Reflection Statement

This reflection statement outlines the following areas:

Background and Experience

In 1997, I was laid off from my job at the bank after having worked there for twelve years. I learned about the layoff in 1996, and decided to go back to school and change careers. During my first year at The Women’s College, I decided to change professions to the computing field. After I was laid off I started looking for an entry level computer position in order to gain experience in the computer field as I was finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Computing. The position that I obtained was working on the helpdesk. I worked on the helpdesk until I took over the position of Web Application Specialist about a year later. As a Web Application Specialist, I was responsible for rebuilding and maintaining the Intranet, but I also trained people to use Microsoft products and basic computer skills.

During this time I finished my Bachelor’s degree, and had almost finished a Master’s degree at University College in Computer Information Systems. In my work experience and educational classes, I learned a great deal about web design and development using the Macromedia products. The Macromedia products that I have used so far are Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and ColdFusion.

In all of my jobs that I have held, I have always been a trainer or mentor. It seemed a natural progression into my second Master's degree at the University of Colorado at Denver in Instructional Design for Adult Learners. During the years that I have been in the Instructional Design for Adult Learners program, I have held jobs as either an instructional designer or web developer. In both of these job areas I have used and developed skills such as, project management, web design/development, web usability, user assessment, planning, analysis, problem solving, implementation, and change management.

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Professional Goals and Interests

In March of 2003, I again was laid off by the company where I worked because they eliminated my position. So, I have had to think about what I want to do in the future with my professional goals. Having figured out that I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy web development has led me to using my web design skills to create online training courses. Using both my web design skills and my instructional design skills is the best of both worlds, which for me are teaching and web design/development. My interest in teaching comes from my enjoyment of helping others be successful. My interest in web design and development started when I was attending The Women’s College. I liked the fact that creating websites was fun, but challenging at the same time.

In the future, I hope to find a job where I am able to use both my instructional design and web design/development to create effective online training courses. My goal is to find a company or to work within my own business creating online training using the Macromedia tools and the instructional design skills that I have learned in the ILT program.

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How ILT Program has Helped Me Accomplish My Professional Goals

First, the ILT program has helped me accomplish my professional goals by providing me with the knowledge I need to be an instructional designer and web designer. Second, I believe that between the knowledge obtained in the ILT program and the skills from my work, I have been able to improve my skills as an instructional designer and web designer. In both the jobs that I have held as an instructional designer and as a web developer, the design and usefulness of my projects has been a higher quality. Whether I am designing a web page or an instructional course, my work has been noticed and complimented. I was able to obtain my current position as a web developer based on the projects from work and from school. Third, the ILT program has helped me accomplish my professional goals in the networking that I have been able to do with other people in the ILT program. The network of classmates has given me ideas, and encouragement to push myself to become a better web developer and instructional designer.

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Closing Thoughts

What I have gained here in the ILT program has opened up the possibilities for whatever I do in the future. The skills and knowledge that I have gained help me daily in my present web developer job as well as in my own web design business. The connections I have made with other classmates will be an invaluable source for future ideas, jobs, or just great friends. As time goes on, I will remember my time here in the ILT program fondly because of the connections that I have made with both the faculty and classmates.

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Sincerely,

Beverly Dianne Calhoun