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instructional designer



Learning Environments &
Educational Studies

Jian earned a PhD in education with the Learning Environments and Educational Studies program in 2016. She is originally from Wuhan in the Hubei province of the People’s Republic of China and currently lives in Knoxville, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Current Occupation

Instructional Design Specialist
Office of Information Technology (OIT)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

As an instructional designer and developer, I work closely with faculty to create instructional materials, courses, and curricula within traditional and online learning environments. I also develop and deliver training and workshop sessions on instructional strategies and current technologies and software for students, staff, and faculty for both face-to-face and online teaching environments. In addition, I provide leadership for implementing strategies to incorporate emerging and OIT-supported technologies into teaching and learning.

Accomplishments since Graduating

Publications

  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2016). Student perceptions of a successful online collaborative learning community. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 14(1), 1-16.
  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2015). Online instructional program design: One size may not fit the needs of all. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(1), 1-10.
  • Waugh, M., & Su, J. (2014). Student persistence and attrition in an online M.S. program: Implications for program design. International Journal on E-Learning, 13(1), 101-121.
Accomplishments Earned as a Student

Travis Hawk Fellowship
– For outstanding academic credentials and success in academic journey; August 2011 – July 2012

Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, Statistics, & Measurement
– Certificate obtained in Fall 2013

Personal Interests

I am from China. I love traveling and back in the day was a college backpacker. I have lived in three continents across the world (Asia, Europe, and North America).

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and music. Karaoke is one of my favorite things to do with friends. I also spend time at the gym, working out, a couple of times every week.

What do you think was the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

I greatly appreciate the guidance and support from my awesome advisor and mentor, Michael Waugh, my committee members, Barbara Thayer-Bacon, Schuyler Huck, and Blanche O’Bannon, and all of the great faculty members and colleagues in the department. This program taught me so much and fully prepared me for a successful career in the instructional design field.

What was the most memorable experience?

My most memorable experience during the program was the great feeling of belonging among my peers. I learned a lot through collaborating with different groups of peers. We shared conference trips and enjoyed stress-relief social gatherings together. It was such a valuable experience to have gone through the journey with a group of scholars bonding with one another.

What would you tell an incoming/current student in the program/department?

The programs in EPC have so much to offer. My advice is to set academic goals at the early stage and grab the wonderful opportunities for learning and professional growth along your journey in the program.

“Looking back, I feel fortunate to have made the right choice to have joined this wonderful program. I graduated with some most cherished memories in my life. Now, I am so happy to be back and become a proud member of the UT campus again.”


Student Spotlight: Amanda Johnson-Praino

Instructional Technology

Amanda is currently seeking her MS in education, with a concentration in the Instructional Technology (IT Online) program. Originally from Chattanooga, TN, she received her BS in secondary education: English at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She came to UT Knoxville, and joined EPC, in 2015. We asked her to reflect on some past and current experiences. Read her responses below.

Awards

Merit-based UTK IT Online Graduate Student Conference Attendance Award, 2016

Accomplishments
  • Recipient of Merit-based UTK IT Online Graduate Student Conference Attendance Award
  • Attended 2016 Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Annual Convention to represent UT’s IT Online program along with faculty and peers
  • Accepted volunteer-based position on Board of Directors as Director of Social Media with Chattanooga chapter of Association for Talent Development (ATD)
  • Refer to Resume for additional details
Current Occupation

Project-based Instructional Designer
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN/Remote

Work as part of a collaborative team effort within the Learning Sciences and Instructional Innovations group to create instructor-led materials and resources to support the needs of various stakeholders within the nuclear and radiological security sector.

Personal Interests

I am a foodie at heart and love all things cooking. I enjoy spending time with my wife, Tami, and my dog, Ellie. We love taking Ellie on hikes in the woods, to get ice cream, and to the “puppy” store to get new toys and treats! I enjoy exercising and practicing yoga, as well as exploring new interests as I am always curious enough to learn about something new. My wife and I enjoy traveling when we get a chance, with our favorite vacation spot being New England. We have gone to Cape Cod several times during the summer months and it is just magical. Also, we enjoy spending time in Boston and surrounding cities.

Future/Vocational Goals

My most significant goals include becoming more immersed in the field of instructional design and technology, as it pertains to business and industry, and really sharpening my skill set. I want to continue gaining first-hand experience in the design of effective learning environments and instructional materials, while also focusing on the delivery of engaging instructor-led training (ILT) and virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Additionally, I have developed quite an interest in the visual design/creative aspects of being an instructional designer, and I want to continue enhancing these skills as they pertain to both instructional and graphic design roles.

What sold you on this program?

What really sold me on this program was the convenience of it being offered fully online through both synchronous and asynchronous technologies. As a full-time working professional and adult learner, it is very enticing to know there exists an in-state program based in instructional design and technology that can be completed entirely from within my home.

What do you think has been the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of this program has centered on the relationships I have been in from the start. I have connected with professors from whom I have learned more than I could have imagined, as well as peers with whom I have progressed through the program from day one. I feel like I am a part of something through these relationships, and I am very grateful for the mentorships and friendships, respectively, I have created along the way.

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135