Masters Portfolio

/Masters Portfolio
Masters Portfolio 2017-05-18T23:30:14+00:00

Simone Fary’s career goals and highlights of her learning in the program

I aspire to increase my ISD and project management skills so that I can make high quality educational media. I strongly believe that video should be more widely used in training and education, and hope to be seen as somebody with recognized expertise in doing so.

When I started the program I was very insecure and overwhelmed with returning to the world of work after a long absence. Taking a professional, systematic approach to working through projects was particularly unfamiliar. I eagerly adopted ADDIE as the primary tool in my ISD toolkit. I was very reassured by Professor Campos’ revelation that she always felt overwhelmed at a new assignment, but then buckled down and applied the tools to work her way through it. I started to say my process was “PADDIE”, i.e. first “panic, then apply ADDIE”.

Another pivotal learning experience was not only learning how to use all the project management tools Professor Ahmed provided, but his advice to pick, choose and adapt them as we saw fit.

As I continued in the program and started to better understand adult learning theory, I started to question whether ADDIE adequately addresses the need for the motivation that is so important for adult learning. I discovered the ARCS model of motivational design, and realized that my background in documentary film helps make my instructional design projects more engaging and useful. I’ve been fortunate to find creative and meaningful work throughout most of my career and hope to continue doing so.

Simone Fary’s Resume

Overarching piece reflecting the rationale for the selected work samples and portfolio structure

The more I create different kinds of educational media the more I see the importance of putting one’s “best foot forward” to immediately engage the learner. So I am putting what I consider my stronger pieces first. This generally means a reverse chronological order since later pieces draw upon more of the skills I developed in the program.

During job interviews I am frequently asked which phase of instructional design I prefer or am best at. I always find this question difficult. Due to my media background the development usually draws people’s attention. However I genuinely enjoy all phases, so am trying to show that in the selected samples as well.

I did not follow a more typical path through the program. I came to it as somebody with a background in video who had taken significant amount of time away from the workforce to raise my sons. I chose UMBC over other programs specifically because Dr. Williams assured me that every class I took would lead to something that could be included in my professional portfolio. Immediately focusing on creating a high quality portfolio and building my resume seemed the best way to enter this new profession. I did this by earning the Certificate in Instructional Technology, which allowed me to find part-time and consultant ISD work and eventually a good full time job. Along the way I went on to earn the Certificate in Instructional Design and eventually decided to complete the Masters.

Work Samples

EDUC 689

Geothermal book sample page

Interactive eBook: An Introduction to Residential Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pumps

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form..
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  4. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  5. Develop instructional materials.
  6. Apply business skills to managing the instructional design function.
  7. Manage partnerships and collaborative relationships.
  8. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

I grew up in a family where concern for nature and the environment is a core value. A few years ago my sister and her husband installed a geothermal system (ground source heat pump). This is how I became aware that this is a very promising green technology and also how unfortunate it is that very few people are aware of it or understand its potential.

Action

I had started off thinking that I would simply make a quick video of their installation. Initial challenges to this idea were that geothermal is both hard to describe and doesn’t lend itself to great visuals. Also, the SME (the technician who installed the system) was not very proficient at providing explanations a non-technically minded homeowner could understand.

I became busy with other projects for a couple of years until I started taking old publications created at a previous job and gave them new life as electronic books using iBooks Author and the Apple store. This showed me the potential of eBooks, and gave me the idea to create an interactive one about the topic instead.

This project really benefited from waiting until my instructional design, project management and collaboration skills had matured since they were all called upon significantly. My sister wrote the first draft of the case study section. An editor friend reviewed it for me. A graphic designer friend is working on a version for Kindles.

Results

I have embedded a google forms survey in the book for reader feedback, and will check the form on a periodic basis. I will also look at the number of downloads, what geographic regions they are occurring from and review comments. I will also set a google alert to see if it is being mentioned in any “green” blogs, publications, websites etc.

Significant Learning Points

I learned that creating even a simple interactive eBook takes considerable time and effort. I logged the hours it took in a spreadsheet – a conservative estimate is that it took approximately 185 hours just to create it and get it online. My experience confirmed that the technology has not yet matured – there were numerous bugs and irritations both to create it, and to make sure it is easy to find and download for the reader.

There is no single way to reach people who consume eBooks given the fact that there are multiple platforms and devices that people use. My testing showed that people have different levels of proficiency with the interactive features, and need more explanation then I’d initially thought they would. I also saw that learning more about user interaction/experience design would be beneficial for me as an instructional designer.

EDUC 771

CORE-logo-small

One-on-one Cultural Orientation using Flip Books and Other Tools: Final Analysis Report

Competencies

    1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
    2. Apply research and theory to the discipline of instructional design.
    3. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
    4. Apply data collection and analysis skills in instructional design projects.
    5. Conduct a needs assessment.
    6. Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics.
    7. Select and use analysis techniques for determining instructional content.
    8. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
    9. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
    10. Design instructional interventions.
    11. Evaluate instructional and non-instructional interventions.
    12. Revise instructional and non-instructional solutions based on data.
    13. Manage partnerships and collaborative relationships.
    14. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

Those who resettle refugees in the U.S. are being tasked with doing more, “better, faster and cheaper.” In order to rise to the challenge, they need Cultural Orientation (CO) training materials and resources that are adaptable, versatile, low-cost, and easy to use. The research for this paper was conducted in response to repeated requests from the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE)’s stakeholders seeking better resources.

Action

A rigorous in-depth analysis involving an extant literature and document review, key informant interviews, a survey using Survey Monkey and a focus group was conducted by myself and classmate Julie Nanavati. Working with Julie was one of the most fruitful collaborations of my professional career, and we both played a role in all phases. However, as the one actually employed as CORE’s Instructional Design and Education Officer, I organized and conducted the key informant interviews and focus groups.

Results

I received an A in the class. Professor said that “this is simply one of the best reports I’ve read, not only for this course, but in professional life as well. It is well detailed, chock full of detailed findings from all of your data collection efforts, and extremely well written and presented. Your recommendations are clearly tied to your findings, making it easy for anyone to know and understand why you made the recommendations that you did.”

I feel that I really gained a better understanding of the needs and constraints of our stakeholders, and will be able to create products that they really want and will eagerly use. The findings from the report were used in the 2016 workplan that CORE submitted to its funder.

Significant Learning Points

I gained a renewed appreciation for the amount of time and effort a useful analysis takes. The value of working with a colleague who has good ISD skills, a strong work ethic and interpersonal skills was reinforced. I also could better see the complimentary strengths of each research tool, and how much more limited the results would be if we were to cut corners and rely only on the electronic survey. I also saw how working with the right person can really increase the quality of the end result.

EDUC 681

judo1

E-learning module: Judo Promotion Series – Lesson 1: Earn Your Green Belt

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics.
  4. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  5. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  6. Develop instructional materials.
  7. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

This eLearning module was created with Photoshop and Captivate for my second class in the program. I had been taking Judo at the College Park Judo Club for several years. This is a volunteer led and run club whose instructors are all unpaid. In addition, there were not many high quality books, websites or other training materials available for this sport. As a beginner with no previous martial arts experience and no natural aptitude I was keenly aware how useful better training resources could be for all Judo players, in particular the beginners who were more easily discouraged and likely to drop out.

Action

I decided to create an online module for beginning judo players that reinforced some of the knowledge they would need to earn their first belt.

Results

Both the professor and my fellow students gave positive feedback. Since people looking for information about Judo won’t find my website, I decided to create a short video from parts of the module and have uploaded it to our YouTube channel. With YouTube analytics one can see the number of views, where the viewers are from etc.

Significant Learning Points

I came into the class with advanced proficiency in Photoshop. Therefore it wasn’t as challenging for me to learn Captivate, since the interface and many of the features are similar. However, seeing my fellow students struggle (and trying to help them the best I could) showed me not only that I enjoyed creating online learning but learning the skills to do so would be a competitive advantage.

Since I was very focused on creating a portfolio to break into the field I spent a lot of time on this project, including the graphic design. I saw that this was important in making a good impression, and that creating higher quality e-learning can be time-consuming.

EDUC 683

images3

E-learning module: Finding and Using Free Images

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Identify and respond to ethical, legal implications of design in the workplace.
  4. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  5. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  6. Select or modify existing instructional materials.
  7. Develop instructional materials.
  8. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

I have created copyrighted & public domain media (and seen it illegally pirated) and benefited immensely from the many content creators who provide their work for others to use freely. Over the years I have heard many misconceptions about “public domain” and “fair use”. Instead of lecturing my colleagues about copyright laws, I thought it would be more effective to provide guidance on how to locate free resources they could legally use in their own work.

Action

I used Captivate and Photoshop to create a short online module about finding and using public domain and creative commons images for instructional designers and others.

Results

I received an A in the class and positive feedback from my professor and colleagues. I deepened my expertise in the topic, which was helpful in making future products more media rich and engaging on a budget. In addition, the expertise I gained was used in doing a presentation on the topic for the Maryland ATD which can be viewed by clicking here.

Significant Learning Points

In addition to increased knowledge of intellectual property/fair use/public domain, my ability and speed with producing a module in Captivate improved.

EDUC 603

Front End Analysis of The Danya Institute’s Leadership Institute

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Apply data collection and analysis skills in instructional design projects.
  4. Conduct a needs assessment.
  5. Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics.
  6. Select and use analysis techniques for determining instructional content.
  7. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  8. Organize instructional products to be designed, developed, and evaluated.
  9. Design instructional interventions.
  10. Develop instructional materials.
  11. Design learning assessment.
  12. Revise instructional and non-instructional solutions based on data.
  13. Manage partnerships and collaborative relationships.

Context

I was the part-time Instructional Design and Technology Specialist for the Danya Institute, whose mission was to provide training and support for the behavioral healthcare workforce. This field faces a serious lack of qualified workers in general, and leaders in particular. Occasional efforts had been made to run a Leadership Institute to cultivate future leaders and managers. However, very little evaluation had been done of the program. Without measurable outcomes it was hard to justify doing another Leadership Institute or find funding for it. Therefore the Executive Director wanted to create a more systematic process to evaluate the program and its impact.

Action

Fellow student Cat Wrubleski and I performed a full front end analysis to examine why the program had not been previously evaluated and propose solutions. I took the lead on project management and review of all extant data. I also conducted four of the key informant interviews.

Results

I received an A in the class and favorable feedback from the professor. Unfortunately the Executive Director resigned and the new Executive Director was not interested in leadership development.

Significant Learning Points

I learned a number of things from this experience. The experience reinforce a comment in Dr. Hodell’s 602 textbook saying that while initial analysis was important, it was frequently overlooked. The amount of time it took to complete a thorough analysis was made clear from this experience. In addition, the concept of buy-in from management for results from an analysis to be used and not “left on the shelf” was also reinforced.

However, the key take-away from this experience was when Professor Campos admitted early on that she inevitably panics and feels overwhelmed by a project. Then she takes a deep breath and starts to apply her ISD tools and it all works out. This wisdom has guided me well over the course of my career.

EDUC 682

internet forum

Webinar Presentation on Internet Forums

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  4. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  5. Develop instructional materials.
  6. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

The assignment was to create a presentation on a new instructional technology. I chose to look at internet forums, since I was an active participant in one that was remarkably more successful than other online communities of practice that I had experienced.

Action

Since I was an active participant in an online forum for independent documentary filmmakers I had the access to interview the founder and use of the site as a case study. I created the presentation in Powerpoint, customizing the template and creating images with Photoshop.

Results

I received an A in the class and positive feedback from the students. As somebody who tends to shy away from public speaking it gave me the confidence to realize I could pull off a webinar.

Significant Learning Points

One lesson learned was to download a media file immediately – I had not realized at the time that the recorded presentation would only exist online for a year and thus had to recreate it. Another was that a community of practice takes a significant investment of time by dedicated facilitators who set and enforce ground rules and ensure that everybody is heard. It is also important to control the topics so that each contains only pertinent information and to make sure that there is a continuing flow of dialogue and useful information so that people return and get into the habit of contributing regularly.

EDUC 792T

educator's guide featured image

Educational Supplements for Documentary Film

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Apply research and theory to the discipline of instructional design.
  3. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  4. Select and use analysis techniques for determining instructional content.
  5. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.
  6. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  7. Design instructional interventions.
  8. Select or modify existing instructional materials.
  9. Develop instructional materials.
  10. Evaluate instructional and non-instructional interventions.
  11. Implement & disseminate instructional and non-instructional interventions.
  12. Apply business skills to managing the instructional design function.
  13. Manage partnerships and collaborative relationships.
  14. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

I had long wanted to better understand of how documentary film could be used more effectively in the classroom, and what filmmakers should do to encourage this. I am beginning to be recognized as somebody who has some expertise on the topic, and want to feel qualified to offer consulting services on the topic for my side business NerdsMakeMedia.

Action

In order to increase my expertise on this subject I wrote a white paper that helped me to understand not only all the possible options for educational supplements for documentary film but clarify my thinking as to which ones are most valuable. Click here to view it. Both it, and the two educator’s guides I created were reviewed by Katherine Rekkas, MSEd and Sam Hampton, Ph.D., both of whom have extensive experience in both education and film.

Based on my research I first created a more basic Educator’s Guide for The Life of Dr. Cheng Se Tseo in his Own Words that contains:

  • About the film
  • Learning Objectives
  • Standards Considerations (National Council for Social Studies and Common Core)
  • Director’s Statement
  • Discussion Questions
  • Background Contextual Information
  • Multimedia Resources
  • Epilogue

Since I wanted to show a range of examples for potential clients I made the Educator’s Guide for American Feud:  A History of Conservatives and Liberals more comprehensive – in addition to the above it also has:

  • Activity where students could place themselves on a Liberal to Conservative Spectrum
  • Anticipation Guide
  • Compare and Contrast (Venn Diagrams) for FDR and Ronald Reagan
  • Compare and Contrast (Venn Diagrams) for Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson
  • Compare and Contrast (Venn Diagrams) for the Tea Party and Occupy Movement
  • Fill in the box activity for Views on the Cause of Poverty of various experts in the film
  • Fill in the box activity for Views on the Solution to Poverty of various experts in the film
  • Activity to analyze use of the labels “Conservative” and “Liberal” in the media
  • Activity to interview friends, family or acquaintances about how they applied these labels to themselves
  • Fill in the box activity for Views on the Solution to Dysfunctional Government of two experts in the film and also their own

Results

Downloads of the guides and/or website analytics can help provide confirmation that the products are reaching learners. I have more confidence not only in talking about the topic, but actually creating something similar for a client. Whether this will actually result in any paid contract work remains to be seen. There are now 3 more products in the NerdsMakeMedia portfolio on our website.

Significant Learning Points

  • Creating educational supplemental materials can be very time consuming
  • Every documentary filmmaker should consider the educational audience early on in production
  • There is much work to be done to better educate both filmmakers and educators about best practices
  • Shorter is better for most educators
  • Most educators don’t use film to its full potential
  • There is no clear consensus or standards for such material, or even unified definitions or titles
  • There is a real range of options for educational supplementals

EDUC 602

BannerFlags1

Combined Lesson and Design Plan – Introduction to Judo: Ukemi and Basic Terms

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Identify and describe target population and environmental characteristics.
  4. Use instructional design and development process appropriate for a project.
  5. Develop instructional materials.
  6. Design learning assessment.
  7. Plan and manage instructional design projects.

Context

I had been taking Judo at the College Park Judo Club for several years. This is a volunteer led and run club whose instructors are all unpaid. In addition, there were not many high quality books, websites or other training materials available for this sport. As a beginner with no previous martial arts experience and no natural aptitude I was keenly aware how useful better training resources could be for all Judo players, in particular the beginners who were more easily discouraged and likely to drop out.

Action

For my very first instructional design project I thought it would be useful to create a lesson plan for beginning students.

Results

I received an A for my efforts in the class.

Significant Learning Points

I had not been in school for a long time, and was quite anxious about the requirements of being a graduate student, and juggling them in addition to family and other responsibilities. This class was my introduction ADDIE, Gagne, design plans and lesson plans. In general, it was the beginning of taking a much more systematic approach to workplace projects then I had been used to.

EDUC 605

Research Paper: Documentary Film in Adult Education Myriad Uses, Myriad Possibilities

Competencies

  1. Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.
  2. Update and improve knowledge, skills, pertaining to the instructional design process.
  3. Analyze characteristics of existing and emerging technologies & their use.

Context

As previously stated I have a background in video production, specifically documentary film. I had observed that while some films are used in education and training, many ones that could potentially be useful are not. While Gagne recommends film as an excellent way to “gain attention”, many training products do not make use of film in this manner. I thought this class would be an opportunity to better understand how film is, and can be better used to motivate and engage adult learners.

Action

Paper was researched and written. It also was posted on the NerdMakeMedia blog.

Results

Received an A in the class. I am beginning to be recognized as somebody with some expertise on using film in education.

Significant Learning Points

This paper really made me realize the range of ways that film can be used instructionally. In addition, it made me start to think about the difference between instructional design, which most often is used to “drill down” to a specific performance problem and find a measurable solution, and education, which can be more broad and difficult to measure. It also made me realize more clearly the role that film can take in motivating and engaging adult learners in their learning, as well as providing them with case studies and real world examples.