Part of a continuing effort to grow and connect the instructional design community at Penn State, the ID-2-ID Program matches instructional designers (ID) and graduate students in the instructional design field for a one-year period in either peer-to-peer or mentor-mentee relationships.
The program provides a structure for IDs to share their expertise and improve on areas where they are less informed via shared knowledge. It also helps IDs build their professional peer network. The ID-2-ID program is accepting applications to join the program through June 24 and interested parties can apply at http://sites.psu.edu/id2id/.
Participants in the program have several options when applying. They can either be a Mentor, an experienced ID guiding and supporting a less experienced ID; a Mentee, working with a more experienced Mentor to grow professionally; or a Buddy, partnering with a peer ID to build a skill, develop a project, or help each other with professional growth.
Four examples of Penn State IDs involved in the program are John Haubrick, instructional designer, World Campus, Glenn Johnson, instructional designer, Department of Statistics; Amanda Quinton, instructional designer, World Campus; and Crystal Ramsay, research associate and instructional consultant, Schreyer Institute. Johnson and Quinton were partnered, with Johnson the Mentor and Quinton the Mentee, and Ramsay and Haubrick were paired as Buddies.
All were drawn to the program for a variety of reasons. For Haubrick, he was a fairly new employee at the time, only on the job for about one year. “I knew I had a lot of room to grow and I wanted to learn from others out there,” he said. “And being new to Penn State, I thought it would be nice to connect with someone outside of my unit.”
Ramsay said she heard about the program at a perfect time. “An e-mail came across my desk about the program,” Ramsay said, “I have been trying over the last couple of years to create some closer connections to other people in the learning design community, and this seemed like a good opportunity.”
Ramsay also noted that the program does not just match people randomly, but based on background, experience, and other relevant factors. This, she believes, makes the program more effective.
“John and I share a background in public education. We had some immediate connections there, which really made it a great benefit,” Ramsay said.
Quinton agreed with Ramsay and Haubrick about the networking aspect of the program, and said that connection and collaboration among IDs is important for teaching and learning at Penn State. She said that it’s especially helpful for someone like her, working at World Campus. “With everything changing and evolving in online education, if we can be more connected and work together in collaboration, that would make for a better learning experience for our students,” she said.
Johnson said that the ID-2-ID program provides professional development that is higher quality than, for example, simply listening to a speaker present. “When you work with a person over a period of time,” Johnson said. “You get to know them. So now you have another colleague. You’re developing a professional relationship with a skilled person that you otherwise may not have had.”
“There’s quite a group of IDs at Penn State. Years ago, you could fit all of them into one room, but that’s not the case anymore,” Johnson added.
These relationships, Haubrick said, are helpful because you get to see what other units and colleges are doing across the University, and how they operate. In turn, he said that he hopes to apply what he learned in his own work as an instructional designer.
Johnson gave an example of some things he learned from his Mentee, Quinton. “There were things that Amanda was showing me that I thought, ‘I really like that,’” he said. “Like the way to approach something, use a technology in a new way, or implement a strategy in a new way. Like, for example, the YouSeeYou student presentation capture software. This enables me to open up conversations with my faculty on things I might not have known about otherwise. “
A specific example of collaborations that came out of the ID-2-ID Program is Ramsay’s work with the Schreyer Institute’s Course Design Academy, which Haubrick participated in through his work with Ramsay. “For one day during the Course Design Academy, we seek out people from the instructional design community to match with faculty participants, who are redesigning courses,” she said. ”And John was a fabulous addition to our cadre of mentors. So, he worked with a singular faculty member for an afternoon and gave her his undivided attention on a course that she was developing. And she was beyond thrilled. She was very happy.”
Quinton said that working with Johnson helped her do well on a new project. “Glenn and I had discussions about e-Portfolios and implementing e-Portfolios into a new program that I’m working on,” she said. “Glenn invited me to come to a meeting with other individuals that were talking about implementing the e-Portfolio, and I got to bounce ideas off them. It was very helpful to get those other perspectives.”
All four IDs agreed that they would like to continue with the program, because they believe the ID-2-ID Program has a lot of value for a learning design community that continues to grow at Penn State. Ramsay said people in higher education are thinking more deeply about pedagogy as they become more aware of the value of it. “Something like this is really useful, because Penn State is a huge place,” she said. “And we’ve got all these pockets of knowledge, experience, and skills. A program like this that does some intentional connecting, I think, benefits the people involved, the University, and ultimately, the students.”
“I really think the ID-2-ID Program is one of the best things ever to come out of TLT,” Johnson added.