My name is Chris Gonnella and I am an Instructional Designer and eLearning developer.
It took me a long time to discover my passion. I started in technology when I took a night class in WordPerfect 4.0. It was love at first sight for me. At the time, I was working in a laundromat in western New York. It was my dream to learn enough to work in an office as a secretary. The dream came true rather quickly after I discovered my knack for technology. I learned a lot from my first employer, who was a bank auditor. He was a perfectionist, and made me revise my work until it was absolutely perfect. He drove me crazy, but now I am thankful for him! His insistence on attention to detail has served me well.
Technology in its Place First of all, I believe technology needs to be put in its place; technology is here to serve us by facilitating the learning process, and should not dictate our pedagogical decisions.
Working with Faculty Members My philosophy for designing instruction is grounded in several years of experience working with post-secondary faculty members. My goal is to nurture the growth of individual faculty members by providing professional development experiences that are informed by their daily interactions with students. To that end, I strive to cultivate relationships built on mutual respect and a passion for education. When collaborating to develop instruction, I promote thoughtful and innovative discussion of pedagogy while maintaining a deference to the subject matter experts with whom I am working. I strive to foster the art of teaching and learning by balancing the pragmatic needs of the audience with an idealistic spirit of innovation.
Effective and Engaging Instruction I am a lifelong learner who is passionate about creating effective and engaging instruction. For me, it all boils down to two concepts: authenticity and connections. Face-to-face and online learning experiences, including assessment and feedback, ought to occur in scenarios that are as close to real-life as possible. I believe that learning is an active process during which the learner must connect what is already known to what is being learned. Paramount to the learning process is the experience of failure. Learners must be allowed to fail; to make mistakes and learn from them. Authentic scenarios that include failure experiences engage students and can activate emotional as well as intellectual responses. These learning events create connections in the brain, which boost the learner’s ability to retain and retrieve information.