earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Debra is a past chair of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and speaks and writes regularly on the topic of association education.

      author image

      Jerald A. Jacobs, Esq.

      Jerry Jacobs is a partner with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, in Washington, DC, and head of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations Practice. He is general counsel to ASAE and has produced a dozen books on nonprofit organization law, including the Association Law Handbook, 5th Edition, published in 2012.

      author image

      Benjamin Muscolino

      Client Driven Entrepreneur, Sometimes Speaker, Technology lover, Reader of Tech News. From a small town outside of Rochester, NY, living in the DC metro area. I'm lucky to have the job of listening to my clients and working with amazing associations and nonprofits to help them make more informed forward thinking decisions with their business and technology. As a tech executive, accessibility, support and building the right culture of employees, customers and partners are my highest priorities. Thankfully all of these lead to doing great business, which ultimately leads to everyone having a little fun too.

      Patti Phillips

      Patti Phillips, Ph.D. is president and CEO of ROI Institute, Inc., the leading source of ROI competency building, implementation support, networking, and research. She helps organizations implement the ROI Methodology in over 60 countries. Patti serves as Principal Research Fellow for The Conference Board, People Analytics Board Chair for the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), board member of the Center for Talent Reporting, and ATD CPLP Certification Institute Fellow. She also serves on the faculty of the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy, and The University of Southern Mississippi’s PhD in Human Capital Development program. Her work has been featured on CNBC, EuroNews, and over a dozen business journals.

      Robert Moore

      Bob Moore, CAE, MA, currently serves as the first COO of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, a 30,000 member association. Previously, Bob served as the first executive director for the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), an amalgamation of technology trade organizations representing more than 22,000 technology-related companies across North America. He has also served as VP for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an 18,000-member association. Earlier in his almost 20-year career in association management, Bob worked with a variety of associations, including technology user groups, as associate director of education at SmithBucklin Corp. He also worked as the director of community-based initiatives at the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 60,000-member professional society. He’s also an ASAE DELP scholar.

      John Nawn

      John Nawn of The Perfect Meeting, Inc. develops formal and informal learning and content strategies for corporate and association meetings and events that grow revenues and increase market share. He is considered an authority on Meeting Design, having conducted the only large-scale industry research on the topic. He writes, speaks regularly, and conducts workshops on how to increase meeting value while reducing overall costs. He believes meetings and events represent one of the greatest unrealized opportunities to improve individual and organizational performance.

      author image

      Tracy King, MA, CAE

      Tracy King, MA, CAE is the Chief Learning Strategist & CEO of InspirEd. She leverages her more than 17 years in the education industry for associations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile learning programs. She specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She's a thought leader in education strategy and learning experience design. Through her speaking and consulting, she promotes leading edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference. Most recently, she has co-founded Expertise Enterprise, building competitive education and credentialing businesses to advance industries.

      Natalie Williams-Munger

      Natalie Williams-Munger is an experienced program manager and adjunct professor who has worked exclusively with adult student populations for the majority of her career. She is currently a full-time academic administrator at the University of California, San Francisco, and an adjunct professor in the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University. She holds a Master and Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literary Criticism, and is a doctoral candidate in Northeastern University’s Doctor of Education program. Her research interests include higher education administration, curriculum and program development, adult and online learning, composition, rhetoric, and medieval literature.

      Thomas Leary

      Thomas Leary, Ed.D. is a passionate educator and academic. He has over a decade's worth of faculty and administrative experience in higher education, in such areas as leadership, faculty development, instructional/learning design, curriculum management (course and program), assessment development, alternative learning strategies (competency-based education, modularization), and accreditation. His research interests include learning science and assessment, quality/continuous improvement, and data-driven operations.

      Paul Smith

      Paul Smith has spent over 25 years coordinating the development of training resources to support corporate initiatives and individual improvement toward achieving success. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated instruction in both the public and private sectors, as well as for all career levels and learning styles. He serves as The Waldinger Corporation’s Talent Development Manager. He is active within the Workplace Learning & Performance profession, including the Association for Talent Development. He has written multiple articles and a book for ATD on the topic of Structured On-the-Job Training.

      Chuck Griess

      Megan Torrance

      Megan Torrance, MBA is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to [execution] design, development, data and ultimately performance. She has over 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment and consulting with organizations such as UnitedHealth Group, Dow Chemical, Kohler and Kellogg’s. TorranceLearning projects have won IELA and BrandonHall (2012, 2014, 2016) awards, the 2014 xAPI Hyperdrive contest at DevLearn, and back-to-back eLearning Guild DemoFest Best-In-Show awards in 2016/2017. Megan is a graduate of Cornell University and resides near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

      Susan Bessner

      Sue Bessner is Co-Director of Professional Development and Membership Engagement at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. She has more than 20 years’ experience in helping associations make data based decisions through research. She has conducted numerous types of association research projects including: member/non-member needs assessments, event evaluations, compensation surveys, and practice surveys. She oversees the development, execution, and evaluation of ADHA research programs and services, ensuring that goals of association and members are met. She manages several national research competitions as well as the Journal of Dental Hygiene (the association’s peer reviewed journal).

      John Fecci

      John Fecci is the Commercial Director of eLearning Studios. In his early career, he was known as a ‘techie’ and his teams were responsible for supporting 25% of the UK internet. He has delivered virtual reality training for blue-chip organizations such as Deloitte, GSK, British Gas, Roche, Nokia and the BBC.

      Dave Eng

      Dave Eng, Ed.D. is an adjunct professor and administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Rockland County, NY. His research interests include learning theory, technology, and games. He currently uses gamification and games based learning with his students. You can often find him around his favorite table top games. Find out more at

      Rohit Bhargava

      Rohit Bhargava, M.A. is a trend curator and storyteller who has dedicated his career to helping brands and leaders be more influential and believable by embracing their humanity and personality. He is the author of five best-selling business books on wide ranging topics including business trends and trust and believability. His first book, Personality Not Included, won the prestigious Gold Atticus award and is still widely cited as a favorite of executive leaders and CEOs around the world for its groundbreaking ideas on leadership, branding and personality. Over the past 18 years, he has advised hundreds of global brands and has lived and worked in multiple countries. Since leaving the corporate world to become an entrepreneur, he has founded multiple companies dedicated to helping pioneering leaders evolve and transform their business to succeed in the future. He has been invited to headline events in 31 countries. He is a two time TEDx speaker and routinely rated among the top speakers in the world on marketing, branding and actionable business trends. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor of marketing and storytelling at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

      Noelle Akins

      Noelle Akins, M.A. is the Senior Change Management Consultant for Navigator Management Partners. She is passionate about helping organizations achieve learning outcomes that matter. With 20 years of experience in training and development, performance improvement and organizational alignment, Noelle brings a systems approach to the evaluation of learning and performance improvement initiatives. She has helped organizations in education, R&D, manufacturing, services, government, and non-profit sectors measure and meet their learning goals on workgroup, department and organizational levels. She is a certified Prosci Change Management Practitioner and is a licensed professional counselor. Along with helping businesses align learning and organizational outcomes, she helps leaders create personal alignment to live in congruence with their personal values.

      Michael McKenzie Grant

      Michael McKenzie Grant, MFA is the Director of Learning Design and Development at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), where he leads the learning experience design and development of interactive training courses for global users in the accounting profession. Throughout his career, he has helped lead learning development teams and instructionally designed and developed eLearning courses for Fortune 500 companies. He is a former college instructor and department chair and has presented his research on interactive multimedia for educational reinforcement at major conferences, such as the E-Learn World Conference for Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education.

  • Policies

    • Our Guarantee

      Our goal is to provide truly exceptional offerings and service, and we won't be happy until you are. If any programs, products or services of ASAE do not fulfill our promise, we will make the situation right.

      Cancellation, Refund & Substitution Policy

      Submit all requests to ASAE Registration via email at [email protected] All registration cancellations and refund requests must be made in writing by February 5, 2018, to receive a full refund, less a $75 administrative fee. Refunds cannot be approved for requests received after this date, to include no-shows. Substitutions are gladly accepted at any time. Badge sharing, splitting, and reprints are strictly prohibited.

      Event Cancellation or Postponement

      ASAE reserves exclusive right to modify, postpone/reschedule or cancel programs for any reason, including but not limited to emergency, inclement weather or other 'acts of God.' If there is an event cancellation, every attempt will be made to reschedule, and registration fees will be applied to the rescheduled event date. Any travel, lodging, or incidental expenses incurred related to a cancelled event cannot be refunded under any circumstances. If a cancelled event cannot be rescheduled, ASAE will determine an equitable basis for the refund of a portion or all of the registration fees, after due consideration of circumstances and expenditures.

      Consent to Use of Photographic Images

      Registration and attendance at, or participation in, ASAE meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant or attendees' image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by ASAE and other third parties, including but not limited the venue, the host city and the host CVB.