To provide a brief history of my postsecondary journey, my undergraduate degree was a double major in Mass Communications and Industrial Studies. After a time working in the printing industry, I found that I enjoy being with people who also enjoy learning. I decided to enter a Masters program in Adult Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Graduate academic interests point toward the nature of learning, adult development, cognition, and motivation. My Masters thesis focused on critical thinking curriculum. Projects that emerged from my critical thinking research included adult basic education teacher training to improve instruction both in the classroom and in distance education, and a term as Critical Thinking Coordinator for a multi-year technology/critical thinking curriculum development grant to train teachers in rural school districts to weave critical thinking methods and distance education technology into K-12 curriculum. I was also an instructional design specialist on a multi-million dollar grant to design a full high school curriculum for web-based distance education. On that same project I conducted research to test effectiveness with at-risk students.
My doctoral research took a different turn. The dissertation focused on how survivors of mild traumatic brain injury access information on the web. Navigation is a small part of the process, but findings indicate that there is a strong emotional response to web page construction that can enhance or inhibit location of information, thus the desired access. To this end, I serve as a consultant resource on the Veteran’s Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force in Nebraska. My family is replete with veterans, including my daughter who is frequently absent—“away at work” we tell her small son—and I feel an intense drive to apply my knowledge and expertise to help wounded vets with brain injury.
The overall vision of my journey through my own teaching and learning is a direction to ensure that I have tools to advocate for adults in their life journeys. I hold to the belief that it is the responsibility of the adult educator to advocate for students to help clear the road to learning success. Such tools can break boundaries of geography and time through distance technology, overcome barriers, and conquer challenges, and other unique needs experienced by both students and instructors. I marvel at the possibilities that distance education offers people who would otherwise be limited by physiology, geography and time. Distance education provides rich opportunity for schools to reach a greater pool of both instructors and students.
Last updated by MK July 17, 2015