Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Parallel

Returning from the mailbox at the street, I sorted through a variety of bills, magazines and one particular envelope with three large letters in the return address which caught my attention. Opening the front door, I walked into the family room that Saturday afternoon and held it out, the size and shape reminiscent of  letters received by my daughter over a year ago. Unfortunately, we had learned then that simple business size meant bad news. And so it was with excitement ad trepidation that I slid my finger under the lip along the back and tore open the response. “Dear Mr. Hubbell, It is a pleasure to inform you that you have been admitted to pursue the MS in Instructional Technology...”

And so this summer I begin, not a detour, but rather a parallel journey as I plan for the next stage of my career. After twenty three years outside of a formal hall of learning, I am venturing on-line to earn a my graduate degree from East Carolina University. Unlike my undergraduate years, this time I will be working in parallel to my “day job.” It is my hope to share these experiences through this blog and tweets so that others contemplating this path will embrace it with the same passion and excitement as I am experiencing today.

My quest begins May 18th. I am starting my studies with, “Introduction to Instructional Technology” and “Web Teaching: Design and Development.” These were both supposed to be 11-week courses, however, this summer the “Intro” course is only available in a 5-week format. While it will be great to have my first graduate level course under my belt by June, it will mean a much more concentrated effort. Fortunately for me, it is in an area with which I should be quite familiar.

While the graduate program I am pursuing echoes my current position, I look forward to filling in the gaps of my knowledge. Whereas I have 20 plus years of advanced learning design and development behind me reinforced by instructional design theory gleaned from professional seminars and industry publications and periodicals, it will be nice to have a structured program of learning to reinforce this field experience. Having the opportunity to interact regularly with other talented technologists will help me look beyond the boundaries of my roles and responsibilities at work and see the potential of what “can be.”

I hope you will join me on my six semester excursion in advanced learning. If all things go smoothly, I should have a new memento for my wall and academic credibility behind my years of practical experience. My end game is a desire to pursue a Doctorate in the field of Narrative Centered Learning. I have been researching in this area since I first entered learning development over twenty years ago. It is exciting to see it come back to the forefront of advanced learning design. But, first things first; MS today, PhD tomorrow.

- Ken

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