Malcolm Knowles’ Six Assumptions for Adult Learners

If you teach learners over the age of 17 or 18, then you basically have adult learners on your hands.

According to educator Malcolm Knowles, there are 6 assumptions that you can hold in your mind while you are creating curriculum that is relevant and engaging for your adult learners. I’ve summarized these 6 assumptions here in this image:

malcolm knowles

For a more in-depth look, check out The Adult Learning Theory – Andragogy – of Malcolm Knowles by Christopher Pappas at E-Learning Industry.


  • Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.

Do these assumptions ring true to your experience? Do you implement any of them into your curriculum? Share your responses by posting a comment below.

Help support this site by purchasing educational resources through these links:

Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide

Article On “Human Capital” Analytics

I’ve never really like the term human capital to refer to the people that work in an organization. Human power is definitely a resource that any organization needs to sustain itself, there’s no doubt about that.startup-photos

This article by Mike Hruska, President and CEO of Problem Solutions along with Phil Antonelli — now a senior learning manager at RNA Group in Denver — discusses mobile devices to collect performance data as well as xAPI — an experience application programming interface for learning analytics which could replace SCORM.

Read more at the E-Learning Brothers blog:

Simplest Pinhole Camera to see the Solar Eclipse in Toronto or Waterloo

There is definitely a lot of talk about today’s eclipse, and this info is probably coming to you a bit late but there is a simple way to view the total solar eclipse (or in my region of Canada, it will be a partial solar eclipse).

My wife and I used this technique for the partial eclipse that was visible in Waterloo a couple of years ago (2014 I think).

To view the eclipse without special equipment, you simply need a piece of paper or thin cardstock such as a business card or even a cereal box.

  • Poke a hole in the centre of the card.


This is not for looking through! It is used to create a projection of the sun and moon’s shadow onto another card or even a wall if you have one in the right position.

  • Keep your back to the sun.

Light from the sun will shine through the hole and onto a surface such as a wall or another card or sheet of paper.

  • Take a photo or trace the image.

This would be a great way to demonstrate the eclipse to children in a classroom or as a keepsake for your kids.

Check out these links for more details on how to take photos of the total solar eclipse or how to make a pinhole projector you can use in the classroom or at home.


Vector vs Raster (Bitmap) Graphics

Understanding the difference between vector graphics — which are mathematical sets of instructions on how to display an image — and raster images — which are collections of coloured squares arranged on a grid — is crucial to creating effective designs using computer software. Whether it’s designing a logo, making a web page, or creating a handout for your students, understanding the different types of images and when each is best suited for the job will help you get better results from your design work.

Check out this video from Adobe about the difference between vector graphics and raster graphics. It also explains a bit about Adobe Illustrator, which is the industry standard tool for creating vector graphics and combining them with other elements.

Saving an Excel workbook for Multiple Users

Document sharing can be a hassle. A feature that’s already built into Excel can help you use Excel for simple collaboration for small groups. Of course, this shouldn’t take place of a more robust collaboration or document sharing tool, but can be set up in a pinch.

If multiple people need to work on an Excel spreadsheet stored on a network drive, access to the file can be made much easier by setting two options from the Save As dialog box.

These settings can be made at any time, just by using the Save As feature to save the workbook back over itself. You don’t even have to change the name.

The following instructions show you how to set the workbook to use a feature called
Read-only recommended as well as setting an automatic backup every time the file is saved.


  1. When the file is open on your computer, click File > Save As and choose the folder you want to save the file into. The Save As dialog will appear as shown here:
  2. Next, click the Tools option and choose General Options.
  3. From the General Options dialog, place a check mark beside Always create backup, and Read-only recommended.

    Select Always Create backup and Read-only recommended.
    Note: You can also choose to set a password that would be required to open the file, and a different password that could be used to allow the file to be modified.
  4. With the options set the way you want, click OK and then click Save.

Now whenever a user tries to open a file, if it is available for writing to (which means someone else doesn’t have it open and is making changes to it) they will see a dialog asking them if they want to open it as Read-Only.

This allows the other user to finish their editing. The user who opens the file as Read-Only will not see the changes from the other user until they close the document and open it again.

If you choose NO, you will be able to write to the file as normal.

If you do not see that dialog box, the file has opened in normal mode allowing you to modify and save the changes.

I hope that helps you work with Excel files with multiple users. I’ve run into this situation where Sharepoint or other document sharing solutions are not in place.

Do you have any suggestions on how to work with Excel files and multiple users? Do you have good experience with Sharepoint? Add details in a comment below!

Excel Spreadsheet Training Provided by Black Ink Technical Training and E-learning Solutions

Hello everyone, and welcome to Black Ink Training. We are in the process of developing our online material for a number of applications, but we’ll be focusing on Excel and using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) first.

As a starting point, below is an older video I created for my computer students what explains the basics of using Excel. In the near future I’ll be updating the material and providing detailed training for Excel 2016 on both Mac and Windows platforms. This video is for Excel 2007, but the basics apply to all current versions of Excel as well as other spreadsheet applications such as Google Spreadsheets and even Apple Numbers.


If you have any Excel questions you want answered, post a comment.

Follow us on Twitter@blackinktech or Instagram @blackinktraining.

Get over 1 million rows in Excel

A lot of people complain that you can’t work with more than 1 million rows of data in Microsoft Excel. Well, now you can!

Using the Power Pivot plug in in Excel 2013 or the fully integrated Power Pivot tab in Excel 2016, Excel now has a powerful database infrastructure that easily handles many millions of rows stores inside the Data Model portion of the file. Your only limits are really just the amount of RAM and speed of your processor.