Welcome to the E-Portfolio of Benjamin H. Gerhardt
Since transitioning from teaching to instructional design and educational technology, I feel as though I have found my niche within the emerging field. Implementing innovative instructional design and technology components into course design, such as activities based on constructivist learning theory, a backward design model, and problem-based learning are vital to the future longevity and sustainability of higher education and the private sector.
Recent scholarly research in the field has suggested that people, in fact, utilize multiple learning theories simultaneously when actively learning. The idea of “learning theories” is important for a theoretical framework, but they must not be used to categorize learners anymore to be effective. Learners must be able to recognize the importance of taking the course, and thus courses should be designed within the perspective of social and emotional learning to promote self-efficacy. People learn in very complex ways, and each learning theory on its own does not provide enough nuance to fully encompass each individual experience.
Furthermore, there are andragogical and pedagogical concepts that often overlap and provide even more nuance, depending on the course that is being developed. More than ever, people need applicable skills and experience that will prepare them for the rapidly changing world of work. Instructional design begins at the curriculum level, as this is the foundation of all courses regardless of modality. Institutional initiatives like diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be addressed from this lens in order to be successful, and this is something I am immensely passionate about.
In addition to instructional design and technology skills, project management is an area that I excel at. I’ve created and advocated for multiple workflow initiatives to promote collaboration, structure, and accountability between colleagues, such as an asynchronous course for faculty training and a live professional development series for faculty via web-conferencing platforms.
As you explore my digital portfolio, please be sure to review the contents of each page in the portfolio: About Me, CV, and Examples of Work. The About Me page consists of a brief background of my experiences, and this will be give you a better sense of who I am, both as a professional and as a person. The CV page has my updated curriculum vitae which further details my professional experiences in the world. Lastly, the Examples of Work page will display examples of projects that I have completed in my professional career.