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I’ve now worked at the CII for ten months. Coming from a corporate instructional design background I’ve been learning and adjusting to the world of higher education. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is pace. I’ve been cranking out projects as fast as possible at previous jobs. This isn’t the case at GSU and at first I found it somewhat uncomfortable. Then I got a chance to help Jeremy Diem with the Climate Literacy Labs.

The project originally started when Dr. Diem asked the CII if we could do anything to improve the current lab website. Students access this site during lab to read content and answer short response questions. The current site was mostly text with some multimedia sprinkled in here and there. Creating instructional multimedia is my jam so I was excited to help. The lab has around 1500 students a year so making improvements could benefit a lot of learning experiences.


Website used by students in lab.


Now in my previous work settings I would have made some cool multimedia assets, given them to the client, and called it a day. Luckily that’s not what happened. After some conversations between Dr. Diem and the CII we decided that we could more than just website face lift. We decided to build a new online module designed for students to access before they came into lab.


Interactive map and graph visualization for the new online module.

Because   students were accessing the content and questions on their own time we were able to use the lab time differently. Taking a flipped classroom approach we developed an activity that took content from the online module and had the students apply it. In this case we had students learn Tableau data visualization program and use data related to the online module to create dashboards.


We could have made some nice graphics for the old Climate Literacy website and called it a day. But that’s not really instructional design. Instructional design is an evolving iterative process that takes the combined efforts of designers, professors, lab instructors, program directors, etc. To get it right you have to experiment and make adjustments. We’ve finished the first Climate Lab pilot (big shout out to Dr. Diem and all the Lab Instructors for helping to make it happen) but we have plenty to discuss about moving forward. The design process is far from over.