Laura smiling. She has brown hair and glasses.
What drives me? Curiosity.
Really, it’s impossible not to look up a word I don’t know or a concept that sounds intriguing. Naturally, I strive to foster curiosity in others. Children’s programming was a natural outlet for fostering curiosity, which has defined the early part of my career.
Over time I have become more and more enamored with information - of all stripes -  technical, abstract, conceptual, humdrum, safety, compliance, on-boarding, boring adult stuff information - you name it! Information is lovely to me. I want to take it and hug it and organize it and make it pretty. But it can also be overwhelming. I understand that sometimes it is a tangled mess that needs to be tamed. And it’s important for it to be relevant to the audience... otherwise, what's the point?
Outside of education and instruction, I have been honing a craft for illustration and design. I have always felt the need to visualize and manifest - I think that’s where my drive for craftsmanship comes from. I enjoy making things to be shared with others - whether it’s a watercolor painting, infographic, icon, video, business card design, or job aid.
My thoughts on Instructional Design
I value instructional design as an iterative process that analyzes, prototypes, builds and evaluates occurrences of learning. As one of the design fields, Instructional Design requires focus on the user (in my case, the learner), cycles of prototyping and gradual refinement until an effective design has met the needs of the stakeholders involved. There are many excellent models for Instructional Design. I am most familiar with ADDIE, SAM and Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping.
I’m a huge fan of the Needs Assessment - what is the problem we are trying to address with training? Is training even part of the solution? I am invested in learning all I can about my learners - who are they? What are their needs? What are their goals?
Other interests
I’m a plant person - I’ve long been gardening and I’m actively involved in the local small farm community in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I’m a certified Master Composter. I love outdoor adventuring, going canoe camping and looking for bugs. Also, I’m famous for my pickled beets!
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