Farewell

Sara Brady's Farewell to the MALTL Program

Reflection

This past year has been a chance for me to learn an exciting and fairly new program of study, while I work in the industry. I began this program after having graduated last August with a BA in English Language Learner Studies. At the time, I was working as an online instructor. However, the knowledge I was continually gaining throughout this program helped me transition to different employment opportunities. Last February, I also began working as an instructional designer for an online language company. This is a direct result of the courses I had taken so far. Now, as I prepare to graduate from this program, I continue working as an instructional designer and curriculum creator for various schools and companies. I conduct teaching training sessions for teachers, speak in webinars and run a charity project. I feel that I have accomplished many things I never thought were possible... and now at the point of graduating, I feel that this is only the beginning.

Learning Experiences

This Course

In this course, I was able to spend a lot of time looking at my past work and thinking about how I could make it better. I enjoyed exploring different intructional design theories and seeing how they could influence the way I presented an assignment.


However, I think this course could be greatly improved for future students. The main issues I found with this course were the generally repetitive nature of the weekly assignments and the lack of a clear match between what the assignment required and the past assignments at my disposal. Having learnt so much about instructional design from this program, I would expect more variety and creativity in the assignments in our capstone class.


Overall, the class was beneficial. I believe there is always room for improvement and this class helped show there are many ways that one can present the same assignment, and reach the objective.

The MATLT Program

Overall, I felt the MATLT program was an excellent start for this field of study. I have recognized that this is a new program/field of study, and that being said, there is a lot of room for improvement.


The most beneficial points for me were learning about instructional design and exploring different online tools and technologies. I believe these online tools provide a lot of future potential in how we present information in online courses.


To improve the program, I would like to see a greater variety of online tools featured. I would also like to see these tools incorprated into our online classrooms as examples of how they can be used to deliver information.

The Final Project

The final project was quite complex and intimidating when I first read the description. There were many points to be covered and many possibilities for how to present the final draft. The biggest design challenge I faced was deciding which online technologies I should use in presenting e-portfolio.


I believe the final project could be improved in several ways. First, I would spread the work of the final project out over a few smaller assignments. The assignments could be exploring online options to present e-portfolios, finding resources or writing a rough draft/summary of each week's assignments. This would allow the student to work on the project over time, and leave more time at the end of the course for design and creativity in how the information is presented.

Conclusion

The last 5 years of my degree programs have been very exciting for me. When I started with Ashford, I switched from a pre-nursing program at a local community college to a teaching program. I was able to do this educational journey while I lived abroad and traveled all over Latin America. Now, it is fitting that as I am finishing up my MA, my husband and I are making plans to move back to the U.S.


I am very happy that I decided to continue on to an MA program. I feel this program is helpful in my current job and will provide additional opportunities in the future.