Creatively making sense

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.

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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.

Fanshawe Davita Hyundai
 
Ford Retirement Education Nelson Thomson
 

ID for clients include:

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.

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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.

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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:

 

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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:

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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:

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.

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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 welliott@golden.net

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Updated 2016-12-21