About Me

My CV in PDF format for your perusal.

Photo of Max Anderson.

Photo by Matt Kosterman, 2020.

I am based in Chicago and work as an instructional designer (ID) / instructional technologist (IT), mainly in medical education. I have designed and developed instructional methods and curriculum in different formats (e.g., face-to-face, blended, fully online – synchronous and asynchronous). I have experience collaborating with faculty and Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) using a wide variety of Instructional Design models and processes including: ADDIE, SAM, SAMR, Quality Matters, and Gagnés Nine Events, Mayer’s Multimedia Learning Model, and Pebble-in-the Pond. My focus is online and hybrid for professional development and higher education.

The term instructional design refers to the systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials, activities, information resources, and evaluation. Instructional design and instructional technology are related, depending on who you ask. As an ID at my current institution, I design solutions that are not only functional but also attractive and appealing to the end-users, our medical students, staff, and faculty. I have established problem-solving procedures to aid in making informed decisions about curricular design. Instructional technologists (ITs) help facilitate educators’ use of various technologies that they need to accomplish their jobs. It is certainly realistic that one can have either title and the capacity to have both skill-sets. There is a lot of overlap between the two.

I work very closely with the faculty at all campuses of UICOM (Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford). I bring my experience in learning theories, online teaching methodologies, learning management systems, and creative ways to incorporate effective web tools and technologies to engage our students and hopefully enhance instructional experiences. Our faculty members have attained mastery of the course content and valuable classroom experience to inform course development and we work together to develop a shared understanding of the course content and sequencing. I created, manage, and am the primary contributor to a faculty development website for the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM): http://comfaculty.uic.edu.

At the most fundamental level, instructional designers and technologists are intermediaries, bridging the intellectual and attitudinal gaps that exist between instructors and students, and facilitate the use of those supported technologies which they need to accomplish their roles. While faculty members are experts in their respective fields of study, they do not necessarily possess all the knowledge and skills needed to handle and manage the myriad (and often changing) technological tools which they are expected to use, particularly in an online environment. It falls to instructional designers and technologists to offer them as-needed guidance, training, and technical support.

Another key role which instructional technologists play is to continually explore new ways in which technology can enhance the educational process. As new and sometimes transformative technologies regularly emerge, it is the instructional technologists that use their technical aptitudes along with knowledge of pedagogical principles and theory to innovate new and improved solutions to educational challenges.

About Me

I have been the Instructional Designer at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago campus since December 2013. I was the first to have that role in the college. In late 2018, I was promoted to be the first-ever Director of Instructional Design and Learning Innovation at the university and for the college. I continue to work closely with faculty to design, plan, and evaluate the curriculum. I lead a regular series of workshops designed to create stronger communities of teaching and learning. I am also an Instructor in the Department of Medical Education, the oldest and largest such department of scholarly research in medical education in the world.

In addition to instructional design, I have a Masters of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from Florida State University (’99). Most of my library career has involved teaching others (e.g., other librarians, public health workers, clinicians, scientists, etc.) how to use technology more effectively for specific purposes.

My experience in the library world gives me a unique ability to be an excellent searcher in library databases. I synthesize the medical education and instructional design literature to advise administration and faculty on current theories and trends, to meet the changing demands of the academic environment.

UIC uses Blackboard as the learning management system (LMS). I work closely with faculty to determine the best student-centered design using evidence-based principles. I am a member of the Learning Management System Governance Board for the University of Illinois. This group has the awesome responsibility to determine how to best make use of our LMS for a wide variety of purposes. I have also partnered with other offices in our college to analyze confidential data on student performance, faculty instruction, curriculum content, and delivery. I create longitudinal benchmarks with this data for our teaching faculty and staff.

I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in Instructional Technology at Northern Illinois University and graduated in May 2020.

My research aims to understand and improve teaching, learning, and participation in inquiry-based learning (IBL) environments in medical education and to determine the appropriate educational technologies to meet their needs and goals. I use IBL as an umbrella term to include case-based learning (CBL), problem-based learning (PBL), and team-based learning (TBL). I achieve this by examining the literature, as well as practices and experiences of learners, educators, and scholars with/in IBL activities and integration of educational technologies.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6765-4015

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=list_works&hl=en&user=7AqCy2IAAAAJ

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/maxlibris