Why did you pursue a career in the instructional design and technology field?
I have been in the education sector since I was 21 years old, first as a teacher, then as an instructional designer, then as a principal. There was a natural progression from teaching to designing to educational leadership, especially since Mountain Heights was the first secondary school in the world to implement a fully open education resource (OER) curriculum. I started the IP&T program four years after becoming the school leader at Mountain Heights.
What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities in your roles?
I do a lot of program and faculty evaluation and I spend a lot of time working on the school infrastructure, along the lines of organizational leadership design to make sure that as we grow we can be proactive, deliberate, sustainable, and most of all, provide a rigorous educational experience for our students. Additionally, other main responsibilities include overseeing the budget, and implementing the vision and mission of the school as outlined by the schools' board of directors.
How have you found your jobs? What advice do you have for someone trying to find a job in the instructional design and technology field?
As a teacher, I enjoyed the design aspect of my craft. When I first interviewed for an online Spanish-teaching position, I noticed the school did not offer French. During the interview I let them know I would love the 0.5 Spanish position, but I also offered to design a French program too. I ended up with a full-time position as a result and got to build a French program as well. My position as a principal is not a typical IDT job. I was asked to join the board prior to the school opening because I got mouthy with a legislator and then I was invited to be the principal the year the school opened. My best advice is to network, job shadow, and try on lots of places to determine what you really like to do.
In what ways did your graduate program prepare you for your career?
I was already halfway through my career when I started the IP&T program, but my main takeaways include a deep dive into the research, a lot of practice in multiple evaluation fields, and a broad working knowledge of learning sciences—all of which help me be a better educational leader.
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Learn more about the career paths and day-to-day responsibilities of people working in the Higher Education and K-12 sectors of the IDT field! Respondents are students and alumni of the BYU IP&T program.
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