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Judith smiling while holding her best friend, a mini poodle named Latte.


My work makes it possible for people to learn what they need from wherever they are. I delight in designing elearning and classroom experiences grounded in human-centered pedagogy.

As a forward-thinking instructional designer, I am passionate about bridging the digital divide, building relationships, collaborating with subject matter experts, improving communication, designing instruction, advancing eLearning, connecting with peers, leveraging media technology, and developing accessible processes.


Instructional design! What is that?

Simply put, instructional design is a process used for developing learning experiences (in any modality).

This process includes:

  • understanding the needs of learners.

  • creating and prioritizing learning goals.

  • planning, curating, and creating engaging learning content.

  • measuring the effectiveness of the learning experience.

  • continuously improving the learning experience. 

Instructional designers (IDs) team up with subject matter experts (SME) to journey through the design process. Instructional designers provide tailored guidance throughout the ID/SME partnership, including sharing approaches to digital accessibility, educational design, end-user experience, and end-user support the SME may not  have in their scope of practice.

Instructional designers apply an array of specialized skills in their work. IDs actively serve as project managers, communicators, relationship builders, data analysts, teachers/trainers, researchers, educational technologists, technical writers, and consultants. 


I specialize in technology training and instructional design for live classrooms and eLearning modalitites. My instructional design approach is fueled by my natural curiosity, my love for people and problem solving, my desire to learn as much as I can about whatever I can, and my background in human and professional communication.

Successive Approximations Model of Instructional Design (SAM)

The ID model I typically follow is an adapted version of the Successive Approximations Model (SAM) as pictured above. 

Good design is a team sport
I believe instructional design is at its best when it is done collaboratively. When possible, I use a facilitated group process based on the Successive Approximations Model (SAM) to create designs. Design groups include instructional designers, subject matter experts, and (at times) other stakeholders. At minimum, the ID should have access to at least one SME.  

Good design solves a problem
Before a design team (or pair) is assembled, a design brief is created. The design brief identifies the problem that needs to be solved, some preliminary goals for the project, a preliminary budget and resources list, and milestone dates for work completion. The problem to be solved is the guding force behind the work of the design team. 

Good design is iterative
Once a brief is developed, the team begins their work together. Time is allocated for building goodwill within the team and reducing uncertainty about the project.
This time includes a review of the design process and design brief. Ground rules are established for the scope of work and flow of communication. After these initial steps are complete, the designer evolves into a brainstorming phase for collecting and refining initial design solutions and developing a detailed timeline (using a project management format such as a Gantt chart). Everyone involved in the project will deeply understand that the work they are doing is preliminary, and the work they're doing will ultimately go through many iterations of design, development, and review over time. 

Good design is deliberate
Designers transition from brainstorming to prototyping rather quickly. This is because good design is deliberate. Designers cannot get stuck in a holding pattern of analysis paralysis. Goodwill and trust within the team is essential for this work to be successful, which means every person must trust the design process and believe that the team has the ability and expertise to solve the problem at hand.
In my opinion, prototyping is when the real fun begins! Prototyping is time for everyone to see their ideas take shape. This period of designing, prototyping, and reviewing is intense. I call this phase of design the messy middle. There is so much hope in the design process! But... when we begin bringing our work to fruition, we learn a lot about the efficacy of our ideas. Sometimes things simply don't work as imagined and require reconsideration and additional refinement.

Good design cares about performance
Once the designer believes they have a workable design that is ready for a wider audience, it is time for final testing and reviewing before rolling out the fully realized design to learners. This  phase ensures that the eLearning design will positively advance learners toward performance outcomes. The design will continue to go through refinement based on testing feedback before final approvals and rollout to learners. 

Good design cares about people
During the intial timeline phase, the designer will identify dates for periodic assessment of the efficacy of their rolled out design. It is essential that the design stays engaging, connecting, and relevant to learners. 

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