Summary of Brilliance by Design

Creating Learning Experiences That Connect, Inspire, and Engage

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Brilliance by Design book summary
The “ENGAGE” model helps teachers connect with their learners via meaningful student-centered activities and focus.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Today’s learners want interactive content rather than traditional lectures. To that end, educator Vicki Halsey outlines her “Brilliance Learning System,” featuring several models that upend traditional methods. She outlines the “70/30 Principle,” which makes students responsible for their own learning. She says students (not teachers) should talk 70% and listen 30% of the time. Teachers should spend 70% percent of their time delivering content and only 30% on content design. Finally, students must practice new skills with 70% of their time after spending 30% learning them. Halsey also gives teachers the “ENGAGE” model for delivering meaningful, real-world content. For example, she urges teachers to create a positive first impression by sending pre-learning information to students before class to get them going. Other techniques for reaching students include using colorful visual aids, playing games and catering to different learning styles. Halsey also applies the model to virtual teaching. Her book is a great how-to manual but needs extra real-world examples, which would make it more interesting to read. getAbstract recommends her insights to teachers, corporate learning officers, coaches and other instructors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to reach students using several different models
  • Why and how the “70/30 Principle” and the “ENGAGE” model work
  • How other models work or don’t work
  • How to teach in a virtual learning environment


“The Brilliance Learning System”
Teachers can use the three-part Brilliance Learning System in any educational setting, including traditional classrooms, workshops, speeches and virtual teaching. Its three elements focus on content (what you teach), learners (who you teach) and strategy...
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About the Author

The vice president of Applied Learning at The Ken Blanchard Companies, Vicki Halsey, has 20 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator. She is a writer, speaker and coach.

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