I am a growth-minded ?????? learning experience design professional (instructional designer) with a creative knack for turning documentation or face to face programs into engaging online and blended learning aligned with competency and business requirements.

…which is a boring way of expressing that learning can be fun and have a purpose simultaneously. ?

My years in customer education (commercial film) and multimedia development date back to 1997. I have been creating across different mediums, including WordPress and many eLearning authoring tools and LMSs, ever since. This has taught me that the user comes first and the artist must know their tools in order to “write” learning well and creatively.

The first tool I used while writing curriculum and lessons, often on the fly, was a horse. Let me tell you that, while working with horse and rider, the above is critical to creating positive experiences. The same holds true for the intersection of technology, learning, people, and organizations.

More recently I began organizing TEDx events and was gifted by learning from a great group of young volunteers how best to support them as they tackled creating the best event experience they could. I’ve led teams of up to 70 “day of” volunteers with a core of eight committee leaders. This endeavor placed me very close to the StartUp weekend community and, between the two, I was privileged to witness the talent and skill that went into growing the San Diego community since 2011.

My five Gallup CliftonStrengths are Ideation, Input, Futuristic, Learner & Strategic. I’ve tested as both an INTJ, and INTE at separate times when my goals demanded slightly different skill sets.

In addition to my work specialized in LX design, development, and implementation, I have a passion for mentoring and coaching. In particular I enjoy coaching youth about developing their ‘idea worth spreading’ using my unique experiences with TEDx adult and youth events.

Caffeine Powered Competencies

The Information and Learning Technologies Masters Program from the Department of Education at the University of Colorado, Denver is grounded in the development of the following competencies.

Experience Inspired Values

I have been fortunate to work with Ryan Berman of Courageous Brands on the concept of having professional or business values that align with your personal values. The exercise was well worth my time and incredibly enlightening and aligning for my focus.

Adopt a critical stance toward your work, promoting effective practice and responsible use of technology.

  • Build on previous experiences and existing literature as you critically reflect on your own practice
  • Promote digital citizenship and responsible use of technology
  • Demonstrate fully engaged human presence
  • Equity, access, and social justice – help all learners succeed, especially those historically marginalized or lacking access
  • Cultivate awareness of emerging trends and conditions in the field, to accurately weigh costs and benefits, forecast futures, and manage risk
  • Ethical practice – maintain the highest professionalism in work and learning settings (including ILT Values)

Become competent and confident in the use of various tools and technologies, related to learning, communication, and making things.

  • Be confident and competent in devices, platforms, and online tools and resources
  • Be a self-directed, lifelong learner of new technologies
  • Identify areas for new learning and grow your expertise in those targeted areas

Drawing on learning and instructional theory, create instruction with well-aligned outcomes, activities, and assessments.

  • Use a procedural model (e.g, ADDIE or SAM) to guide planning, implementing, and evaluative functions
  • Ensure that outcomes, activities, and assessments are aligned for well-balanced, validated instruction
  • Use theories of learning and instruction to help frame learning needs and guide design decisions

Demonstrate proficiency with tools, platforms, and environments in the creation of media resources for learning and knowledge construction.

  • Apply visual, graphic, and multimedia design principles (e.g., CARP, visual thinking, message design)
  • Experience design (XD) – Design quality learning experiences that fully engage and challenge learners
  • Apply principles of social learning, open sharing, and knowledge construction
  • Support learners in making their own resources

Engage in systematic processes of inquiry and change.

  • In collaboration with others and within time/resource constraints, complete an inquiry project designed to improve professional practice
  • Participate in planning and/or execution of a change strategy
  • Support top-down or bottom-up innovations, emphasizing openness, participation, and empowerment

Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and leadership within the profession.

  • Engage colleagues, peers, and students in creating and sharing knowledge
  • Create a stable and visible professional presence online
  • Contribute to professional learning networks as a collaborator, co-creator, and thought leader
  • Work constructively with others to systematically plan, design, and solve problems
  • Manage projects, people, and resources in carrying out design and use endeavors

I was surprised when I found the need to research the nuance between ‘autonomy’ and ‘freedom’. Both words appeared in the list CB had generated as a starting point. I had always believed that ‘freedom’ was my absolute core value and, as a personal value, that holds true. However, it implies something different from what would describe the environment I thrive best in, that of ‘autonomy’. ‘Freedom’ is a subjective term that implies the presence of some form of oppression, real or ‘imagined’. Whereas, the best description of ‘autonomy’ was the following:

Instead, autonomy is based on a hyper-interconnectivity and a radical relationality that enables anyone and anything to connect and relate in infinitely varying combinations.

Community and culture can be used interchangeably in my view. As a learning experience designer, I am compelled to understand the learner and that translates into being conscious of the community and/or culture that they are a part of. The same holds true of the stakeholders in a project.

Underlying these principals is deep compassion for the challenges that I recognize all people experience. From the ridiculous level of responsibility that can weigh on the shoulders of anyone within an organization top to bottom to the everyday concerns we all experience regarding excelling at work as well as with family along the self-care we require to bring our best to the table – I get it. Every time I face a challenging interaction I take a breath and ask myself, “how can I best serve the people in this situation”.  At the core of my modus operendi are the questions, “What is the perspective that this individual is coming from?”and “How can I support positive life experiences in every facet of my work?”

Actually written as ‘problem-solving’ in the list – I, in my pragmatic view of language, choose to re-position this as ‘solution creation’. Inherently, I pinpoint opportunities over problems. In many cases, this allows me to identify areas ripe for innovation as well as provide positive steps forward when actual challenges arise.

Driving decision-making is crucial to success. Autonomy allows me to make decisions as needed and, sometimes, draws on my ability to be flexible with pushback. With a growth mindset and a certain level of fearlessness (mitigated by a highly analytical risk aversion calculating mindset) – I approach creating action by catalyzing decisions that lead to a movement towards goals.