I bring the perspectives of writer, educator, and lifelong learner to my philosophy of online learning. With a background in journalism, copywriting, and teaching–and an M.A. in English–I’m an effective communicator who knows how to craft smart content. As an experienced digital media trainer, I also offer skills in coaching and interactive technology instruction. Currently a full-time student at George Mason University (Instructional Design and Technology), I earned a professional certificate in E-learning in 2017, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I will complete my M.Ed. in Spring, 2018.
Additionally, I am certified (Teaching Online Certificate) by the Quality Matters online-learning standards organization.
“What impressed me the most was how fast Maureen was able to learn the intricacies of the business and her attention to detail. She wasn’t satisfied with talking to all the key stakeholders for the project and took it upon herself to research the competitive landscape, understand the education customer base, and solicit extensive feedback to make sure her writing was impactful.”
“At each step of the process, communication between our team and Maureen was prompt and expectations were clear at all points. Project milestones were met ahead of schedule, and the quality of the work that Maureen generated was superlative. Maureen worked closely with our team throughout the project, and in the end we couldn’t have been more satisfied with her work. The resulting product was the perfect balance of technical information and accessible language.”
“Maureen’s writing skills are exceptional. She is very good at interviewing people and then weaving an interesting and informative story. She is able to work under tight schedules and juggle many projects at the same time.”
“In working with Maureen, I’ve been inspired by her keen creative sense, which resulted in strong idea development, and a healthy flow and exchange of ideas. She is adept at harnessing new information in order to allow projects to grow and transform–with rich and compelling content as a result.”
“I have known and worked with Maureen for a number of years. She is an outstanding writer and editor. Her magazine editorial work has been world class. She is intelligent, engaging, and always adding wonderful content to any project she works on.”
Maureen is a highly valued Senior Trainer for Imparture, and her training delivery regularly receives exemplary feedback. Maureen is often complimented on her personable nature and extensive knowledge of social media and digital marketing.
AREAS OF COMPETENCY
In 2008, I taught a community-college composition course that changed my understanding of teaching and learning….
The students in the course—a cohort of female childcare providers—had busy lives and little experience or confidence with writing. And they saw my course as an obstacle lying between them and a credential. In my efforts to accommodate their schedules and allow them time for reflection and skills practice, I created a blended learning course on Blackboard. I didn’t know at the time that’s what I was doing (or even that it was a model that had a name). I only knew that my students needed a format that was flexible and suited to frequent quiet, guided composing times.
I hoped that what I was building into our course site would give them a roadmap they could check 24-7, so they could feel some control over their own learning experience. I also hoped the short exercises I built into our weekly modules would boost each learner’s confidence and belief in the value and uniqueness of her own voice.
One of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had as an educator was hearing from those women at the end of the course what their newfound writing confidence meant to them.
For most, feeling pride in the words they’d written was startling and new. It led to bold questions about what else they might be good at. For two of my emerging writers, those bold questions began the journey to a four-year degree.
Things changed in my own life a year after that teaching experience, and I left the community college, adapting my communication skills to other professional roles. I wrote marketing copy and magazine articles. I learned digital marketing and managed social media accounts. I trained managers and marketing folks in how to reconstruct stories about their customers’ journeys, from the data footprints left behind on webpages.
But during those seven years of being a magazine editor and freelance copywriter-consultant, I always wondered when I might get the chance to return to my educator roots.
In early 2016, I decided it was time, and I began making plans to change my career path. In August of that year I returned to graduate school full-time for a second master’s degree. I would combine education and technology—in ways that would allow me to reach far more learners than the 20 or so who might be assigned to me in a section of first-year composition. I would author courses and design experiences.
Returning to school was not an easy decision, but in many ways it was a simple one.
Simple, because I’m an educator at heart. I love to write and design so that I can teach others, not sell to them. The truth is, I have never felt as happy about waking up on a Monday morning as when my head is full of imagined new learning experiences (whether I’m the learner, the teacher, or the designer).
As I prepare to complete my M.Ed. and chart a new professional path, my goals are clear. There’s a higher-ed revolution going on, and I want to be at the front lines. As more and more undergraduates enroll in distance courses, there’s a growing need for trained designers to collaborate with faculty in “translating” instruction gracefully to an online learning environment.
Too many students accept online learning as a necessary evil, an exercise in endless discussion board posts and impersonal blobs of text.
Too many faculty have come to view online courses as a nod to convenience, a poorer cousin of classroom instruction. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can do better for our students—especially those coming through our community college systems while juggling work and family responsibilities.
Recently, after taking a summer elective in online teaching fundamentals, I started thinking about that 2008 community college writing class again. I found myself wishing my instincts had been strengthened by knowledge and guided by evidence. I decided to use my one-month hiatus between terms to get certified by Quality Matters, the leading U.S. standards organization for online learning programs. I spent my August immersed in models of what leading institutions are doing to raise the bar in teaching undergraduates online.
I perused syllabi, policies, orientation modules, creative discussion boards, video modules, rubrics, and assessments. I learned powerful lessons that apply across LMS platforms and subjects. I read research and hears stories about what makes for a joyful learning experience online.
I strengthened my resolve to be part of the revolution.
So, what is my next goal?
Simple–to use all I’ve learned during my academic journey at George Mason University to design and produce excellent online courses and programs in a higher-ed setting. This portfolio website offers a glimpse of the competencies I’ve gained, the reflection I’ve done, and the tech-fueled learning experiences I’ve designed.
Here’s a list of the courses I’ve taken to date, within GMU’s Instructional Design & Technology M.Ed. and E-learning Certificate programs.
Click on the mortarboard icon for course syllabus.
Please feel free to get in touch to discuss openings within your online-learning team. While I am currently located in the Washington, D.C., metro area, I am open to relocating to another region of the country.