The Reflect and Celebrate blogging challenge was a timely inspiration to write and reflect on the happenings of this past year. As many in this Community, the challenges and changes we face throughout the year is just part of what occurs in the life of an Instructional Designer. But as I l stop to look back on 2018, it truly does seem to be one I am very proud of.
I received my Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development December 2017 with the goal of focusing on immersing myself in my job as an Instructional Technologist. The Director of my department had been working as an Instructional Designer for several years but had no “official” training so I felt we could work well on re-imagining our department (we have been re-organized in the fall) and setting some goals for quality course design and development at the institution. It turns out our new Dean was big on planning and timelines which was a blessing as my Director was not so much. And me, being the “who, what, when” person that I am, couldn’t have asked for anyone better.
Planning, course development and even getting faculty involved in the course quality review process was making great strides forward throughout the year, my title got upgraded to reflect my new academic achievement, and even my coffee intake was declining (it’s an addiction J). But over the summer our 3 person department lost its LMS Administrator to another job on campus and a month later the director took a new job at a different institution leaving me as the Instructional Systems department. I will admit I may have felt a slight bit of invincibility after having received a Master’s after such a long time out of school, but not to the point of ever thinking I could be an entire department. I began to look at my retirement date and counted my sick days but it wasn’t working. All joking aside, I was going to have to move forward as the sole person in the department. The Dean had a huge impact in working with the other Deans and Department Chairs to step up in setting policies and procedures in motion to keep the momentum going for quality course review, development and training to continue on the track. By the end of 2018, we had launched new LMS training for both faculty and students and are piloting a new course review tool.
As with any successful journey, the path is never traveled alone. The path traveled in 2018 was a path I’m really grateful to have walked, both as a member of a department as well as “a” department. I do look forward to 2019 bringing with it the opportunity for growth both in knowledge as well as colleagues.