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.
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.