336. The Multi-Disciplinary Instructional Designer

Instructional design is a discipline that people often discover and pursue as a second career. In this episode, Chris Gamrat and Megan Kohler are the editors of The Multi-Disciplinary Instructional Designer: Integrating Specialized Skills into Design Toolkits, which discusses how prior backgrounds and careers can contribute to the process of course design.

Show Notes


John: Instructional design is a discipline that people often discover and pursue as a second career. In this episode, we discuss how prior backgrounds and careers can contribute to the process of course design.


John: Thanks for joining us for Tea for Teaching, an informal discussion of innovative and effective practices in teaching and learning.

Rebecca: This podcast series is hosted by John Kane, an economist…

John: …and Rebecca Mushtare, a graphic designer…

Rebecca: …and features guests doing important research and advocacy work to make higher education more inclusive and supportive of all learners.


John: Our guests today are Megan Kohler and Chris Gamrat. Megan is an Assistant Teaching Professor and Learning Designer in the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She is the recipient of the Marion G. Mitchell Award for Innovative Teaching and is conducting research, funded by a Schreyer Institute Scholarship, on supporting neurodivergent learners in higher education. Chris is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Chris and Megan are co-editors of The Multi-Disciplinary Instructional Designer: Integrating Specialized Skills into Design Toolkits.
Welcome, Megan and Chris.

Megan: Thank you. We’re happy to be here.

Chris: Thank you.

Rebecca: Today’s teas are:… Chris, are you drinking tea today?

Chris: I’m having coffee right now. But tea will be coming later.

Rebecca: Alright, good.

Chris: …still waking up.

Rebecca: Coffee is one of our most popular tea flavors. How about you Megan?

Megan: I am drinking a chai tea this morning in my lovely mug. [LAUGHTER]

Rebecca: I like it. It says “Hello Gorgeous” on her mug. [LAUGHTER] John, would you like to talk about your blasphemous tea this morning? [LAUGHTER]

John: I am drinking a hazelnut coffee tea today {HORRIFIED SOUND]. Coffee does seem to be a popular tea. But what happened was, we’re in a new recording room. And I came here early to set some things up. And I realized they did not have time to get back to my office to make some tea. And so I stopped at a nearby cafe. And it turned out they did not have tea there. I didn’t have any other alternatives. They didn’t even have iced tea that I could see.

Rebecca: John has only not had tea two times… once was water. And once is today

John: …and the other time was a day when we lost [LAUGHTER] our old recording studio and I just didn’t have time to get the tea made after my class.

Rebecca: Today I have a Scottish afternoon tea.

John: That’s better.

Rebecca: Yeah, it’s really smooth. I really liked this particular kind. Brodie’s is the brand.

John: We’ve invited you here today to discuss The Multidisciplinary Instructional Designer. Before we discuss this, though, it might be helpful to just talk about the various roles that instructional designers play in supporting instruction. And it seems like that role varies quite a bit from campus to campus, and even from school to school on campuses. So could you talk a little bit about that to help set the stage for the rest of our discussion.

Chris: I was an Instructional Designer for eight and a half years here. When I met with new faculty, I would explain that I serve kind of two functions. And the first is that I was a little bit like Q from the James Bond franchise, where I was in the background, doing research and developing new tools and things that they could use out in the field. And all the faculty tended to really like that analogy, because then that made them like a double 0 agent. They’re like, “Oh, yeah, that sounds good.” And then the second is concierge. So they will be able to come in and say, “I’m really running into this issue. What do you suggest?” Or “How am I gonna get around this, given the tool sets that we have available.” And so using the depth of knowledge I have, and the exposure I have from my own teaching and from working with many other faculty, I’d be able to make recommendations for them. So those are the ways that I would explain to our faculty

Megan: My explanation is not nearly as cool as a double 0 seven agent. [LAUGHTER] My explanation is that I think a bit more functional, from the perspective of instructional designers when we’re working on projects tend to be the glue that holds everything together. And we also end up being the conduit or the avenue by which a lot of information gets communicated. So we really help the faculty members think through how they want to present this content to the students, what’s the best way to do that, what types of media are best going to support and reinforce that instruction, and also what’s going to be the best options for students in terms of how they consume and retain that information. But there’s a lot of other components that come into this mix as well. So there’s graphic designers, there’s videographers, there’s so many different elements that go into this… project management too, is another really big one that a lot of people don’t really understand is a really critical skill for an instructional designer to have. And so we have to have all of this knowledge, even programming and basic coding, communicating with programmers in order to help them understand what a specific vision is. So we need to know enough about all of these different areas in order to be able to communicate effectively. And also, our primary focus ends up being on the pedagogical pieces. So we really wear a lot of different hats, and have a lot of responsibilities in the course design process.

Rebecca: I first heard about your book when I was at EDUCAUSE and Chris and I connected there. Can you tell us a little bit about how this book came about? I know that I was really interested in it the second I saw it.

Chris: That’s a Megan story for sure. [LAUGHTER]

Megan: Yeah, it actually came about somewhat organically. My background is in theater. I was a professional actor for many, many years, like 12 or 15 years, before transitioning over into the field of instructional technology. And Chris was participating on one of our professional development communities for our instructional designers here at Penn State. And one of the topics that came up was how do we help learning designers improve their presentation skills? And Chris was like, “I know exactly who I’m going to ping [LAUGHTER] to see if they can help with that.” And so he reached out to me, and he said, “Hey, Megan, can you come and give a presentation on how to help instructional designers refine and upskill their presentation skills.” And I was like, “Of course.” And so I went, I gave the session, and it was really well received. And I think Chris and I both walked away from that, with this little idea in the back of our minds that there might be something more to this, but we didn’t really pursue it. And then two-ish years later, Chris pinged me. And he was like, “Hey, I think this is a book.” And I was like, “I love it. Let’s do it.” So then we just sat down and pulled together ideas for the book. And here we are. This is about, what, a year, year and a half work. But now we have our book in hand, and it’s very exciting.

John: In your book, you note that instructional designers bring a wide variety of backgrounds into the work. And a major theme throughout your book is how instructional design can benefit from the specialized knowledge that each instructional designer brings from their academic training or from prior work experience? Could you share some examples of that with our listeners?

Chris: Yeah, I can talk about some of my experience. In my chapter, we talked about concepts around crisis management. So prior to working in the College of Information Sciences,and Technology here, I worked for NASA for about five and a half years. I was on a grant for them, and we were doing professional development for teachers across the country. So we were doing workshops for probably 10s of 1000s of teachers every year, maybe even more than that. So that entered in like a lot of room for failure, just things don’t work out. And the thing that I thought was really interesting, that permeated even into the culture of NASA education was that attitude failures, not an option, there always has to be: there’s a plan and a back-up plan and plan all the way up out through Z. That, really, we need to have a way of making things resilient. And so I had like that nugget of an idea from my work with it. And then it came to the college of IST, and we have a program called security and risk analysis. And inside of that, we really do spend a lot of time focused on teaching in building out resilience for any number of organizations. A lot of our students end up working for the federal government and other institutions that cannot do their job. And so I started to acquire more and more of that language on this concept, to really be able to describe the things that we were doing back when I was working on that project. And for the entire time that I was on my learning design team here at Penn State, we realized that we were building in this resilience without even necessarily naming it. So my colleagues and I spent our chapter really more formally defining, here are some of the processes that you can take advantage of. And there are really well-defined techniques that go into that that are being used by FEMA, the CIA, any number of huge and really critical parts of our government. So that was something that I realized, like, “Wow, this could be really powerful.” And when I started to flush out that chapter, I said to Megan, I think people are going to really have a good time reading this, and they’re going to get stuff out of it. So I really, even just in the writing process… and normally, writing is kind of like the hard part…that was fun.

Rebecca: …always nice when that lands as fun. [LAUGHTER]

Megan: Absolutely. Yeah. So I’ll just tag on to what Chris said a little bit by sharing some more pointed examples from the book itself. When we put out a call, we really were looking for people who had unique perspectives and backgrounds that we wanted to capture as part of this overarching story of the uniqueness, but also the variety that goes into the field of instructional design. And it’s especially relevant right now, because there are so many people that are transitioning out of different positions, a lot of K through 12 teachers, actually, right now are transitioning and looking at the field of instructional design. But really, for anybody who’s interested in this, you might think, well, this is a completely different shift in the skill set that I have. How on earth would I even make this transition? And the reality is that so much of what we do as instructional designers can draw on other fields. And one of my favorite examples that I always love to pull from, my friend, Paul, saw that we put out this call and he was like, “Hey, would you be interested in hearing my perspective on a military background?” And I was like “Submit a proposal.” He did. And then we reviewed it and what he had to say blew us away. His chapter is called “Out of the frying pan into the fire, the unintended and amazing consequences of risk taking in the practice of instructional design.” And I think that that’s something that is so wonderful to keep in mind, because instructional design becomes all about our processes and procedures, we have all of these things in place to ensure success. So when you think about the notion of risk taking, that doesn’t always seem like it’s something that pairs well with instructional design. But in his chapter, he makes a phenomenal case for why we need to be willing to take those risks as instructional designers and ways that we can go about doing that. In addition to what Paul has written, we’ve got chapters about how choreography from ballet can contribute to our design thinking processes. We’ve got stories about feminism, and how they can impact what we do as instructional designers. So it really is this piece of work that has such varied and amazing perspectives. And hopefully, people when they read this, they won’t just view it as, like, here’s a new set of skills that I can apply, because it’s definitely that but it’s so much more; it’s about how we can feel more impassioned about what we do as instructional designers, and how we can help share those passions from our prior fields into the work that we do today and then share that back with the faculty members in order to help engage them and inspire them as they go about these design processes as well.

Rebecca: I really love hearing you guys talk about the interdisciplinary nature, because as an interaction designer, or someone who’s in the design field as a whole, I see the design field as just being a very interdisciplinary place that’s borrowed from many different places over time to kind of make its own set of rules and principles that we follow in the big bucket of design. So it’s nice to hear how all these different disciplines and fields continue to make the discipline of design evolve. Can you talk a little bit about who you see the audience of this book being?

Megan: Sure, I think the reality is that this book can appeal to anyone in the instructional design field, as well as people who are even just curious or interested about transitioning into it. Because even if you’re a seasoned instructional designer, there’s perspectives in this book that you’re not going to have, that can help enrich your own toolkit. So if somebody doesn’t have a military background, they can read Paul’s chapter and learn about different skills, risk taking, resilience, many, many others. I do not have any kind of a background in feminism, but yet, when I read Jackie’s chapter, I learned a lot of different things that I will then go forth and apply. So I think it can really help seasoned designers build up their skills from incorporating new perspectives, but also somebody who’s just kind of curious, like I kind of mentioned before, people are transitioning fields post pandemic, and somebody is questioning, is this the right field for me? How would I even go about fitting into this? Or how would I go about making that transition? This kind of a book is a great read for them, because hopefully, they’ll see how these other different skill sets could be leveraged, and then maybe there’ll be inspired. And they’ll think about how their own skill sets could be leveraged as they move or transition into the field of instructional designer, instructional technology.

Chris: First off, I think, Megan captured it really well. I do think it’s very much a book for people who are just professionally curious, I think there’s an appetite for wanting to know a little bit to that. One of the things I describe as valuable a skill as a designer is being like a professional novice, when talking with a subject matter expert, knowing the kinds of questions to ask, to tease out being able to explain something well and effectively, and I think these chapters get to that, because for basically everyone who contributed a chapter to this, that was a different life, an entirely different way of thinking. And they’re able to provide it in a really consumable way for this audience. So I think anybody who is interested in that would greatly benefit from these chapters, because they’re designed to be picked up and run with.

John: Might a case also be made that this could be useful for administrators who might not always understand the role of instructional designers, especially if they’re looking at ways of improving instruction? And might it also be useful for faculty who do not always have instructional design support on their campus to consider various ways in which they can bring other knowledge and skills into the ways in which they design courses.

Megan: Yes, 100%. That’s a great perspective. Thank you.

Chris: Yeah, actually, one of my co-authors is a faculty member that I’ve worked with quite closely over the years. And that was something that he made a comment on, it was just like, “I didn’t realize that this skill set is impacting how I’m teaching.” And it’s just like that, revealing that what’s maybe obvious, that it’s actually already embedded in your practices. So I think ,absolutely, many subject matter experts would benefit from this for sure.

Rebecca: Both of you authored chapters or co-authored chapters in the book. And I’m hoping we can dig into a little bit of the content of some of those chapters so that folks can really see the benefit of the content. So Chris, you already hinted that your chapter talks about your time at NASA, and you kind of develop a resilience plan, a process that people can follow. Can you talk a little bit about what you mean by resilience and crisis management? And what that process might look like for folks?

Chris: Yeah. So when I’m teaching, I think about designing my courses in a way that fails gracefully. So day one, I think about when we have our very first class… okay, well, obviously, we’re going to talk about the syllabus, but also at the same time, literally everyone on campus, all 50 some thousand students and faculty are logging in to our learning management system all at the same time. So it becomes super slow. So how can I avoid, “Oh, we’re in class, I wanted to talk about my syllabus, but it can’t, because things not loading?” Well, I can be able to anticipate that because for sure it’s gonna happen. So I print it out, and I have a copy with me so I at least have that as a backup. And there are other things that I can think about where if the resources are down, if something happens in the class, how do we pivot? Many years ago, when I was still working on that professional development committee, the one that we asked Megan to come in, we did a session with the idea around being able to pivot gracefully, with that concept of like, all the snow days. One had just happened, so we’re thinking like, okay, let’s plan ahead. And we did that session, I think in November of 2019, we were not thinking about what else we might have to pivot around. So it really became a subject that a lot of people were suddenly way more interested. And so when we start to inject more of a methodical approach to that, you start to brainstorm, “okay, what are possible disruptions that might happen?” Well, students could get sick, that’s definitely going to happen, I could get sick, how do I deal with that? so on and so forth, and you put out all those ideas, and then you attach a weight to them. And the weight for that is calculated by likelihood of it happening, and how much it might provide an impact to the class. So if one student is out, maybe no big deal, if a lot of students start to get sick, well, then you have to really adjust. Or if I get sick, that would be a big impact. Because I might not necessarily have like, something else to do for a given day. So those are things that you would outline and identify, Okay, these are the top three that are going to be the biggest impact. Those are the ones that we build into our design. So that way you can adjust around those. That was, I think, a really valuable takeaway from this. And to prepare for the chapter, I was reading up on how actually standardized that description is for likelihood of risk. So basically, there is documentation that talks you through how you can attach a weight of like, well, that’s like 80% versus 60, etc. So there’s really a lot of detail that you can dive into, and be able to, again, provide a rubric for likelihood of risk. So when I say rubric, that’s my jam, so that has already piqued my interest as well. So those are a couple of things that I really took out of preparing this chapter and getting those prepared.

John: Megan, you already mentioned that you were an actor before. Could you talk about how that’s informed your work as an instructional designer? You have a chapter on that in the book?

Megan: Yeah, definitely. One of the things that I think people don’t always realize is how communication is a critical piece of what we do as an actor. People are probably thinking, “Well, you go in and you read a script, how is that freeform communication?” But the reality is that all of the communication that occurs in order to get the production up and running is very extensive. And I think one of the greatest examples that I can pull from in order to help people understand how critical communication is in a theatrical setting is in the context of stage fighting. So you figure you get swords on stage [LAUGHTER], and people are learning how to choreograph. Well, I mean, someone will come in and someone will choreograph a fight scene for a set of actors, and then they will have to enact it. But people have to feel comfortable speaking up and saying, I’m not comfortable with how this is working, could we try something different? And it is a really important skill to be able to communicate and to advocate for yourself as an actor, and something that I feel like a lot of instructional designers don’t always fully understand how to build as a skill. I think a lot of times a lot of instructional designers can sort of default to the “Oh, I have this blueprint, and then I’m just going to ask the faculty member to fill out this blueprint, and I’ll explain to them what this blueprint is about.” But the reality is, we need to be able to provide things that are out of context in order to help make connections between different things for faculty members. So I have a great example. In addition to working at Penn State I also have a consulting firm, I do consulting work on the side. And I was just working with some faculty members the other day, we’re designing a micro learning course. And they were having a really difficult time stepping away from the notion of, “Well, we’re just going to provide them with some bullet points, and then we’ll talk to those bullet points in the synchronous sessions that are going to accompany these micro learning experiences.” I was like, “Okay, but let’s think about the breadth of information that you’re covering, you’ve got seven different modules, and they’re full of bullet points. How are you going to cover all of those bullet points in one synchronous session?” And they were just really struggling with that concept of stepping away from the expert perspective and into that perspective of a novice. So how are they gonna help draw those connections or expand upon that information, so that it’s not just bullet points that there’s actual content there? And I gave them an example of like throwing a dinner party, I’m like, “Okay, well, let’s say we’re throwing a dinner party, I’m gonna send you to the grocery store, and I need you to pick up items for dinner and dessert and a nice drink to go along with it.” And I said, “What are you going to pick up?” And they’’re like, “We don’t know.” “That’s exactly where your learners are right now. You need to be able to identify what all of the ingredients are, and explain how those things are going to come together in order to form the dish that you’re going to serve at the dinner party.” And then they were like, “Oh, now we get it.” And so that communication is just such a critical element of what we do. And if you’re not communicating, well, your project is going to fail. They say there’s statistics that show that the communication is the fail point of every project and 80% of every project is communication, and the other 20% is the actual work. So it’s really a critical component of what we do. And I think the skills that we learn as actors can help build those skill sets for instructional designers. So that’s what the chapter that I wrote with Penny Ralston-Berg is all about.

Rebecca: It’s really interesting, and this exact moment in time, Megan, hearing you talk about this actor perspective, because our Graduate Studies Division is having the actors of the London stage come in and do a workshop for our graduate students, a professional development workshop on communication. [LAUGHTER] And really, everything you just outlined is exactly the kinds of things that our graduate students are hoping to dig into as well. But it really comes from this disciplinary background and providing some new tools to our students.

Megan: Yeah, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this, but Alan Alda, he’s very famous from being an actor on MASH, he has a communication program for scientists that’s based in theatrical principles. And so he goes in, he has this training session that he runs with scientists at different institutions and organizations all over the world, but it helps them understand how to become better communicators. So yeah, it’s just definitely something that people can leverage. You can always become a better communicator.[LAUGHTER]

Rebecca: Definitely. [LAUGHTER]

John: And one of the things you also just said was that one of the roles of an instructional designer is to remind faculty of what it’s like to look at their content from a perspective of a new learner. Does the fact that the instructional designers are not generally in the same discipline as the instructors provide that sort of assistance that faculty might lose? Because once you become an expert in some discipline, it’s really easy to lose perspective on what novices know, and how quickly they can absorb material.

Megan: Yeah, absolutely. That’s 100% true. One of the things that I always tell faculty, when I meet with them, is “I get to be your sample student.” And that really is a gift to the faculty member when we’re working with them, because we’re going to be looking for things in which there are gaps, or there are overlaps. And that’s what we do as instructional designers, or part of what we do as instructional designers. But we also have that ability to communicate that back to the faculty member, whereas their students, they’re not going to do that. They’re going to take the information as it comes in, and they’re going to try and work with it as best they can. But having that sounding board or that ability to get that feedback from an instructional designer, in terms of “I don’t fully understand what it is that you’re trying to communicate here. Can you explain this to me a little more deeply?” Or “Can you expand upon this?” or “Let’s add some details in,” or “let’s add a graphic in that’s going to help convey this concept.” It’s absolutely a piece of the puzzle in terms of instructional design.

Chris: That just reinforces what I said earlier, which is I very much believe an instructional designer is an expert novice, among other things. [LAUGHTER]

Rebecca: It seems like to be able to share that information back to faculty, there has to be a level of trust between the faculty member and the instructional designer. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Chris: I agree that there is a huge amount of relationship building in design work. I’ve worked with different faculty where they were skeptical of me, skeptical of getting help, didn’t necessarily need to see that there was value, and being able to explain the process, how things work. how I can provide those needs, in the different ways that we talked about, can really push it over the edge to go from me showing up and checking in with them weekly or whatever is a burden to I’m looking forward to talking with Chris. And when they realized that that help can be whatever they need it to be, and that it can take many different shapes, that really changes the tone or the conversation. There are some faculty where I would meet with them for a few minutes to talk about the course and progress that they’re making, they would ask me about what’s going on. At the time, we were switching from our old LMS to our current one, and they would ask, like, “Oh, what do you know about this or that?” and I’d fill them in on the kind of like, university gossip almost of like, “yeah, transitions going on at this pace. And here’s what you need to know.” And that was valuable to them. So they were responsive to it, and that meant that went from having one kind of okay development process to three in the span of about four months. They were receptive to that by the end, like they wanted to work with me. So I definitely think there’s huge amounts of benefit. And I think they had been exposed to what we have in our book of like, “Here’s all these different things that we can bring to the party,” they would have warmed up a lot faster.

Megan: Trust is a piece that Penny and I also talk about in our book chapter on theater. And it’s really interesting, because as an actor, a lot of times you’ll be hired to be part of a show. And you’ll come in and you’ve never met any of these people before. But yet, suddenly, you have to work with them, and you have to be efficient, because you have limited times, I mean, sometimes you will have maybe a few weeks, sometimes you’re fortunate enough that you have like a two-month rehearsal time period, but you need to figure out how to learn to trust one another and work with one another very quickly. And so anybody who’s interested in learning some more skills in terms of how you could leverage that from a theater perspective, I definitely encourage you to get a copy of the book and check it out.

John: In each of the chapters, you have the authors introduce themselves and their background. Could you talk a little bit about why you chose that approach?

Chris: Yeah. So when we first started meeting, we realized that there was tremendous power in getting to know the backgrounds of the contributing authors, not just the topic, or the subject matter of this is their background, here’s why journalism can help you, here’s why theater can help you, etc. But really getting to know them and understanding their experiences was very powerful. We asked each of our contributing authors to contribute somewhere in the neighborhood of a page or so introduction that is more of a narrative or story about here’s how I got to where I am, and how I use these types of tools. And I think Megan and I probably talked about this after the fact, which is just that I feel like even though most of these authors we’ve never met in person, I feel like I’m a lot closer to them, [LAUGHTER] just having read those chapters. So I think that that’s super powerful. And one thing I’m really proud about with this book.

Megan: Yeah, and I want to tag on to what Chris said, because another reason why we wanted to capture the stories of these people’s journeys, was because we wanted to also remind people that instructional design isn’t just about the skill sets and the tools and the technologies, that we are human beings, and that we all have something valuable that we bring to the table. We all have journeys that we have walked through, we all have bumps and bruises as well as highlights and glimmering moments. And we wanted to try and capture that in this book as well, so that when someone was picking up this book, and they were reading through it, they felt connected to the people who were sharing this information so that it wasn’t just a series of strategies that you can include in your toolbox. But it was more like you were having a conversation with a mentor or a friend who was giving you advice in terms of how you could build your skill set based on the knowledge that they have to share with you.

Rebecca: I think one of the things that’s really interesting about the narrative approach, or really the diverse group of instructional designers that are represented in your book and the disciplines that they come from, is that it’s not like we wake up necessarily thinking, “Hey, I want to be an instructional designer when I grow up.” [LAUGHTER] It’s not necessarily one of those fields that are obvious, especially when you’re making those first choices for your college education, for example, and maybe not even later on. A lot of folks change fields or end up here at a later time.

Megan: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. And I know that that was definitely the case for me. [LAUGHTER] Life is full of interesting twists and turns, isn’t it?

Rebecca: Definitely. So we always wrap up by asking: “What’s next?”

Chris: That is my absolute favorite question. [LAUGHTER] In large part, I really do like to have a what’s next. When I was working with NASA, we would go to school districts and do big workshops with teachers, and they would get so excited about the thing. And they come up with like, “Oh, what can we do after this?” And for a while, in the early days, the answer was, “Well, maybe we can come back in a year.” And to put a wet blanket like that on the passion for learning, for being able to explore and do new things, is really upsetting. And so I really took that to heart. I always like to have something for students, for colleagues that I’m working with, like, “What is that next thing?” …whether it’s a new project or a different angle for research or whatever or another class that they could take. So I love the question. Megan and I have talked about a second edition, possibly. Meghan, I don’t know, if you want to throw out some other things that you’ve been thinking about.

Megan: Sure. From the book perspective, definitely, we would love to do another edition and possibly even a third edition, because there’s just so many different perspectives. As we’ve been talking about this book, one thing that we realized that was missing from this, there’s many different professions and fields that are missing from this, but one that really sort of surprised us as we were having conversations with people, and quite frankly, it shouldn’t have. But we were having a conversation with a stay-at-home mom, who was interested in instructional technology. And she’s like, “When I think about this, all I do is manage people all day long.” She’s like, “That’s what I do, I manage people.” And we were like, “Yes, you do. [LAUGHTER] “You 100 percent do.” And that’s a perspective that I would love to circle back around and capture in a new edition. And there’s just so many other people who have interesting and varied backgrounds that have a story to tell and have different skills that they can share, and about how those skills can help us be better designers. So from that perspective, hopefully, the book will sell really well. And the publishers will come back and be like, “Yes, another edition. Let’s do it.” For me professionally, I’m doing a lot of work with neurodiversity in higher education, and how we can support neurodivergent learners in higher education contexts. I have a couple of workshops coming up with that, as well as some other speaking events. So we’ll see how that pans out. [LAUGHTER]

Rebecca: It’s always nice to have adventures on the horizon, right?

Megan: Oh, absolutely.

John: Well, thank you for joining us. I enjoyed reading through much of your book. I haven’t yet had a chance to finish it. But it was really interesting. And I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

Rebecca: Yeah, it was great to hear your stories and to share your work with everyone. Thank you so much.

Megan: Yeah, thank you. And maybe there’s a chapter in the next edition about podcasting and how you can leverage those skills as an instructional designer,

John: Well, we began this for professional development purposes. And that is a large part of the role of instructional designers.

Megan: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. We really had a wonderful time talking with you today.

Chris: Thank you for having us.


John: If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. To continue the conversation, join us on our Tea for Teaching Facebook page.

Rebecca: You can find show notes, transcripts and other materials on teaforteaching.com. Music by Michael Gary Brewer.

Ganesh: Editing assistance by Ganesh.