learning design and technology goals

visions and insights contributing to the field of instructional design

my professional planning goals

Professional planning is a key element in making the most out of any experience.  The idea of planning is especially important in a doctoral program as it can help the learner write out their own goals as means to be accountable. 



Goals Upon Graduation

  • My goal is to earn a doctorate degree and help others in the field of instructional design.  At this time, I'm unclear as where I end up - becoming a faculty member and teaching the next generation of instructional designers, leading an instructional design team focusing on effective development of learning materials, or working in a government position where I can use my experiences in evaluation to help fuel our government to be the best it can be. 

Current Projects

  • Drafting a paper focused on problem-solving in a case-based online course [a^pl research team]. Done & published!

  • Drafting an auto-ethnography as a group looking at the role of theory [extension of EDCI 674]. Submitting in January 2012. 

  • Finishing up a design case paper on running an online student center.

  • Drafting an Open Educational Research [OER] on instructional strategies [extension of EDCI 673]. Done & published!

Research Goals

  • In 2018, my goal was to be published in the field.  I find value in contributing to the field in a meaningful way that can help practitioners understand and know of the growing trends in instructional design.  As of spring 2019, I was informed I would be published as part of a group research team as well as an individual article focused on strategies that can be used as part of the Community of Inquiry framework. 

  • In 2019, my goal is to expand my knowledge of research in terms of the following:

    • Take at least one research method(s) course.​​ Done!​​

    • Send at least three articles in for publication. Nope! I only got two articles sent in. 

  • In 2020, my goal is to, again, expand my knowledge of research in terms of the following:​

    • Take another research method course.​ Done!

    • As part of our EDCI 674 research team, finalize and send our class project for publication [December due date].

    • As part of the EDCI 673 research team, work together on a group project. 

    • Finalize a paper I've been working on for the past year. 

Scholarly Discussion & Reflection

As I am just beginning my journey as a researcher and doctoral student, I have plenty of time and area to explore and find my place. My acadamic journey in 2020 was one where I became actively involved in research groups and continued to explore and learn more about different types of research and research studies.

One thing I've learned in 2020 is that not all projects are easy or quick. As we wrap up a group project from 2019, I reflect back on the process and want to discuss a few things I learned from that experience that I'll take with me. First, a project always needs a champion. Research alone can be a daunting experience. Research as part of a team can be even more daunting. People will fall out of "love" or even "like" with the topic. You will see burnout. You will see frustration. However, if a project has a champion - someone who is motivated to keep the group moving and won't let it fall through the cracks, it will work. In this case, six graduate students worked together (me included) to create an autoethnography. We didn't always have that one champion - but what we did have was many champions along the way who stepped up when needed. This is what got us to the end. Working together and stepping up when we needed to. While I hope that I can be a champion for future research projects moving forward, I cannot guarantee that I can. Therefore, as I reflect on this experience, I know I need to align myself with individuals who can step up to bat when needed. We need to lean on each other and hold each other accountable.


Another thing I really learned during 2020, especially with a lot of learning and working going remote, is that it is okay to lean on others and ask for help. While I realize I was lucky - I have yet to be sick from COVID or experience the loss of a job or a family member during this time, asking for help is okay. Feeling burnout is okay. Needing to take a day or a week to step away from a project is not only OK, it is necessary. 2020 definitely had its challenges; however, by working and asking for help, I was able to push on. My writing group was a huge help to me in 2020 - we were able to hold each other accountable. Just having an hour set aside to write, talk, and just 'see' people online is something I'll be grateful for moving forward. Additionally, having online meetings with co-workers provided the break I needed - away from work talk, away from sitting at home doing nothing. It provided an outlet to vent and connect in a situation where 'seeing' people and 'hanging out' wasn't an option. 

When I reflect on my goals for 2021, I plan to step a bit out of my comfort zone. First, in December 2020, I plan to run for an AECT Graduate Student Assembly position. I view this as the next step in my professional career and hope to expand my network as well as help bridge the gap between students and instructional designers with the faculty in the division [Distance Learning]. Second, I hope to work with faculty and other students outside of Purdue to create meaningful research studies and projects within my interest area. More on these as I reflect and grow as a researcher...



My academic family

From left to right: Dr. Jennifer Richardson (faculty advisor & friend, Purdue University), Dr. Karen Swan (academic 'grandma,' University of Illinois, Springfield), and me while in Ireland at the Global Learn Conference 2016.