I'm a professional educator with over 7 years experience with online instructional design and teaching for adult learners, as well as 12 years experience designing and teaching traditional classroom courses. I invite you to browse this site for further details about my background and qualifications, as well as a portfolio of courses and instructional materials I have designed.

Instructional Design Experience

I have been designing and executing courses in higher education since 2007, but the experience most relevant to the instructional design profession began in 2013 when I became lead faculty for an online course, taken by over 7500 adult learners yearly through Ashford University.  When I assumed responsibility of the course, the success rates were marginal, the learning outcomes were vague and ill conceived, and the curriculum poorly suited to the particular structure of the course and the circumstances of the students.  My priorities were to give the course greater focus, coherence, and practical applicability; to optimize it for the 5-week, asynchronous, online format (as opposed to the more traditional format of a college course) and for the target audience (adult learners, highly diverse in terms of socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds); and to ensure that despite a fixed curriculum, the course would elicit and engage the particular talents and interests of the many faculty who would be teaching it, thus boosting their enthusiasm and performance.  It was believed that all of this would ensure greater student success, which was borne out by substantially increased retention rates and student satisfaction surveys. 

To achieve this, I began by streamlining the curriculum around a common theme, and each of the first four weeks focused on a different approach to addressing the central question of that theme.  I divided each week into readings and a discussion exploring more theoretical ideas and a shorter reading and discussion focused either on practical applications or “thought experiments” (imagined scenarios designed to elicit principles and their implications).  These latter exercises encouraged students to think imaginatively and creatively, and also gave instructors flexibility in terms of the specific prompts. 

Initially, I implemented this curriculum by designing and coding a series of webpages, which required learning HTML/CSS and the principles of web design as well as video production, animation, and graphic design. 

On the basis of those webpages, I successfully secured a contract to write a complete online textbook for the course.  In addition to incorporating many of the design elements I had already produced, the textbook included interactive modules and professionally acted films of short dialogue scenarios that I wrote. 

Examples of this work can be found below in my Portfolio.


I have a Master's and Ph.D. in Philosophy, and my Bachelor’s degree was a double major in Anthropology and Religious Studies. My scholarship focused on ethics, and I have had a long passion for helping learners gain "practical understanding" - the capacity to make evaluations and take action on the basis of a solid grasp of principles, values, and knowledge. Whether it's being able to identify and assess the reasoning behind different sides of an ethical controversy in the news or local community, understanding the rationale behind an organization’s set of values, or grasping the underlying mechanism of a product or the principles behind a development strategy, the aim is essentially the same: to enable the learner to understand theories and ideas in a way that fosters good choices.  As the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said more than 2500 years ago, “the aim of studying ethics is not to gain knowledge but to become better people,” and I believe that holds true of almost all learning – it’s to become better leaders, designers, makers, doers, or whatever one’s role happens to be. 

As a trained philosopher, I have developed strong capacities for analytical and critical thinking as well as communication that can be employed in a wide variety of fields. But I’ve also demonstrated a drive as well as capacity to acquire knowledge and skills needed for many kinds of tasks, whether that’s designing webpages, maintaining databases, automating repetitive tasks, etc. As someone philosophically trained, I’m able to analyze and examine a problem in a way that distills it to its core, essential features and to evaluate it from multiple points of view, and this is a skill that carries over to all areas of life and work.
As an ethicist, I have a deeply-ingrained commitment to the pursuit of excellence that goes far beyond simply fulfilling tasks or maximizing certain quantifiable metrics. This applies to my own work ethic in that when I’m involved in projects and organizations that embody a strong sense of value and purpose, I’m highly self-motivated, exacting, and hold myself to the highest standards; and this also drives me to look for ways that these values and purposes can be enhanced and strengthened.
As a teacher, my aim in working with others is to avoid simply imparting information or assigning tasks but to instill a sense of understanding, interest and meaningfulness. This carries over into the way I manage and/or work with others.

My Work Style

I am strongly self-motivated and capable of rigorous work and deep focus (qualities indispensable to achieving my Ph.D.), whether when dealing with complex and abstract ideas or undertaking practical tasks like design and organization. I am highly analytical and have advanced critical thinking skills, yet I strongly believe in the importance of sharing and collaboration both in my leadership and teaching styles. This is rooted in both a sense of the limitations of any particular individual’s skills and perspective and the need to learn from others as the best way to facilitate insight and practical application of ideas, as well as the sense that almost every kind of organization or project does better when everyone involved shares a common purpose.

To elaborate, one of my primary inspirations is the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who emphasized the superiority of the “internal good” or “telos” of our activities (the true meaning of excellence) as opposed to “external goods” like money, status, or honors.  While there is nothing necessarily wrong with the pursuit or external goods, I have taught students to recognize that distinction, and to live their lives in pursuit of internal goods as the primary motivation.  Naturally, I seek to live my own life accordingly. As a teacher, there are few things more rewarding than helping students achieve insight and practical understanding and, most importantly, the motivation to continue learning and seeking outside the classroom.

My Skills



Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Audition, Acrobat, Premiere Pro, Illustrator

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint


Apple Final Cut Pro