The Brandeis GPS blog

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

Tag: instructional design and technology

Countdown to Commencement: (Re)Meet Kara Wasnewsky, Brandeis GPS Commencement Student Speaker

In 2015, Brandeis GPS profiled Kara Wasnewsky (Noonan), a student in our instructional design graduate program. Two years later, we are thrilled to announce that Kara has been selected as this year’s student commencement speaker. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kara about her journey and how her experience in the MS in Instructional Design and Technology has influenced her career path.

When she started the part-time, online graduate program, Kara was an Associate Media Producer at Pearson looking for a master’s degree that “provided the ideal integration of edtech and instructional design.” We checked back in with Kara recently and to hear her reflections on her experience in the IDT, the impact it had on her career, and advice she has for future students.

A more strategic role

A year after Kara began the program, she was promoted to a learning tool strategist. Now, instead of working on media components that go into larger products, she creates more complex learning tools that can be used within a product or on their own. Working on instructional videos and other learning tools, Kara explained to us how her video production methods have evolved even further as she continued the program.

“I learned to utilize visuals and narration to create an effective learning experience. When designing instructional videos you must be cautious of cognitive overload. I have been much more deliberate about the decisions I make for the visuals used in the videos I produce. I make sure that the visuals enhance the concept that is being discussed in the video, rather than just being there to decorate the screen.”

Kara also noted that the most rewarding outcome of the program for her is the confidence she has gained. “With the knowledge and skills gained through the Brandeis program, I have become much more confident in my ideas. I speak up much more on the projects I work on because I know what will be most beneficial for the learner and can back up my ideas with science.” Building on her new skills gained through her master’s degree, Kara hope to one day transition to an instructional designer at a college or university, working closely with instructors and immediately track the impact of the learning experiences they create.

Learning from peers

While in the IDT program, Kara was able to learn from her classmates, not just her instructors. She noted this as a valuable part of her learning experience.

“Fellow students are really key to these online courses, since a lot of our understanding comes from the sharing of ideas between us. My classmates came from various roles in higher ed, k-12 and corporate training. I work in a corporate environment, but I create learning experiences for undergraduate students, so I really took a lot away from the variety of backgrounds.

Reading the interpretations of a concept from these different perspectives helped me to understand it in new ways. Without the diversity of the class, I would have just interpreted things as I understood them through the context of my experience working at an academic publisher. I would not have uncovered the nuances with how things can be applied in different settings. It really made for some interesting discussions.”

As a creator of online learning tools, Kara is a proponent of the benefits of the online classroom, and thinks that the greatest benefit of this learning style is the opportunity for thoughtful reflection.

“In a face-to-face course discussions happen spur of the moment, so it is difficult to really have rich discussions. I was always quiet in classes, so I rarely even participated in discussions. In the online courses at Brandeis you are required to post weekly to a discussion board and to comment on two posts of your peers. The posts that are made are always very thoughtful, since the student has time think about what they are going to post before they do.”

A note to future students

Kara advises future students to “think about what your personal goals are for obtaining the degree and make sure that you get everything you can out of the program. Many of the projects that will be completed in the program can be tailored to your specific interests, so if you identify those interests early you will have an impressive portfolio of work that is in line with your personal goals.”

Kara certainly followed her own advice and we look forward to hearing about her future accomplishments. Congratulations Kara and the entire class of 2017!

This year’s 2017 commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 21, at 8 a.m. Follow #GPSclassof2017 to be part of the celebration!

Upcoming UX webinar: a story-first approach to human-centered design

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
2-3 p.m. EDT
Hosted by Lou Susi, Program Chair of the MS in User-Centered Design

louis-susiWhen we design for experience, subtle and peculiar shifts come into play that demand a uniquely compassionate way of thinking about and guiding our practice. This webinar will explore:

  • The benefits of putting story concepts at the center of a human-centered design approach to improve the design process
  • The quality of a total human experience we’re ultimately all creating through our work.
  •  High-level perspectives, philosophies and mindsets pertaining to both design thinking and decision-making

Learn more and register!

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: The Jewish Education Project

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Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: The Jewish Education Project-offices in NYC, Long Island, NY and Westchester, NY

Position: Digital, Multimedia and Online Learning Designer

The Jewish Ed Project is currently adopting an organization-wide CRM solution and embarking on a complete website overhaul with the goal of enabling Jewish educators to innovate and adopt new approaches to teaching and learning. We want to develop and test digital material and delivery methods and find the best ways to reach and inspire our audiences.

They seek a full-time Digital, Multimedia and Online Learning Designer with ability to design and produce both digital courses and shorter form marketing-oriented digital content for our organizational website, blog, e-newsletter, social media accounts, Google Ads and other channels.

Click here to view further details on this opportunity!

 

To receive full consideration for this position, candidates are asked to submit a Resume/CV, detailed cover letter and 4-6 samples of your work to to Leah Kopperman at lkopperman@JewishEdProject.org.

Please make sure to reference seeing these positions through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: UNH and NSRDEC

spotlight-CHANGED-300x200SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS

Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: University of New Hampshire at Manchester

About: UNH Manchester, the University’s urban, commuter campus, serves New Hampshire’s largest, most diverse, and rapidly growing community. The College actively creates and nurtures a dynamic learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with a mutual respect and shared spirit of inquiry. For more information about UNH Manchester, please visit: http://www.manchester.unh.edu.

PositionInstructional Designer

Under the general direction of the Manager of Instructional Design and Development, consult with faculty to propose and explore instructional technology solutions based upon sound instructional design principles and practices to address the learning outcomes for new and existing courses.

As part of the Instructional Design and Development Team and other teams across Academic Technology, Academic Affairs, and other strategic partners, provide planning, implementation and ongoing support for new and existing eLearning services. This may include, but is not limited to, best practices related to developing and teaching online and hybrid courses.

Participate in the development and delivery of faculty development and support programs. Build constructive relationships with faculty and staff in academic departments adopting new teaching strategies and technologies.

Minimum Requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, instructional design, educational or information technology or related field and four years experience in instructional design or instructional technology field, Associate’s and six years, OR combination of education and experience equal to eight years.
  • Good organizational skills and effective oral and written communication skills.

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Masters degree in instructional design, education technology, education, or related field.
  • Experience teaching online
  • Proven expertise in Canvas or similar Learning Management System.
  • Ability to work independently and with limited supervision.
  • Proven expertise in design and delivery of faculty development programs, client support, and evaluation of new instructional technologies.
  • Position assumes an ability to build constructive relationships with faculty and instructional staff and to help them integrate technology into the teaching/learning process.
  • Experience working in higher education.
  • Working knowledge of social media.
  • Working knowledge of Open Educational Resources.
  • Familiarity with HTML.

To receive full consideration for this position, in addition to completing the required on-line application form, please be prepared to submit: resume and cover letter.

Additional optional documents: contact information for three (3) professional references.  

This is a two year term position with a possibility of continuation. This position is located on the UNH Manchester campus. Some travel is required to the Durham and Concord campuses.

Please contact Scott Kimball, scott.kimball@unh.edu, with questions regarding this position.

 

 

 


 

 

Where: Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) at US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, MA

About: The US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center(NSRDEC) is a Customer-Driven, Customer-Focused organization, and is internationally known as a preeminent provider of research, development, engineering and integration services in the areas of soldier and squad protection and systems integration, military rations and field feeding equipment, military parachuting and airdrop systems, and expeditionary basing. Through our research in areas such as materials sciences, biochemistry, human performance and human sciences; technology development and integration; and systems engineering, product development and support the NSRDEC plays a vital role in maximizing the effectiveness of America’s military. Help shape our future to become the Leader in Empowering the World’s Most Capable Soldiers.

Position: Junior Chemist position and Senior Chemist Position

The senior chemist will serve as the NAL Manager responsible for equipping the lab, developing and validating test methodology for nutrient analysis, and overseeing the work of the junior chemist. This incumbent should have experience using instrumentation such as gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, Kjeldahl and Soxlet, and ideally would have experience analyzing nutrients in food.

The junior chemist will be conducting nutrient analysis on a regular basis once protocols are established and validated.  Assignments will likewise require the use of analytical instruments in the evaluation of macro and micro nutrients in food, and incumbent should have experience using such instrumentation.

 

View qualifications for the Junior Chemist Position Here

View qualifications for the Senior Chemist Position Here

The application deadline for these positions is November 16th.

Please apply using the links above and make sure to reference seeing this position through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

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Brandeis expands online course offerings with Learning Analytics graduate certificate

New fall program combines data analysis with the expanding field of online learning

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Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) will launch a fully-online graduate certificate program in Learning Analytics in September 2015, the university announced today.

Designed to be completed in 1.5 years or less, the program is for professionals with strong backgrounds in education, instructional design, or institutional research. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the certificate will provide students with the foundational tool sets and theory of business intelligence and data analysis. These skillsets are necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of courses, programs and instruction, and prepare students to fill a highly in-demand skills gap in a burgeoning job market.

“As the learning analytics field continues to evolve, it is more important than ever before to use the technology and data we have available to us to understand and, ultimately, enhance the learning experience,” said Brian Salerno, director of Online Learning and Instructional Design at Brandeis GPS.

The five-course, 15-credit certificate program draws heavily from two existing Brandeis GPS master’s degrees: Instructional Design and Technology and Strategic Analytics. Applicants are expected to possess a post-graduate degree in a related field as well as three years of relevant work experience.

In addition to the new Learning Analytics certificate, Brandeis GPS offers eight fully online part-time master’s degrees, including Strategic Analytics, Bioinformatics, Health and Medical Informatics, Instructional Design & Technology, and Software Engineering. All Brandeis GPS programs are asynchronous, providing students with a flexible and convenient approach to completing their degree.

Students interested in applying to the Learning Analytics certificate program should complete their application by Aug. 11, 2015. Students also have the opportunity to take a course prior to applying for admission. Registration for the summer 2015 term opened on April 14, with courses beginning May 20. For more information about Brandeis GPS, please visit www.brandeis.edu/gps.

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The Emerging Field of Learning Analytics

by Ariel Garber

The development of learning analytics will help shape a new model for teaching and learning, creating a system that provides insight and information to support student success. The field of learning analytics, defined by EDUCAUSE, is “deciphering trends and patterns from educational big data, or huge sets of student-related data, to further the advancement of a personalized, supportive system of higher education.”  Learning analytics evaluates student behavior in order to determine learning efficiency, creating conversations with students about learning strategies and how well they feel learning has occurred. Technology allows us to study learning experiences through the capture and analysis of learning and performance data.

“Analytics provides a new model for college and university leaders to improve teaching, learning, organizational efficiency, and decision making and, as a consequence, serve as a foundation for systemic change,” said George Siemens and Phil Long in their article about learning analytics.

program-hero-strategic-analyticsA key feature of learning analytics is its learning-centric focus, analyzing student performance outside of the classroom in order to gain a new understanding of the efficiency of students, teachers and the curriculum. Beyond basic retention and completion, learning analytics produces students with both inquiry and analysis focus and critical and creative thinking skills.

The implementation of learning analytics requires restructuring academic institutions, to include re-evaluating the flow of data between departments, increasing personal student support, reshaping course design, delivery and more. These changes will be felt by the faculty, students and the institution as a whole. Collaborative and creative leadership is essential in fostering an academic environment that can support and utilize learning analytics.

The Online Instructional Design & Technology program at Brandeis GPS offers foundational skills through the study of instructional design principles, educational technology, and adult learning theories. Students gain the experience needed to solve a variety of instructional challenges and, ultimately, create and deliver high-quality online programs and interactive courseware.

In large part because of the continuous growth in online programs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data demonstrates that jobs in instructional design and technology have grown 20.8% since 2004, and project above average growth as high as 20% for instructional design jobs between 2010 and 2020. In the next four years alone, the bureau projects over 36,000 new jobs will become available in instructional design and technology.

This reveals the growing forum for learning analytics and Strategic Analytics, also offered at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies. Brandeis GPS is hosting an Analytics 360 Symposium on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 from 9am-4:30pm at Hassenfeld Conference Center of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

360LogoALT2The day-long symposium will focus on promoting a discussion of the growing field of analytics and how organizations can leverage big data to make more strategic decisions. Panelists will engage in a conversation that places analytics in the context of big data, education, health, marketing and business.

Register here for the Analytics 360 Symposium on April 8, 2015 at Brandeis University. The cost for NERCOMP members is $135 and the cost for non-members is $265. Submit this form to learn more about special pricing available to members of the Brandeis community. For more information, email analytics360@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-8786. You can also find us on Twitter using #GPSAnalytics.

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