Marjorie  Treff Profile Image
Marjorie Treff
Assistant Clinical Professor
W.W. Wright Education Building Room 2234
Phone : (812) 856-8461
Fax: (812) 856-8239
Send me an e-mail
Department:  Instructional Systems Technology
Affiliations:  Adult Education, Academic Advising


My teaching / learning philosophy can be described very succinctly: I am a constructivist and humanist. I believe the most authentic and meaningful learning is self-directed, and based on experience. As an adult educator, it is both my passion and obligation to ask learners to question all assumptions, to think critically, and communicate what they know with others.


In the courses I teach, learners assume active roles, acting as creative and knowledgeable participants not only in their own learning, but also in relationship to others with whom they learn. I incorporate into my teaching practices my beliefs that teaching and learning involves creating communities of practice grounded in mutual respect, and ways to be connected. For any group of individuals to participate in creating community, to cooperate, to collaborate, to share common understandings and meanings, all voices must be heard, all meanings negotiated, and all power shared; the responsibility for each one belongs to everyone. As an educator, I must meet learners at their individual development level and construct learning events with learners that are relevant to their lives.


My research interests are closely linked to my philosophy: framed by the methods and activities in Participation Training (a graduate course in the Adult Education degree program), I study the relationships between group processes and transformative learning on adult development among nontraditional returning adult students, and the ways in which that development influences academic retention and success, and the acceptance of personal and social responsibility.


The courses I teach for the Adult Education master’s degree include:

  • New Student Orientation
  • Introduction to Adult Education Theory
  • Forms and Forces in Adult Education
  • Program Planning and Development in Adult Education
  • Adult Learning Through the Lifespan
  • The Teaching-Learning Transaction in Adult Education
  • Advanced Program Planning: Power and Voice
  • Distance Education Systems
  • Small Group Theory
  • Instructional Technology Foundations
  • Participation Training (face to face, residential)
  • All of our independent study courses



Freire, P., & Freire, P. (1973). Education for critical consciousness. New York: Continuum.



  • Kwon, K., Di Silvestro, F. D. & Treff, M. E. (2016). Online graduate course evaluation from both students’ and peer instructors’ perspectives utilizing Quality MattersTM. Internet Learning Journal.
  • Treff, M., & Earnest, S. (2016). Intentionally Developmental Teaching: Applying Process Tools for Adult Learner Development. Adult Learning, 27(1). American Association of Adult & Continuing Education: Washington, DC.
  • Treff, M.E. & Earnest, S.E. (2016). Facilitation in Action: The Reflective Practice of Two Facilitators Using a Participation Training Model. Special Issue, Adult Learning, 27(3). American Association of Adult & Continuing Education, Washington, DC.
  • Koop, A., McCollum, K., McKinney Han, K., Nicola, C., & Treff, M. (2012). Indiana University’s Mini University: A model in lifelong learning. Journal of Teaching & Education, 1(4). ISSN: 2156- 6266.
  • Glowacki-Dudka, M., & Treff, M. (2010). Forming an institutional culture with multinational administrators and teachers at Effat College, Saudi Arabia. Intercultural Education, 22(2), pp. 207-222.
  • Glowacki-Dudka, M., Usman, I., & Treff, M. (2009). Intercultural Conflicts Between Close Friends: A Case Study of Power Relations in Continuing Education in Saudi Arabia. Convergence, 40(3).
  • Treff, M. (2008). Participation Training. Adult Learning, 17(1-4).
  • Treff, M., & Kostalkova, M. (2006). Intercultural praxis: examination of applied teaching practices from the perspectives of the Czech Republic and the United States. Collaborative Thesis, Silkeborg Seminarium, Silkeborg, Denmark.
  • Glowacki-Dudka, M., Treff, M., & Usman, I. (2005). Research for Social Change: Using Autoethnography to Foster Transformative Learning. Adult Learning, 16(3&4).


  • Treff, M., DiSilvestro, F., & Merrill, H. (2015, Nov. 17-20). Outcomes assessment: Learning from Capstone Portfolios. American Association for Adult & Continuing Education, 64th Annual Conference, Oklahoma City, OK.
  • DiSilvestro, F., Merrill, H., Johnson, J. & Treff, M. (2015, Nov. 17). Investigating Reflective Learning in Capstone Portfolios. Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult & Higher Education, Oklahoma City, OK.
  • Treff, M. (2014, Nov. 4-7). The Art of Facilitation: Applying Participation Training as a Developmental Dialogue Model at Highlander. American Association for Adult & Continuing Education, 63rd Annual Conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Koop, A.J., McCollum, K.M., McKinney Han, K.M., Nicola, C.L., Treff, M.E. (2012). Indiana University’s Mini University: A Model in Lifelong Learning. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Cain, R. & Treff, M. (2009, June 27-30). Intersecting cultural connections for doctoral persistence. Adult Education Research Conference, National Louis University, Chicago, IL.
  • Treff, M. (2008, June 5-7). Participation Training: a phenomenological examination of graduate student experiences. Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO.
  • Treff, M. (2007, Sept. 25-27). Descriptive case study: Participation Training Institute. Paper presented at the 26th Annual Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, Community, and Extension Education, Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, IN.
  • Treff, M. (2006). Woman in a man's world: an exploration of women's educational experiences in the seminary. Presented at the International Society of Educational Biographers, Chicago, IL.
  • Treff, M. (2005). Recognizing familiar voices: hearing working class and returning adult students in the Writing Center. Presented at the East Central Writing Centers Association, Adrian, MI.
  • DiSilvestro, F. R., & Treff, M. (2005). Creating and implementing outcomes-based online student interactive activities. Presenter, Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System All Partners Conference, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Treff, M. (2004). Holistic ethics: Whose rules? Whose realities? Preconference Roundtable Presentation, Midwest Research to Practice Conference, Indianapolis, IN.


  • Treff, M.E. & Dudka, M., Eds. (2016). Special Issue, Adult Learning: Embodying Authentic Leadership through Popular Education at Highlander Research and Education Center. American Association of Adult & Continuing Education, Washington, DC.

  • Earnest, S.E. & Treff, M.E. (2012). Plan, Practice, Participate: Strategies for more effective meetings. Earnest & Treff Consulting, llc: Indianapolis. Self-published.


  • Leadership skills: what are they, and how do we cultivate them? ?Ball State University Leadership Series, guest lecturer, Indianapolis, IN. Oct 11, 2014.
  • Ball State University Highlander Leadership Experience. Facilitator, Women in Leadership, Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, TN. May 15-18, 2014.
  • Dealing with Difficult People. 2013 Governor's Conference on Nonprofit Capacity Building, Indianapolis, IN. Oct. 4, 2013.
  • Developing shared leadership through Participation Training. Ball State University Leadership Series, guest lecturer, Indianapolis, IN. Sept. 7 and Sept. 28, 2013.
  • Ball State University Highlander Leadership Experience. Guest facilitator, Women in Leadership, Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, TN. May 14-17, 2013.
  • Workshop in Reflective Practice: Learning by Doing. With Dr. Steve Earnest. Instructional Systems Technology Conference, Bloomington, Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2013.
  • Building Democratic Communities through Participation Training. American Association for Adult & Continuing Education, concurrent session, Las Vegas NV. Nov. 9, 2012.
  • Indiana University’s Mini University: A Model in Lifelong Learning. Indiana Council for Continuing Education, Professional Development Conference. Invited presentation with Andrew J. Koop, Konnie M. McCollum, Katherine A. McKinney Han, Crystal L. Nicola, Indianapolis, IN. March, 2012.
  • Consensus Management and Leadership: Skills for Effective Meetings, with Dr. Steve Earnest. Indiana Nonprofit Capacity Building Conference and Indiana Achievement Awards Celebration, IUPUI, Sept. 28, 2012.
  • Guest Lecturer, IUPUI, V600, Graduate Capstone Course, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Oct. 1, 2011.
  • Doing Our Own Work. Panel Presentation with Jerry Peterson and Jain Young. Pi Lambda Theta 2010 Great Lakes Region II Professional Development and Leadership Conference, Fort Wayne, Sept. 18, 2010.
  • Challenges and rewards: Writing the history of Participation Training. Keynote address, graduate student colloquium, Department of Adult Education, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, February, 2009.
  • The three most important things. Commencement address, Department of Adult Education, School of Continuing Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, May 2009.
  • Graduate student writing strategies (Graduate student retreat presentation). Ball State University, Department of Educational Studies, Muncie, IN, 2007.
  • Higher Education in Denmark. Panel Presentation. Fort Wayne, IN: Pi Lambda Theta, 2007.

I am an active member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, and I currently serve my university and community in the following ways:

  • Graduate Studies Committee member
  • Dissertation subcommittee member
  • Title IX Review Board panelist
  • Marketing Committee, Instructional Systems Technology 
  • Admissions Committee, Instructional Systems Technology,
  • Midwest Tool Collectors Association Area F

Past service includes:

  • Guest lecturer, Ball State University, Cultural Identities & Community Engagement. Feb. 18, 2012.
  • Designed and negotiated successful graduate-level credit articulation agreement between IUPUI and Ball State University, 2011.
  • Intergroup Dialogue Workshops, IUPUI, August 2011.
  • Indiana Association for Childcare Resource and Referral; curriculum development team for online training for childcare specialists, governed by Paths2Quality, 2011.
  • Reviewer, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resources (, published electronically by Florida International University.
  • Facilitated Syracuse University Archives’ acquisition of Dr. John McKinley’s papers, 2008.
  • Graduate student representative to Contract Faculty Committee, Ball State University Student Government Association, 2007.
  • Dissertation Review Committee, Department of Educational Studies, Ball State University, 2007.
  • Consultant to design technology division for a newly-implemented associate degree program in Computer Graphics Specialty at Ivy Tech State College, 2004.
  • Developed partnership between the IPFW Writing Center and Concordia Lutheran High School, resulting in a Writing Center at that school, 2004-05 academic year.
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