Quinnipiac University

Instructional design degree advances career

January 15, 2020

Viki Suslovik headshot

After a decade of supporting instructional designers on e-learning projects, Viki Suslovik, MSID '18, wanted to focus her attention on the theory of instructional design. Her graphic design degree and work experience prepared her to build instructionally sound and visually engaging lessons.

Although the creative side still appealed to her, Suslovik wanted more decision-making power and decided that a Master’s in Instructional Design would give her the foundation she needed to advance her career.

Suslovik gained valuable experiences while attending Quinnipiac’s online instructional design program. Once she graduated with her master’s, Suslovik was offered a senior instructional design position in Washington, DC.

The move from her home state of Connecticut was invaluable. This position had greater responsibility and she jumped at the chance to use her degree to design and develop engaging content.

Maybe it was a coincidence or maybe Suslovik was ready for a major change, but a year later her LinkedIn account suggested a job match as a Visual Arts Instructional Designer at Stanford University. 

In that moment, her two worlds became one. She applied, interviewed and was hired.

She packed up her two dogs Link, a 12-year-old chocolate lab and Pita, a shelter dog, and drove across the country to her new home in Stanford, California. It may seem like a big move, but Suslovik was excited to meld her two passions into one.

Today, Suslovik provides support to faculty, staff and students through a variety of workshops, webinars and guides. She creates engaging content using adult learning theory, digital tools and visual arts she gained through her education and work experience.

The MS in Instructional Design program at Quinnipiac provided her the skills to make the career move she was looking for.

Q & A

Would you share a brief narrative of your background?

I earned my BA in Graphic Design and accepted a position as a media developer at Sonalysts Studios supporting Instructional Designers with the development of e-learning solutions.

After working with instructional designers for over a decade, I was really curious about their process and wanted to be a part of the design process.

After earning my degree at Quinnipiac, I was offered an ISD position at 2U, Inc. in the Washington DC Metro area. I worked under Talent Management, designing and developing learning solutions for new hires and department specific onboarding.

Currently, I work as an Instructional Designer for the Digital Arts at Stanford University. I design, develop and deliver workshops for Adobe Creative Cloud software for Stanford faculty and staff continuing education.

Why did you choose Quinnipiac?

After looking at the course descriptions for the program, I decided on Quinnipiac because I liked the focus on both the theory of instructional design as well as the actual development of learning solutions.

What surprised you about the online format?

I was surprised by the collaborative nature of the online environment. I was expecting a more solitary experience, but the group projects and discussions really made me feel a part of a community.

What were your top reasons for choosing a degree in instructional design?

I had been working as a courseware developer and had experience delivering onsite training to our customers. I wanted to learn more about the design of learning solutions and I felt that there was a lot for me to learn to further my career.

What is the most compelling thing you’ve learned in the program?

I absolutely loved Richard Mayer’s Principles of Multimedia Learning. As a developer, I felt like I made decisions for my learners based on graphic design principals, but once I read Richard Mayer’s work, I made decisions based on what was best for learning.

What class have you most enjoyed?

This is a tough one. I really loved the cognitive science classes, but if I had to pick the most enjoyable, I’d have to go with the Captivate Class. I liked the opportunity to take all I had learned about the theory of Instructional Design and apply it to a tangible product.

Do you have a favorite professor?

My favorite classes were with Professor Neidig by far, but this might be because of my development background. Professor Neidig was so great. He gave me a lot of support to really push my projects to the next level, and was always there to answer my questions (and help me debug problems).

He always gave really detailed feedback that pushed me to make my projects portfolio worthy.

Explore Quinnipiac's online MS in Instructional Design to advance your career.

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