There are 53 million freelancers in the US workforce.

By 2020, there will be 60 million.

With one of the fastest growing workforces in the nation, why is it is still so hard to "do the damn thing?" Many of you are still struggling with the same old quips.

struggle to have
a steady income


struggle to find new
work & clients


are unsure about what
skills are in demand

Why do the same problems persist?

The only viable options that exist aren't helping with the problem.

Art School is ... too expensive, too much debt.

Gig Platforms are ... devaluing work and finding the lowest possible pay point.

Online Education is ... not providing students with a roadmap or accountability.

Associations/Unions are ... filled with amateurs and outdated artists.

Adult Learning Theory Principles
(Why Art of Freelance Works)


Knowles’ 4 Adult Learning Theory Principles (pertaining to eLearning)

Principle of Andragogy 1 - Adults must have a hand in the design and development of their learning experience (the play an active role in their own experience, integral part of the development/implementation of curriculum)

Principle of Andragogy 2 - Experience should be at the root of all learning activities
(emphasis on the experience that is gathered through instruction and activities rather than memorization tasks)  

Principle of Andragogy 3 - Real life applications and benefits must be tied into/correlated with the course (elearning course)
(what are the real world benefits and applications, must know how it will give them an advantage in real life)

Principle of Andragogy 4 - Content should be problem-centered, how the content helps them to solve an issue they might run into outside of the classroom environment. Creative activities, simulations… these things help them store the information to their long term memory through association with an experience and repetition.


Bandura: Social Learning Theory (not exclusively adult learning theory, applies to all ages)

Social learning theory suggests that learning is a cognitive process. It occurs / takes place in a social situation or context. Learning occurs through the observation and mimicking of others behavior (a child will imitate the behavior of people he or she deems similar to them). Continues throughout life.

Observational learning (ambassadors and mentors)

Modeling occurs via: attention, retention, reproduction.


Social Learning Theory (originally by Miller and Dollard, expanded by Bandura, later Omrod)

Omrod (2003)

-People learn by observing others
-People behave in certain ways to reach goals

SLT believe that learning will most likely occur if there is a close identification between the observer and the model & has a strong sense of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy beliefs function as a set of “proximal determinants” (human motivation, affect, and action) all affected by motivational, cognitive and affective intervening processes.

Constructivism: theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas (Bruner)
(assumes that all knowledge is constructed from the learner’s previous knowledge.

Students should be guided to discover their own meanings through learning experiences rather than told what to think/believe.


Communities of Practice (Lave and Bruner):

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a social learning system, where knowledge is shared, negotiated, and co-constructed by members of the community (Wenger, 1998).

The characteristics of a CoP include:

(a) a Practice, which the group continuously shares

(b) a Community, made up of members who share a common interest in practicing together

(c) Meaning, the knowledge that is continuously co-constructed, circulated, and shared among community members

(d) Identity, the participants within the community who contribute to knowledge. The members of the group have varying levels of expertise from novice to expert and move toward full participation as they acquire knowledge around community practice

Group collaboration along with the social negotiation of ideas, values and meanings are key components in the Community of Practice Framework and are reflective of Vygotsky’s ideas around the ZPD or Zone of Proximal Development.  


Zone of Proximal Development:

Vygotsky developed the concept of ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) after discovering that students learned more when they collaborated with others and asserted that learning “awakens a variety of developmental processes that are able to operate only when . . . interacting with people in his (her) environment and in cooperation with his (her) peers.”

ZDP is officially defined as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with peers.  Sounds complex, but essentially signifies that learning does not occur in isolation but develops in learners’ interactions with their social environment.


Jonassen’s (1991) design principles for constructivist learning environments include the following:

1. Create real-world environments that employ the context in which learning is relevant
2. Focus on realistic approaches to solving real-world problems
3. The instructor is a coach and analyzer of the strategies used to solve these problems
4. Stress conceptual interrelatedness, providing multiple representations or perspectives on the content
5. Instructional goals and objectives should be negotiated and not imposed
6. Evaluation should serve as a self-analysis tool
7. Provide tools and environments that help learners interpret the multiple perspectives of the world
8. Learning should be internally controlled and mediated by the learner.


Honebein’s Design Principles

According to Honebein (1996), “Designers of constructivist learning environments live by seven pedagogical goals.” The goals are to:

1.     Provide experience with the knowledge construction process (Students take primary responsibility for determining the topics in a domain they pursue, the methods of how they learn, and the strategies or methods for solving problems. The role of the teacher is to facilitate this process)
2.     Provide experience in and appreciation for multiple perspectives
3.     Embed learning in realistic and relevant contexts
4.     Encourage ownership and voice in the learning process  -This is the facilitation of students to find and express their own voice (through art, writing, performance, etc) as well as to take ownership of their experience.
Embed learning in social experience
6.     Encourage the use of multiple modes of representation
7.     Encourage self-awareness in the knowledge construction process.

*Using a set of design goals or formulating a select combination may add structure and direction to the design (or use them to evaluate the course exercises, projects, etc).



Bruner, J. E. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman.

Honebein, P. C. (1996). Seven goals for the design of constructivist learning environments. Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design, 11-24.

Lambert, J. (2012). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community. New York, NY: Routledge.

McLeod, S. A. (2011). Bandura - Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from

Smeda, N., Dakich, E., & Sharda, N. (2014). The effectiveness of digital storytelling in the classrooms: a comprehensive study. Smart Learning Environments, 1(1), 1-21. doi:10.1186/s40561-014-0006-3

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press