International Learning and Development Professional Builds Advanced Skills at UCSC Extension


- Nadine Kabbara

Term : May, 2013
Department : Education
Program : Instructional Design

Nadine Kabbara is a professional in learning and development with more than fifteen years of international experience. She worked abroad with Deloitte Consulting and led client projects in human capital. As a people development consultant, she designed, developed, and delivered numerous corporate workshops and helped students and professionals in career planning and development. She recently moved from Lebanon to the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area; she was inspired by the global center of innovation and technology, and her learning journey brought her to Silicon Valley.

 As technology is revolutionizing the world of education and training, Kabbara wanted to best equip herself to join the revolution. She already holds an M.B.A. and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), but she wanted to focus on her passion for the learning and development field. She chose UCSC Silicon Valley Extension to pursue the certificate in Instructional Design and Delivery.

“I was looking for a practical program at the intersection of education and corporate training, and that incorporates technology and the design of e-learning,” Kabbara says. “When I came across the Instructional Design for Corporate Trainers and Educators program, I felt that was exactly what I wanted.”

She came to the program with high hopes and her learning experience met her expectations.

“This program is about designing cutting-edge blended learning courses,” she says. “It takes you through the journey of creating educational materials, from design to implementation.”

In her courses, Kabbara has planned “flipped classroom” lessons, developed educational videos, and designed online classes. She learned how to use technology to support her instructional objectives and she explored best practices in the adult education field.

As an extra benefit, and because UCSC Extension is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, her fellow learners are professionals working in innovative jobs in leading companies, which added value to classroom discussions.

As part of her program, Kabbara completed an internship with the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), “the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field”. The Golden Gate Chapter provided a wealth of opportunities to experience a wide range of instructional design practices through its membership, which consists of highly skilled workplace learning professionals across the Bay Area. Kabbara worked with the Community Outreach Program (COP), which helps strengthening the capabilities of Bay Area nonprofits. The COP program provides a foundation for thorough understanding and application of the ADDIE Instructional Design model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation). The environment allowed interns to balance  contributing to the project team and expanding their knowledge base through professional contact with experienced learning and development practitioners.

When she told her niece that she was enrolling in an Extension certificate program, her niece couldn’t fathom the idea of voluntarily signing up for more school. But she changed her mind after Kabbara described her experience working with Extension instructors on- and offline.

“I had to explain to my digital-native technology-savvy school-enduring niece that UCSC Extension is a different experience,” she says. “Teachers are passionate facilitators, learners are experienced professionals, and the instructional style is experiential and interactive. I told her that in one of my classes, I had to create a personal avatar to communicate online with the instructor. In another class, I had to play a game in class as part of the lesson. In one of the classes, I only met the instructor and the learners in cyberspace, to which she responded, ‘I wish I were in your school!’”

Kabbara planned to take a full course load and complete the certificate in just three quarters. She describes her experience in this program as a “roller-coaster learning experience.”

“It’s not about taking classes and doing assignments; it’s about participating, collaborating, engaging, meeting online, meeting in class, researching, analyzing, reflecting, forum posting, drafting, reiterating, presenting, and ‘showcasing’ a final project. And you can complete all this in just three quarters. It’s a roller-coaster learning experience, and I did enjoy the ride!"

Visit our Instructional Design for Educators and Corporate Trainers program page to learn more about UCSC Extension’s rich offerings. For information on services and programs for international students, please visit our International Programs page. Browse upcoming Instructional Design courses.

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