Coaches model and support educators to design learning experiences and environments to meet the needs and interests of all students.
I never thought of myself as a Learning Designer. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t have formal teaching experience. I have a lot of informal experience or maybe a better word is non-traditional. I have “volun-told” as a teaching assistant for my mom in her K-12 courses and been an assistant in other similar volunteer experiences, but those moments didn’t allow me to develop skills as a learning designer.
I do however, have experience developing multiple onboarding sessions for student employees and held a variety of professional development sessions to help staff or faculty learn new technologies.
The DEL program allowed me to explore this skill and connect more of my experiences together with the concept of what a learning designer is. Below you will find evidence, spread across four different subsections (indicators) of how I believe I am a Learning Designer where I work, even though I still don’t think of myself in this way.
Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
When I worked in ETM, I had the opportunity to work with faculty for five and half years, on various aspects of their courses. Sometimes it was fixing something, sometimes it was course planning, or program development. In each of those interactions, while I could just fix the issue and move on, I also thought it was a good opportunity to learn more about their courses and reasons behind why something is setup the way it is. These conversations allowed me to then ask follow up questions to help both them and myself think about their courses in new and different ways; which led to some faculty to make adjustments to their courses in order to make them more authentic activities while providing agency.
In the DEL program I explored this more when I talked about how we could foster more creativity in portfolios, encourage more participation in hackathons, and make an asynchronous course more “active.”
At work I also put together some resources to help faculty further develop their courses, based on lessons we had learned in the pandemic. This lead to the creation of an Online Course Checklist, Strategies to Humanize Online Courses, a Course Map Planning Template, and an Online Course Beset Practices slideshow on the ETM website.