Learning Designer – NAIT

Please consider me in your search for a Learning Designer. 

I completed my Art Education degree at the University of Alberta. Courses extra to my degree include physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, zoology, biology and mathematics. My higher-level English studies led to an offer to complete an Honors English Degree. During my last two years of study, I also served as a writer/production editor for the Students’ Union, Gateway.

I then joined The University of Calgary as a Communications Officer. In this position, I worked with university administrators to develop and implement strategic communications plans for students, staff, faculty and the public. As co-editor of the U of C bi-weekly, Gazette, I sought to write engaging, creative copy. My article, New ways to slice the mapping pie and its accompanying commissioned illustration and my profile of new staff member, Beatrice Medicine, are two examples. I also supplied my photography, illustration and design skills and completed university courses in Communications Research Methods, Art & Architecture Canada: 1870 – 1960+, and Topics in Prairie Canada with Grant MacEwan.

After almost five years with the U of C, I accepted a position as a Journalism Instructor at Grant MacEwan Community College, where I developed curricula and taught and assessed students in courses in newswriting, graphic design, photojournalism and mass media. Moving to Vancouver, I joined Southam Business Communications as Western Editor for Canadian Forest Industries Magazine, providing copy on all aspects of the business including harvesting, safety and milling. Settling in Nanaimo I freelanced as a weekly reporter for The Nanaimo Business Examiner writing covering business-related stories, like the development of a submersible camera. Working for T-MAR Industries, I launched the company’s newsletter, The T-MAR Times and used my creative abilities with photography and design to produce advertising, brochures and customer surveys.

A downturn in the industry led to 10 years overseas teaching in Libya, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, the UAE and Japan where I developed lesson materials and assessments using language carefully chosen for students that ranged in age from grade-three to adult. During this time, I taught mostly art and mathematics using the Irish Leaving Certificate, IGCSE and International Baccalaureate PYP, MYP and Diploma curricula. A highlight of this period was my work developing curricula, a series of student workbooks and assessment materials for the Abu Dhabi Education Council, while working at the ADVETI vocational school in Al Ain, UAE. Needless to say, my overseas teaching introduced me to many different cultural perspectives. Hopefully, my application for the position of traveling ambassador for Air Transat, shot on a ski hill in Dubai, demonstrates the enthusiasm and appreciation for good humor/fun you seek.

I have always sought to do my best at whatever task is before me. My references page has a series of letters of recommendation. The letter regarding the Abu Dhabi Vocational and Educational Training Institute would be among the most relevant. Transcripts and certifications are also there.

Au verso, since my return to Canada in 2012, I have often found myself on the student side of the educational fence. That same year, while living in Nanaimo, I completed the first semester of the online Hearing Aid Practitioner Program at MacEwan University. Courses studied were Bioacoustics of Human Hearing, Hearing Testing and Hearing Testing Tech. For each course there was a series of online learning modules and assessments centering on the textbooks assigned. While many of these materials were effective, with my background in developing educational materials and assessments, I sometimes found myself wondering the approach I might have taken.

In 2012, I also launched my WordPress website to highlight my creative abilities in writing, photography, art, music and video production. I use my website and blog  to promote my belief in a more positive world. I have a working knowledge of MS Office, Illustrator and Photoshop and have used a number of video editing programs.

Moving to Prince George, BC, I served as a Community Support Worker and Residential Care Worker. Many of my clients were of First Nations ancestry and I provided them with informal counseling and support; medication administration and recreation and development activities. They, in turn, allowed me to learn about and appreciate their life experience. Courses completed in this case were mostly on a first-person basis and included: St. John’s First Aid Certificate, CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Foodsafe Level 1 and WHMIS.  

In May, 2016, I joined Pace Property Management in Prince George, BC and completed the online Residential Property Management Course through UBC’s Sauder School of Business. I passed the exam on my first try. Here again the method was a series of online modules referencing a supplied text.

In 2021, I returned to Edmonton, my birth city. While working for the Mustard Seed’s homeless shelters as a custodian, I completed an online WHMIS course. In the spring of 2022, I joined Horizon North, a division of the Dexterra Group of companies that specializes in camp catering. Horizon North is passionate about safety and a positive employee culture, which has led me to complete courses in Bear Aware, Diversity and Inclusion, HSEQ Employee Orientation, Kitchen Worker Gluten Awareness Training, Minor Spill Response, Respect in the Workplace, WHMIS 2015 and Workplace Violence, Harassment and Bullying. For a brief time, I served as an Industrial Janitor at the MEG Energy site near Conklin and completed Energy Safety Canada courses in H2S Alive and Common Safety Orientation and, as this position required I drive a vehicle, an AMA Defensive Driving Course. Most recently, I have been assigned to the Cenovus Sunrise camp north of Fort McMurray, where I completed Cenovus courses in Life Saving Rules and Sunrise Site Orientation.

I believe my experience developing curricula, lesson materials and assessments; my current experience in studying and being an online learner; and my strong creative abilities in oral, written and visual communications, combine to make me an ideal candidate to join your team of Learning Designers. Accordingly, let me suggest we meet to discuss the contribution I could make in this capacity. My first preference would be for either of the full-time or part-time permanent positions, however, I would be willing to work in the temporary postings, as well.

James Miller