Welcome. See samples from my portfolio. Read about my approach to design, writing, training and instructional design. Contact me with ideas about work, thoughts, and play. Most of all, enjoy your visit.
Instructional design is a systematic approach to course development for education and training. It's an interactive, iterative process that requires ongoing feedback and evaluation. I work with subject matter experts (SMEs) to produce effective, engaging, and efficient instruction: online learning programs, which include audio and animation, print materials, instruction manuals, presentations and mixed media.
I am certified by the Canadian Association of Instructional Designers.
The software I use depends on the client's needs (Word, WordPerfect, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, PowerPoint, Articulate, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, CamStudio), although sometimes I just write the code directly in HTML and CSS.
Due to the privacy policies and firewalls of my clients, only these thumbnail screenshots are available of some of the online learning courses that I have designed.
|Ford||Retirement Education||Nelson Thomson|
ID for clients include:
- Hyundai Auto: courses for Parts, Sales & Service
- Subaru Canada: New Vehicle Delivery training course
- Audi Canada: courses for Parts, Sales & Service
- Volkswagen Canada: courses for Parts, Sales & Service
- Volkswagen of America service training course
- Ford of Canada: customer service courses
- Retirement Education Centre: life transition preparation
- Stepping Stones: course on learning the Cree language
- Getting the Life You Want: retirement education manual
- Fanshawe College: website design & publishing
- Davita, Inc.: government compliance
- Nelson Thomson (publishing): ESL grammar
Listen to the Part 1 podcast of Breathe In, Breathe Out, a 10-episode educational soap opera I wrote and produced about the evils of teen smoking.
I like the early part of the writing process: researching, identifying the target audiences and their needs, and meshing the needs with the message. Then comes the gruelling middle part, choosing exactly the right words. I try, as Elmore Leonard advises, to leave out the parts that people skip. The reward for all this is what keeps me writing—the editing. Such fun!
Writing projects include Web pages, annual reports, newsletters, brochures, promotional materials, business reports, magazine articles, video scripts, and one journal article that was reprinted in the book, Changing Tunes of Radio: The Audiocast Diaries: Reflections on radio and podcasting for delivery of educational soap operas, a paper published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
I've also been moderately successful in my creative writing. I won a CBC Radio Ontario Today playwrighting competition and received an on-air production for Millennium Madness, a turn-of-the-century caper. I also received an Honorable Mention for His Waterloo, a satire about water quality in Ontario. For Manifest Destiny, a musical about the War of 1812, I wrote the book & lyrics. I've self-published two books: Scandals? We Don't Got No Stinking Scandals, about Canadian political scandals, 1867-2005, and The Dark Triumph of Daniel Sarkisyan, a young adult novel set in 1919-1920 in the first Republic of Armenia. And I recently finished Inglés como lengua extranjera, an EFL textbook, workbook and teachers' manual for Grade 7 Spanish students at El Maestro en Casa, a distance education program in Honduras.
This mantra of The Bauhaus, a design and architectural school founded by Walter Gropius in 1918, sums up my approach to design: out of purpose and function comes the visual and creative form. I also believe in Occam's Razor (All things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best) and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). These guiding principles challenge me to work harder, smarter and more ingeniously to serve my clients, most of whom deal with tight budgets.
I design and produce various communication materials (reports, websites, presentations, posters, mixed and multimedia, etc.) for my clients using Photoshop, CorelDraw, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Premiere, Audacity and other software.
Hover over each design to see a closer view.
Some of my work includes:
- website redesign, 2007-2014 annual reports, and other materials for Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research
- an organizational self-assessment tool for IFEX (managed by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression), also available in Spanish
- and a variety of reports, promotional & fundraising materials, and annual reports for Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, Hamilton Community Foundation, Toronto Community Foundation, Canadian Nurses Association, The Lung Association, Huntington Society of Canada
Successful adult education relies on the combined efforts of the teacher and the learner. I try to be "the sage on the stage" or a "guide on the side" (Burge & Roberts), "almost silent, but watchful and helpful" (Davies). My teaching, training, instructing, coaching gigs have included:
- Canadian Association of Instructional Designers, visual design master classes
- Mohawk College, Image Editing & Creative Applications courses
- Fanshawe College, Web design courses
- Humber College, fundraising course
- Productivity Point International, software classes
- Computer Coach, software classes
- East York Learning Experience, ESL and literacy tutoring
- Welcome Inn, business plans sessions & coaching
- Canadian Executive Services Organization (CESO), volunteer consultancies
- Alliance for International Women's Rights, volunteer ESL tutor
- El Maestro en Casa, Honduras, fundraiser and EFL advisor
In the movie, Sea of Love, Al Pacino explains to his boss that when people are playing the getting-to-know-you game, they haul out all their best stuff and show off. "You know," he says wryly, "...the Wonder of Me." This site gives you a glimpse of my best stuff.
As a lifelong learner, I've collected my share of degrees, diplomas and certificates:
- MEd in distance education, Athabasca University
- BA in fine arts, University of Guelph
- Basics in graphic design, University of Manitoba
- Dip. in Leisure Services, Malaspina University College
- Cert. in Arts Administration, Banff Centre School of Management
- Cert. in French (immersion), University of Western Ontario
- Cert. in Spanish, EF Language School
- Cert. in TESL, Queen's University
- Cert. in TEFL, Fanshawe College
I'm also very interested in research on spatial sequence synesthesia, especially regarding elliptical calendars, and any research on brain activity that points to best approaches to teaching and learning.
I'm always interested in talking about challenging projects to work on. I'm located in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario, Canada.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org