Why Did I decide to pursue a Master Degree in Instructional Design & Technology?
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein
I always thought I only needed to choose one specialization in life. So when I was growing up, I just knew I wanted to work for the entertainment business as an Artist or as an Animator. I went to art school, and I studied design and animation. Of course, I found out while in college that my passion laid entirely on art, design, and the power of combining those passions with technology.
It was like magic to me when I discovered how to make my designs to move on the screen — It was mind-blowing.
As I find out later in my life, our education and work experience can always transform who we are and what we want to become in life. It was during my years in College when I was hired to help design and develop online training for the Department of Distance Learning when my career path changed.
I was hired because of my strong art, design, and animation background, but I never thought this job experience was going to transform and entirely shift my career focus for the years to come.
As a student at that time, I recognized the lack of well-design visual elements on a lot of educational material that were not only not engaging students, but that was also making learning difficult.
I knew that educational content needed to be more appealing. One simple solution to the problem was to use design principles (color, typography, layout design, visual elements, etc.) to help improve educational content.
It was at that particular moment that I saw an opportunity to use my skills to create better instructional and educational content. I wanted to share all my knowledge in design, art, and animation to build and create content that not only was going to motivate students to want to remain in school but most importantly to transform their lives.
I have to admit that I have been lucky or perhaps I have worked hard to be able to work for so many industries in the field of design, entertainment, and of course in education. This has given me not only the knowledge and skills, but the expertise in how to craft and design pleasing, engaging, but most importantly meaningful learning experiences.
However, I knew I had years of experience in the field of instructional design, but I had never taken any formal education courses that taught me any pedagogy, andragogy, or any learning methodologies. I knew how to use design principles, and it was working great for the learners, but I knew I was missing the pedagogy training in my professional career, so I felt it was time to get back to school and pursue my Master Degree.
Through my research in finding programs and universities, I found a Master In Science in Instructional Design & Technology (MSIDT) at California State University, Fullerton. I instantly got excited when I read their curriculum. One of the most significant advantages of this program is that it is entirely online.
This was something very crucial for me because I work full-time and going to another university to take classes was going to be very difficult for me. There was no doubt that the MSIDT program was exactly what I was looking for. I decided to apply for the program, and I got accepted in Fall 2016.
Currently, I am taking my last semester of classes before I dive into my final semester where I will be writing my thesis and producing my final project before I graduate in May 2018.
It has been the most fascinating, surprising, and eye-opening journey in my educational life.
The MSIDT program has taught me a lot. Even things that I have never considered before. I feel much better prepared when dealing with anything related to designing instructional content.
What I love about this program is that everything that I have learned is current and applicable to practical cases in life. I have learned so much about Pedagogy and Andragogy.
I have been able to dive in into different learning methodologies and best strategies. I have been able to learn to analyze and compare instructional design models, write and design course materials, and evaluate various instructional projects.
Furthermore, I have been able to value the importance of doing research and finding sources that are relevant to our work. It has helped me to analyze what is currently happening in our world, education, and the future role of work.
It has opened my eyes to prepare prospective learners so that they understand the importance of being life-long learners, to adapt to changes, and embrace innovation, so they can stay relevant wherever they are and in any role they have.
I feel ready to help people embrace learning and to prepare them better for their life-long learning adventure!