A new master’s program calls the University of Cincinnati home. Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) analyzes the construction and use of multimedia learning experiences—best described as a loose combination of IT, educational studies, and design. With classes like Learning Sciences and Technology along with Design of Blended Learning Environments, the program acutely focuses on the theories of the human learning process as applied to online interfaces. Mark Lim, when not busy travelling the world and practicing his Spanish between cups of Kombucha, spends his time as an IDT graduate student.
“The program is very interdisciplinary: you learn a little about psychology, pedagogy, and of course design and technology. However, you don’t need to learn how to code or fix computers, just get familiar with a handful of applications.”
Lim, having bachelor’s degrees in both political science and economics, combines his interdisciplinary background smoothly into the very applicable world of IDT. He advises that other graduate students may benefit from doing the same; IDT seems to firmly support many different career pathways.
“For current grad students, the IDT graduate certificate would be ideal for the many students who will be working on online trainings or courses as part of their jobs, or want to advance further in this role,” says Lim. “Students who will continue in academia can definitely use the certificate to prepare to be effective online instructors. Students in business would be well-prepared for corporate trainer and e-learning specialist roles.”
Lim, in partnership with Dr. Matt Schmidt, also produces prominent IDT research. The project, called Virtuoso, introduces individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder to virtual reality (VR) applications. One VR assimilation depicts a typical UC shuttle experience, exposing the autistic VR users to real world situations. The intended purpose is that, through VR, the autistic adults will improve their social skills and independence on campus.
As for Lim, he will be graduating shortly, and plans to pursue a career in instructional design.
“I joined the IDT master of education program because I am passionate about lifelong learning, and how I can use creativity and technical acumen to empower growth and change in others. The best part has been engaging in a community of learners about learning; I feel like every day is interesting and different, but it all relates. This program has helped me to see both the bigger picture and the tiny details: the systematic processes and decades of research that go into simple decisions like font sizes and turn-taking in learner groups.”
Written by Danniah Daher, graduate assistant to the graduate school office.