Meet Michele – Instructional Designer at aNm
Q: What is something that people in your industry have to deal with that you want to fix?
A: Instructional designers have various backgrounds. There is an ongoing debate within the [community] as to whether a degree is needed to be effective in this field. Sure, having a solid foundation in learning theory enables a designer to adapt learning strategies to varied audiences and content. On the other hand, some degreed instructional designers create poor learning products. As an ID, I think one needs to be obsessed with learning everything. There should be a passion for learning and that will automatically translate to a desire to help others learn.
Q: What do you do at aNm? What does your role at the company entail?
A: At aNm I am an Instructional Designer (ID). As an ID, I spend time looking at theories and materials and combining them to create a rich learning experience. I want to be sure that the content being delivered to the client is delivered in the best way possible. I want to make sure that the content is delivered in a way that is interesting, engaging, and at an appropriate intellectual skill level.
Q: What are your credentials or past experience for working in your position?
A: I’ve been working in training for 15 years. I started in the industry as a graphic designer for commuter based training. Eventually, I became a multimedia designer and in the past few years, I became an instructional designer. I think having experience in those other roles helps me understand the whole process.
Q: What’s your background? I.e., where did you grow up; what were you doing before working for aNm (any weird jobs worth sharing?); any childhood stories that inspire you?
A: Growing up in a small town isn’t everyone’s dream, and it wasn’t necessarily mine either, but it was my reality. It was understood that if fun was happening, it was up to me to find it. Television was a Saturday morning thing, my remaining time was spent outdoors. I vividly remember creating roads in a dirt pile to drive my matchbox cars on. I remember my brother and me using sticks and rock to play hockey on a frozen pond in the woods. I think childhood brings out our inner creative. I think growing up in that small town pushed my creativity tremendously.
Q: What has been the most important innovation that you’ve seen in your lifetime?
A: In my case, the old days were in the 1980s which isn’t that long ago. Basically, it is the stuff I didn’t have when I was a kid. While that list is long I would narrow it down to the internet. I remember when doing research was a largely physical act that involved going to the library, using the Dewey Decimal System to search the card catalog, and then wandering through the endless stacks of books hoping to find what I was looking for. If I was lucky enough to locate the book I then flipped through it to find the needed information and copied it down in my notebook.
Q: What is your favorite movie/podcast/album/painting/book any other medium of art?
A: I enjoy photography. I really got serious about photography when I bought my first 35 mm film camera when I was sixteen. I taught myself how to properly load the film canister, adjust the aperture size (also known as f-stop), and the shutter speed/exposure time accordingly. In college I learned to process photographic film, to make prints, and to carry out other associated tasks. Photography changes the way you see things. It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience. Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colors, textures, buildings, trees, flowers. Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer.
Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A: If I could learn to do anything, I think I would learn to code. Programming is, quite literally, all around us. From the take-out we order to the movies we stream, code is ever-present in our lives.
Q: Marvel or D.C.?
Q: What do you like doing outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I like to spend time outdoors. I’ve always loved the water, it’s always been a huge part of my love and connection with nature. When I lived in upstate NY, I first discovered the joy of kayaking. Now one of my favorite ways to get my outdoors fix is through kayaking, mainly on local rivers and lakes. Even if I visit the same stretch of river, each time I go it’s a new adventure.
Q: If you had to pick, what superpower would you have?
A: If I could choose a superpower I would have superhuman strength. I think it would be exciting to have the power to exert force and lift weights beyond what is physically possible for a human.
Q: What has been a highlight of working with aNm?
A: The highlight of working with aNm has been the people I work with and the type of projects that I been a part of. Having mostly worked on federal government contract projects, I enjoy the variety of aNm projects.
Q: What do you think will change in the Tech and Media industry in the next 10 years?
A: I think digital realities will drastically change in the next ten years. Encompassing virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, this trend will move towards creating more immersive digital experiences.
That’s it for this month’s Personnel Spotlight. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to keep up with all aNm news!