October 23, 2017

Faculty Spotlight: John Hollenbeck

UW Colleges Online prides itself on its faculty. Whether a professor, advisor or administrator, all faculty members are dedicated to helping students succeed. Instructional designers are an essential part of this success. Instructional designers combine education, psychology and communications to create the most effective teaching plans and materials for students. They help to make online learning as enjoyable and easy to use as possible for students. Meet one of the talented instructional designers at UW Colleges Online, John Hollenbeck.

Q: Why did you decide to become an instructional designer?

I feel that the future of education lies in creating new and different methods of promoting learning. Instructional design is the field that deals most directly with this, especially online learning.

Q: What does an instructional designer do?

Instructional designers work with faculty to design and develop online courses at UW Colleges Online. We also investigate the effectiveness of those courses through a structured review process and analysis of student data. Instructional designers are constantly looking at new technologies and strategies to enhance student learning.

Q: What do you like best about working within your position at UW Colleges Online?

Our team is made of diverse and strong talents. We are fortunate to be allowed a great deal of control over the direction out work takes us. We have, as a team, worked to improve online learning for our students.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give students thinking about taking an online class?

Before enrolling in a for-credit class, try out online learning by enrolling in a few classes of interest. The web is full of them; Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the like are great places to see if this kind of learning works for you. By the way, this is the same advice I give to faculty.

Q: How can students be successful in an online class?

The number one reason students have difficulty online is that they fall behind. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

[I enjoy] playing music on my trombone and cooking.

Q: Anything else you would like us to know?

Learning will be the most important skill you develop in life. We now live in a world that is constantly changing; continual learning will be a factor in all of our lives from now on.

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