The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: design

“What’s an instructional designer?”

By Lance Eaton

Lance Eaton - Brandeis GPS Online Education - Brandeis GPS BlogThat’s always the first question I get when I tell people that I am an instructional designer (an ID for those of us “in the know”).

It all started when I was 6 years old, and my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I peered up into his face and said with an earnest seriousness that no child should muster, “I want to be an instructional designer.”

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Study digital ethics & the legal landscape of instructional design online at Brandeis

Did you know that Brandeis GPS offers courses for professional development? Enroll in an online course this fall and network with new colleagues in a 10-week, seminar-style online classroom capped at 20 students. Registration is now open and we’re celebrating by profiling our favorite fall courses.

Immerse yourself in the legal and ethical boundaries that shape the e-learning technology profession. This course examine legal issues arising from intellectual property, copyright law (including the fair use exception, the TEACH Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), federal laws related to accessibility for learners with disabilities, and FERPA, a federal law that protects the privacy of education records.

Students will apply laws to realistic scenarios that arise in the design setting, developing best practices to minimize liability risk. Students will also explore the ethical challenges that arise in practice, including the creation of instructional materials that support a diverse learner audience, implications of the “digital divide,” and conflicts of interest stemming from opportunities for personal gain outside of the employment relationship. Students will work to develop their own ethical code to guide their professional paths.

Fall courses run Sept. 14-Nov. 22. Whether you’re looking to complete a full degree or advance your career through professional development, this course is designed to equip you with the necessary skills for making an impact in any industry or organization.

How it works:
Take a part-time, online course this fall without enrolling in one of our graduate programs. If you like what you learn and want to continue your education, you can apply your credits from this fall toward a future degree. Questions? Contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787 or fill out our first-time registration form and we’ll be in touch.

Study user interface design online at Brandeis

Did you know that Brandeis GPS offers courses for professional development? Enroll in an online course this fall and network with new colleagues in a 10-week, seminar-style online classroom capped at 20 students. Registration is now open and we’re celebrating by profiling our favorite fall courses.

Get an introduction to user interface design principles and concepts of user-centered design. With this 10-week, graduate-level course, you’ll learn the foundations of goal-directed design and best practices for creating intuitive software that aligns with user expectations and preferred behaviors. Topics will include:

  • User interface approaches for web, desktop and mobile applications
  • Navigation and menu selections based on application needs
  • Universal design and accessibility
  • Selections for graphics, colors, screen controls and interactive devices

Whether you’re looking to complete a full degree or advance your career through professional development, this course will change the way you think about designing for the user experience.

Fall courses run Sept. 14-Nov. 22. Whether you’re looking to complete a full degree or advance your career through professional development, this course is designed to equip you with the necessary skills for making an impact in any industry or organization.

How it works:
Take a part-time, online course this fall without enrolling in one of our graduate programs. If you like what you learn and want to continue your education, you can apply your credits from this fall toward a future degree. Questions? Contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787 or fill out our first-time registration form and we’ll be in touch.

Meet the Brandeis GPS Instructional Designers

At Brandeis GPS, we are always working to improve our online courses to be more interactive and collaborative. Meet two of the reasons we are able to constantly improve. Carol Damm & Jennifer Livengood, our instructional design team!

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Instructional Designer, Jennifer Livengood

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Instructional Designer, Carol Damm

How long have you each been in the instructional design field?

Carol Damm: Before GPS, I was with a  company that developed e-learning for about three years.

Jennifer Livengood: Four years as a full time job, but professionally ten years.

What is your favorite part of your instructional design work?

CD:  It’s hard to narrow it down! I like problem solving.  Instructional design is like being given a blank slate, and for me what’s fun is trying to figure out which is the best approach. So I guess it’s the process of finding out which design works best for a course.

JL: Being creative. It’s in the job title!

What are ways you can use to innovate an online course that you can’t use in an in person course?

CD: Bringing the students a one -on-one interactive experience with a topic.  With an online courses you can actually use tools to help develop students skills and increase collaboration.

JL: You can build things that are individually interactive, so the student gets individual attention. An online classroom is  a place for students to explore through a discussion board. Quiet students can communicate more in a discussion board where they may have been been shy in person. It truly brings out personalities.

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Can you tell me about a great experience you’ve had designing GPS courses?

CD: What I like about it the most are the instructors and working with them. I feel like I am a perpetual student because, for many of the courses, I have no experience in most of the instructors’ fields of expertise. I love connecting with them and advising them on how to engage students with the topics and materials in their courses.InstructionalDesign

JL: Working on the professional communications course with Jennifer Drewry. We both brought our own ideas and between the two of us we were able to revise her course and make it more fun and interactive.

Can you tell me an example of a specific improvement you have made to a course and any feedback you’ve received as a result?

CD:  Lately, I’ve made recommendations on how  an instructor can take their topic and create effective discussion questions that will allow students to bring their own experience and knowledge to the discussion. You want the students to bring their ideas into this more social realm and to be as collaborative as possible not only with instructors but with other students.

JL: At a previous job I made the improvement of having the instructors come in and do a video. They weren’t previously in the course. Having the students come in and see their [professor’s] face, hear their voice. The student feedback said they liked it!

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What is the most creative thing you have ever done for a course?

CD: Working on developing a presentation, a micro-lesson, that will teach some rudimentary SQL (Structured Query Language) coding. What I want to do is make it interactive so that students will have to put in the right code to get to the next lesson. It’s creative and students really respond well to the interactive lessons. In the past I’ve done some videography work as well as editing. I love that, it’s lots of fun, very creative. The two contribute to a lesson and make it more interesting.

JL: Working with two instructors in the language department and creating interactive games for their courses. Really pushing the limit on some of the software. It was unique and fun for the students. Unlike taking a normal multiple choice quiz where it’s a little boring.

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Adapting Design to the User

Written by: Kelsey Whitaker, A Senior at Brandeis University

The way in which people experience design is a vital factor in the success of any creation. There is currently a growing movement of designers who search to implement technologies that adapt to the user. This is where the newest Master of Science program at Brandeis GPS in User-Centered design comes in. User-centered design covers fields including Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction, and User Experience. Human factors deal with the physical factors of interaction as well as the psychological and social factors of design. Human computer interaction is concerned with the interfaces between humans and computers and how these factors influence user experience. User experience deals with the usability issues of design. In addition to providing students with an advanced understandingUCDGraph of these areas, the program at Brandeis GPS will provide students with the leadership skills necessary to implement and advocate for design thinking.

Currently, the field of User-centered design is in high demand and expected to grow significantly over the next ten years. CNN Money recently voted the profession as the #14 best job in America. It was also featured in Glassdoor’s list of “25 Highest Paying Jobs with the Most Openings Right Now.” “User experience has caught on so much, both as something that people enjoy doing and something that is more and more widely recognized as being valuable to a growing number of companies,” says user experience designer Louisa Armbrust. The applications of user-centered design are broad and specialization can be found in fields such as information architecture, web designing, engineering, interactive media, and technology. Leading organizations that are currently hiring user-centered designers include Amazon, IBM, Disney, Apple, and several more.

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The Brandeis GPS user-centered design degree program is geared towards individuals who are currently working in fields such as information technology, computer science, information architecture, web design, and other related areas, who are looking to extend their expertise in human factors of design. The Brandeis GPS program is unique because there are few online master’s degree programs in this field, none of which are geared towards developing leadership. In addition to a focus on leadership development, the available electives will create possibilities for students to graduate with skills in user interface design. This is an altogether different field than user-centered design, however, employers generally search for individuals with skills in both. The 30 credit program consists of 7 required courses and 3 electives.

Interested in the User-centered design program at Brandeis GPS? Apply now! To learn more about the program, contact 781-736-8787 or  gps@brandeis.edu.

 

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