MS Education: Learning, Desgin, & Technology
The Master of Science in Education: Learning, Design, and Technology, is a relevant program in a digital age full of alternative educational options. Every school and corporation requires a plan for instruction and, currently, distance education options are a necessity, which should mandate Instructional Designers.
This rigorous and thorough program equips Instructional Designers with the tools they need to create effective, meaningful, engaging courses across every discipline. This summary of coursework highlights key issues and topics from each class within the program and the impact they have had on me as a designer. The classes are arranged in the order in which I took them.
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Before this review, many of my classes ran together in my mind. Revisiting syllabi, projects, papers, and modules has served as a valuable refresher of what I learned and has reminded me of some elements of design I want to go back to study and apply. Two classes that surprised me were Theory of Change and Introduction to Research, both taught by Dr. Williams. Theory of Change taught me how to systematize change and view it from multiple perspectives. It also gave me tools to be involved in organizational change and helping others change, which will be vital as a designer. I initially expected to dislike Introduction to Research, but I ended up loving the power of Mixed Research and have incorporated it into my own classes. I also feel I have a better understanding of how to interpret data and find the bias in other research, which is an important life skill, outside of design. Dr. Cain’s Instructional Technology course pushed me outside my comfort zone and I researched Artificial Intelligence Assisted Personalized Learning, something I have since built an entire course upon. This course has made dramatic changes in a positive direction for my students and my fellow instructors, and I was able to present it at the Wyoming Innovations Conference, which was professionally an incredible experience.
Dr. Wasilik’s classes are shining examples of online classes in terms of layout, clarity of expectations, release of modules, meaningful discussions, aligned assessments, flow of subject, and an available professor. Most notably, her semester-long projects that build in stages are excellent hands-on experiences that give her students real-world exposure to the situations they will encounter professionally. I have taken so many practical ideas from her that I incorporate into my own classes that make a tremendous difference. I chose to take Introduction to Online Teaching with her because I felt it would be beneficial for me. Indeed, it was exceptionally beneficial as she reviewed educational theories and applied them to online learning, and then built upon them with specific strategies and techniques to address online learning’s unique issues. Even though it was not a required class, I would recommend it to all students in this field as a foundation for everything to come.