Four months ago (July 5th), I received an acceptance letter from the ID2ID Program Advisory Committee, marking the beginning of my participation in the 2017-2018 ID2ID Cross-Institutional Peer Mentoring Program for Instructional Designers (ID2ID, a partnership between the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative). Being a buddy in this program, I (firstname.lastname@example.org) was paired up with Jackie Sabol (email@example.com), an Instructional Designer (ID) with the Penn State University’s Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) unit. During the past few months, Jackie and I have been meeting regularly via Zoom to share thoughts and ideas about instructional design theory and practice.
Good News. One of the best things in my buddy experience so far is the opportunity for us to share career growth and development with each other. When I joined this program, I was working as an Instructional Designer at the Office of Academic Effectiveness and Educational Technologies at the Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Shortly after the beginning of the buddy program (exactly three months ago today!), I received an important opportunity to interview for my dream job. Two months later, I became an Instructional Design Specialist at the Office of Information Technology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). I am very grateful for all the encouragement and support from my buddy Jackie all along my new job search. It was such a special moment to be able to share the good news of my job change with Jackie when I finally received the offer. Career development discussions has remained one of the hot topics in our communications, which has been greatly beneficial to both of us.
AHA Moments. Through our regular meetings, Jackie and I have been discussing each other’s roles, giving tours of each other’s work environment, facilities and services (e.g., the Penn State One-Button Studio, the UT Faculty First Program), comparing facts between Penn State and UT, and most importantly, sharing resources related to our individual job tasks; for example, the OER resources for the preparation of my OER workshop in Spring 2018. This information exchange process is particularly helpful to me, since I am a relatively new instructional designer. These discussions not only enlarged my limited horizon to a great extent in the Instructional Design (ID) field, but also provided helpful guides to my projects in progress.
Concerns. The biggest concern for both of us so far is how to manage our time more effectively. From time to time, it becomes especially difficult to maintain our regular meeting schedule, alongside all the ongoing projects and tasks in our daily work. Jackie and I have been exploring and sharing different techniques and strategies of time management (e.g., the Bullet Journal system). Our goal is to work smarter through learning from each other.
Opportunities. I was very excited with all the potentials when I joined this program, and so far, it has met (if not yet gone beyond) my expectations very well. All the discussions and posts in our Google+ Communities as well as the webinar series (Synthesizing TPACK and SAMR Frameworks and Humanizing Your Online Course) and other ID2ID Zoom sessions have been bringing me inspirations on various topics in ID, from assessment to accessibility, from collaboration opportunities to job postings.
I look forward to the next stage of this great ID peer mentoring program.