October 10, 2001
Wilson, ILT Program Chair
I first heard about the ILT program from friends who work for the Boulder Valley School District. They had just completed their Master's degree and had gone through the program in an Education Cohort group. They told me on many occasions how the ILT program had helped them improve their use of technology to enhance their teaching. They urged me to look into getting a degree through the program. I was interested, but did not enquire further.
A couple years later I had switched from Education to the Corporate world. Again, I heard about the ILT program, this time from one of my company's workshop facilitators. He told me how he had learned a lot about instructional design. He also urged me look into the program and pursue an advanced degree.
When I finally did look into the University of Colorado at Denver and ILT, I found a program that helped people learn about technology and instructional design. I have used computers and other forms of technology throughout my school and professional career, but I felt it important to return to school and, as I often put it, get a paper that says I know what I already know.
Fortunately, the ILT program provided more than that.
While I did have a strong technological skill set, I did discover that I did not know very much when it came to effective design principles. Throughout my various classes, I was challenged to create products that not only were technologically "cool" but also challenged and instructed those using them.
Instead of just making some web pages, I had to make content-rich sites that helped people learn and grow. I had to find the most effective ways of presenting ideas so that users would leave feeling they had a pleasant and enriching experience.
I learned that in instruction communicating content is most important, and getting the information to people is challenging, rewarding, and oftentimes fun. Completing the program has transformed me from a high-tech geek to a true technology-driven Instructional Designer. I will have my piece of paper, but it represents more than just skills I already had: it is a testament to the growth I have experienced and knowledge I have gained over theses past three years.
Here, then is my professional portfolio. Contained within are examples of projects I have lent my talents to, and tracks my development as I became a Designer. From simple web sites to interactive instructional modules, I have learned much.
I now apply my new skills to creating technology-driven products that add value to my company. I have created self-directed webbased instruction that helps our clients prepare for our workshop on Advanced Project Management. I have built websites that provide our workshop facilitators, located all over North America, a virtual gathering place to share their knowledge with each other. I have helped build a system that provides an online testing environment for people in our Project Management and Analysis certificate program a system used by over 1200 people to date.
I've even begun to refocus on the Education world again, this time by helping to redesign and maintain my children's school's web site.
My time in the ILT program has been a time of growth for me professionally and personally. My thanks to you and the other outstanding professors and instructors that have made it a wonderful experience.