Hello, my name is Barb Hall, and I'd like to welcome you to my e-portfolio.

I've created this portfolio to highlight the skills I have learned in my lifelong learning journey.

I started my studies at Athabasca University in the Fall 2009 session, as a non-program student. I had been eyeing the AU calendar for several years, and had wanted to return to graduate school following a lengthy absence from my undergrad days.

My decision to start school was a matter of finding the funds, and digging deep to find the dedication and motivation required to complete the program. Once I started, I didn't look back. I enjoyed every course, every assignment, and every experience in the program, and can honestly say without exaggerating, that the program saved my life.

I am currently self-employed as a Piano Tuner/Technician. It is a very gratifying and interesting way to make a living. The training for this type of work is limited, as there is only one program in Canada, and only a handful in the U.S. One of the reasons I decided to pursue the MDE at AU was initially to learn how to create an online or hybrid style program in Piano Technology that would make it possible for anyone interested in the program to study at their own pace. I like the flexibility in an online program and want to make other learner's opportunities possible, just AU has done for me. I naively and truly believed that I could graduate with a working model of the program. I now know how difficult it is to create just one hour of instructional material, or a 3 minute video. What I created was just the beginning of what will be a very long process.

As my learning in the program progressed and I acquired new skills, I realized the potential that I could achieve with these skills had a much larger scope. I was fortunate that there was tremendous flexibility in subject matter permitted for most of the required assignments. While many of my assignments dealt with the steps required in developing an online program in Piano Technology, there were some that did not. The courses were well designed and permitted me to experiment with subject matters like instructional analysis and design that I had no previous experience with. I was taught how to apply this theory to any program to be able to finding a career in instructional design and creating courses for other students like myself who appreciate the opportunity to study online.

So now, I am embarking on a new journey in instructional design. COVID has had a lot to do with it. Am I scared? Yes, but excited. Technology makes it possible for me to look for a job from the comfort of home, that can be done remotely.

In my final words, I leave visitors now with a slide show of my beautiful perennial garden. The seeds of knowledge I have gathered from AU, like the ones in my garden, will continue to grow and bloom, often times much larger than anticipated. It became a place of solace for me, and I will never be able to till or tend to it again, without thinking about my time at AU and how I have been transformed into a "lifelong learner".

Kindest regards, Barb.