Certified in Online Learning Design

I am excited to jump onto a new path, one I have been wanting to get on since after completing my Masters in Communication and Technology in 2016. Although I took a few years off of digital projects (due to health issues) it became clear to me that I never stopped learning and discovered I am a dedicated self-directed learner who went on to advance my skills in new areas. In the past, my digital work was always geared towards marketing objectives and I lost complete interest in this work. Although I enjoyed and appreciated the majority of my clients work – their products and services, I just didn’t feel like I was reaching deep enough. Although I offer this (marketing) as a service, it’s important to understand that it’s a side effect of everything I do and so I cannot omit it from my life. Although I am happy to pair it with other work, It’s just not where I want to be focusing my energy from here on out. My goal now, is to align myself to the projects, clients, and potential employers who will find a shared kinship.

I have come to find myself almost an activist in regards to digital use and want to bring more awareness to the effects it has on our life. I have redirected how I use my digital skills, to build up important topics that matter to me, even if they don’t bring much money into my life at this time. This new direction, complete with my training in online learning, has given me fresh motivation to keep going down a digital career path. As I am always excited to learn, I will share blog posts about what I find important for online learners, and tips they can use to improve their own experiences. In addition to this, I will be building several courses of my own that will be available to purchase through my Etsy shop. The courses will range in topic but will come back to using digital technologies to produce products, as I have. Stay tuned for that.

I have a range of diverse skills and feel I’ve proven myself as a competent designer and idea person. I am now reaching out with the intent of finding others to work with. I am open to remote work only as my future trajectory is based on the nightmare of Canada’s housing market and means I cannot commit to a physical location. Fortunately, this means I am available to the global market, not just confining myself to Canada.

If you appreciate my work and find that our styles and visions align, please reach out to me. I would love to hear from you and any ideas you might have. I am open to working on a contract basis and will commit to an employer, in the elearning field. I can help clients design, develop and deliver their learning course. I can make sure your content is reaching the 8 different adult learning styles and is accessible to those with disabilities. I will use my building blocks to ensure the quality of learning content. Because I am just one person who wears many hats, my fees will reflect 25 years of schooling and professional experience. But I am open to negotiating, what will work best for both parties. To see a sample of a mini course I designed, please explore the Wellness in a Digital World course. It’s a free course I designed to help educate people on maintaining digital health and wellness. Also you can see my past design portfolio here.

Update of July 18: I am going to be traveling to Ontario and the Maritimes in the fall and will be unable to accept any work until probably late fall or early winter.

Online Learning Tips Infographic

As obvious as this may seem, it’s amazing how online learning material can still be so overwhelming. I created this very basic and simplistic infographic to drive the point home. As someone who experiences jumping text and eye rolling due to over stimulation through screen reading, I felt it was necessary to point this out. It’s generally a good idea to include a variety of learning mediums so that you can reach the different learning styles – as we all learn differently. Stay tuned for a post on the various learning styles.

Online Learning Design & Development

I have finally decided to make the commitment and go back to school for a short time, to shape my services into a new area for me and become certified in Online Learning Design & Development through Algonquin College. I have a ton of scholastic background and digital technology experience so I don’t need to commit to a long and heavy program, just one that I feel will set me off on the right track as I have a few goals in mind for next year, 2022. As a lifelong and often self-directed learner, I feel very strongly about learning and helping others to learn to use platforms and the necessary tools to shape their material. One of my favourite platforms is WordPress along with a couple of other tools for content creation, that I will introduce once I have completed the program.

Many people were forced to work online because of the pandemic, and I know that it’s only going to become more imperative to adapt to learning in this environment. I got a glimpse of the struggle that some faced this past year when they were thrown into immediate roles they had no experience in – and I was called in to help them out. I now know this is a space I need to further expand on.

The areas of my study will include: online learning theories, developing online course content, online course delivery and evaluation essentials. I will begin in January and will finish by the end of April. I have for some time, wanted to focus more on this endeavour however I got busy with other projects. This new learning will marry well with my previous Masters in Communication and Technology through the University of Alberta and my training and career experience in digital design. All I need is the training to shape my andragogical (adult learning) knowledge into the learning endeavour – to assist others with their projects, to create my own self-directed learning for self-healing in reflexology and to provide a full package of tools that cover the gamut in content creation.

Additionally, I have a specific interest in assisting in the design and development of elearning for those who experience learning challenges. I grew up with this experience, had problems concentrating, comprehending, was placed in special education classes and even in a cardboard box in front of the class, next to the teachers desk. As an adult, it takes me longer to read material as words jump around the page. Sometimes I can miss spelling errors even after reading and rereading my writing. I can experience dyslexia, and can find myself experiencing jumbled words when reading out loud. Even though learning has been more challenging for me, it’s something I absolutely enjoy and feel strongly about. I have studied a little about best practices for absorbing information (no more than 2 hour sessions with breaks after 20-30 mins of information intake) and what kinds of patterns work best for learning and memorization. Some of us are visual learners, while others need to write down information.

Another aspect of experiencing a learning disorder, is being made fun of by peers, even friends and family who misunderstand the disorder as lazy, stupid or silly. I remember vividly being made fun of by a classmate in high school when she found part of my essay to be the most hysterical thing she’d ever read, and decided to read it out loud to the class inspiring an outburst of laughter (cue the Disaster Artist). I feel it’s very important to shed a light on the fact that everyone learns differently and just because some of us are more prone to making errors or taking longer to complete a task, does not make us unintelligent.

So please stay tuned. Although Careful Crafters may seem inactive, it’s been the backbone for several of my other projects, that are now built, so it’s time to embark upon this path.