Q&A with UM Alumna & Instructional Design Teacher Janna Corley

Kathy DeanEducation, Faculty Q&A, News

University of Mobile graduate Janna Corley says learning inspires and motivates her to continue her education and grow as a learner, as well as to influence others on their path to their career. That’s why she is an adjunct instructor in the School of Education at the University of Mobile, in addition to serving as library media specialist for UMS-Wright Preparatory School. The courses she teaches at UM in instructional design and technology are paving the way for new ways of teaching and learning in health care, industry and education.

We talked with Janna about UM’s new Master of Education in Instructional Design and Technology program.

Q: What is instructional design and technology?

A: Instructional Design and Technology is a program that applies to education, industry and healthcare. If teaching is in your heart, this program allows you to learn how to design curriculum and use the latest technology to enhance the learning experiences for anyone in a variety of fields. Through exploration, creation and application, you will learn how to use technology to develop curriculum and training that is engaging for all learners.

Q: What courses do you typically teach?

 A: I teach a variety of courses in UM’s new Master of Education in Instructional Design and Technology program, including: assistive technology; emerging technology; curriculum development, design and training; instructional design; and coordinating technology use.

My favorite class to teach within this program is emerging technology. It allows students to research emerging technologies, create products that use these technologies, design lessons, plan instruction, and have a chance to review the projects of their peers to collaborate at a higher level. Students begin to build relationships even in an online setting as they offer feedback and get new ideas and perspectives on a variety of technology tools.

Q: What do you like most about UM?

A: The atmosphere and the people at the University of Mobile are what make it special. The School of Education is like a family. Everyone is friendly and welcoming to both the students and staff. The supportive environment allows for risk taking, encourages us to try new things in our quest to grow academically, and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone throughout the learning process.

Q: What motivates you?

A: I am passionate and enthusiastic about teaching and learning. As often as possible I lead workshops, attend professional development, and collaborate with other teachers around the globe to find new ways to engage learners and design instruction. I assist teachers in designing lessons and developing curriculum in a variety of subjects across all grade levels. My desire is for teachers to love teaching and for students to love learning! Together we can make teaching and learning both exciting and fun! Enhancing curriculum, designing lessons, and incorporating technology into learning, so that teachers and students have the opportunity to meet their highest potential, is my favorite part about being the library media specialist for UMS-Wright Preparatory School and teaching at the University of Mobile in the School of Education.

Q: What is your background?

A: I have taught as an adjunct professor for a little over one year in the University of Mobile School of Education. I have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in elementary education from UM. I also attended the University of South Alabama, where I became a certified K-12 library media specialist. Currently, I am completing a certification in instructional leadership from the University of West Alabama.

In my 20 years of teaching, I have had the opportunity to teach K-3 through 12th grades in both public and private school settings. I have taught first grade, second grade, seventh grade (digital design), and served K3-12th grades in the library. This experience has given me a deeper understanding of curriculum; redefining my perspective on how curriculum, design, and technology work together to determine the overall success of all learners.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is associate vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.