I'm actually coming to the end of my journey with the University of Colorado MA program in Information & Learning Technology, and I almost can't believe it. It's been a long journey. There were times I felt frustrated, at times wondered if I would ever finish, there were times when I didn't know how I was going to pay for the next semester, certainly times when I didn't know how to approach the next assignment, and a couple times when I was completely overwhelmed with balancing a crazy, busy career with my classes.
However, I find myself feeling a bit melancholy that I will not be meeting and working with all of these incredible people next semester. I'll miss discussing their great ideas, seeing so many great interpretations of assignments, working virtually on group projects with people in different times zones all over the world, and just experiencing fresh approaches and alternate realities of every student's experience. While many of us are connected through social media, it will be different.
When I began this program it was partly out of frustration with my work. As an e-learning designer for a public organization I felt I was kind of put in a corner to do my thing (make courses and videos) and it started to feel a little like Groundhog's Day for me. I wanted the credential. I wanted more respect and to prove that I could do more, that I was a designer of instruction, not just the person in the department who could make fun videos, elearning, and pretty Powerpoints.
I've discovered however, that the person I really needed to prove it to was myself. By working through this program, combined with a new job that came with a variety of challenges and new experiences, I've been able to reflect, synthesize, create, try out, and prove to myself that I am not only a good instructional designer, but also a creative instructor who has great ideas and has the knowledge and skills to put those learner experiences into practice.
As I now consider what my next career step will be I feel confident and energized, and once again, reaffirmed that this career is my life's passion, and I am so lucky to have discovered it.