This portfolio is prepared in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science degree in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation at the School of Education at Syracuse University. The portfolio has 7 sections:
My name’s Yuri Pavlov, and I have successfully completed 10 academic courses in the foundations of instructional design from Syracuse University (SU). My expected graduation is December 2016. I wanted to obtain this degree because it moves me a few steps closer to what I want to do professionally: to be a professor and teach in a university as well as conduct research in the field of instructional science. My academic interests are as follows: (1) student engagement, motivation, and performance, (2) instructional design of face-to-face and online environments for teaching foreign languages based on the principles of instructional design, (3) problem-based learning, blended learning, and online learning.
A lot of what brought me into Instructional Design has to do with confusion and questioning. Several online classes I took did not engage me enough, a plethora of foreign language classes I took (eight, to be precise) did not result in much learning of spoken skills. My question was always: why? Why someone invests their time and money to get a product that not only fails to achieve the objectives but doesn’t engage learners with the subject matter, other students, and teachers? I do not know the answers but I want to find them as I further pursue an academic career.
In 2012–2014, I was a translation studies university teacher and, as is always the case, an accidental instructional designer. Before I knew such a discipline exists, I was redesigning college courses in English literature and translation studies at Belarusian State University for a 1,5-year career development program. I was also an annual alumni guest for career talks in my high schools between 2006 and 2015, where I would come and describe to students what a job of a linguist, translator, internal marketer in a company, and teacher was like. For different audiences and age groups, I had to tailor my presentations, content, and instructional strategies—long before I realized it can be done effectively, iteratively, systemically, systematically, purposefully, and reflectively all in one. This was the field of instructional design. I believe I was extremely lucky to join the class of 2016 in the IDD&E program at SU and get a highly competitive fellowship through the Open Society Foundations which is based in New York City.
With the strength and skills obtained in the IDD&E master’s program at SU, I aim to enter the existing research community of instructional designers and help advance the field in a joint effort for better student learning. After all, it’s all about ensuring and improving student learning.