I’ve been doing a lot of private posts lately. I don’t like to do too many of those because only a small subset of my readers have access to those. So here’s a non-private post!
I’m just shy of being halfway down with my Masters program, and I made a change recently. I had been doing a M.Ed in Instructional Design, but I’ve honestly struggled to get any traction in the program. I just don’t like it, and the reason is because most of the work I’m doing is research based. I’m not a researcher. Just for clarity, let me emphasize that research and study/learning are NOT equivalent activities. Researching is the discovery of new knowledge or expansion of existing knowledge. Study and learning is the consumption of knowledge. I love to learn, I just don’t care to discover new knowledge (in general terms). Take my bees. I read dozens of articles every month and am constantly expanding and applying what I learn, but I do not generally craft new experiments to create additional knowledge. It’s a fine line.
So I’ve struggled getting traction in my program. I was talking to Steve Decker, and he pointed out the similarity of my current program with the M.Ed in Learning & Technology. They are exactly the same except for the final projects. In ID, the final project is a research project. In LT, it’s a production project. It’s taking what I’ve learned and actually producing a unit of instruction. In other words, it’s what I like to do.
I spoke to my mentor, and he agreed to make the switch, so as of Monday, I’m officially an M.Ed in Learning & Technology. I only have to finish my current research class, and I’m done with research!
The more I think about it, the more I like the switch. It is more attractive to me, and, in some ways, I think it’s more attractive to the career goals I see for myself. I have never thought of myself conducting research on instruction and learning. I have, however, often seen myself doing instruction, developing instruction, and otherwise producing instruction. Besides, with the classes I’ve already taken, I have a very solid understanding of the research skills I’d need should life change.
Now just one more year of classes, and I’m done. It’ll be very nice to finish this degree and be able to move on to the next phase of life. I’ve recently been inspired by Sarah’s (my sister-in-law) work with her choir and also a friend here who recently succeeded in snagging a spot with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I’ve always loved singing and have long dreamed of getting training. It’s something Courtney would enjoy as well; maybe that can be a new activity for the two of us!