About Me and My Work

My CV in PDF format for your perusal.

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 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

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 very similar, depending on who you ask. As an ID at my current institution, I design solutions that are not only functional but also attractive or appealing to the end-user, our medical students. 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.

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.

I read. A lot. 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 have also partnered with other offices in the college to analyze confidential data on student performance, faculty instruction, curriculum content, and delivery. I create longitudinal benchmarks with this data.

I successfully passed my oral dissertation defense in Instructional Technology at Northern Illinois University and will graduate in May 2020.NIU Huskies Logo

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