Why I’m Leaving MSIDT

posted in: Career Progress | 4

It’s time: I’m moving on from teaching full-time in Cal State Fullerton’s M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology (MSIDT) program. Fall 2023 was my last semester. I had a good run! I started teaching part-time for MSIDT in 2016 and was so privileged to be hired on full-time in 2018. That’s seven years of helping educate the next generation(s) of instructional designers!

Let me tell you: when I began, teaching online was intimidating. When I taught my first class I was very inexperienced but over 7 years I kept learning and growing. Accessibility, course organization, LMS quirks, building community – eventually I got pretty good at being an online instructor! I’m now presenting on topics like accessibility in elearning for a national audience and I’m also regularly invited to present at a variety of venues.

I’ll miss my MSIDT students! Graduate students are amazing, and MSIDT students are the best! I think that graduate school attracts a certain kind of high achiever, and each and every one of my students in MSIDT was already so accomplished before they ever logged in. In class, my students stepped up to meet every challenge, delivering assignments that showed they not only read the instructions but took the work and the field of instructional design very seriously.

I was so privileged to have had high attendance at my office hours and at the live meetings I put on for my classes. MSIDT is an online and asynchronous program and to be able to have the kinds of relationships that I did with so many of my students is just incredible. It’s not easy to build community or make human connections in MSIDT, but I did my best as an instructor, and many of my students responded.

As a full-time instructor, my job was all teaching all the time: 15 units/5 classes a semester, with no extra time provided for conference presentations or other creative work. Did I still present and put myself out there? You bet! I just can’t help myself – I love conferences and presenting!

What I Accomplished in MSIDT

I’m really proud of what I accomplished while I was part of the MSIDT faculty, from January 2016 to December 2023. So proud that I’m breaking it down!

By the numbers:

  • Years as a full-time lecturer: 5
  • Years as a part-time lecturer: 2
  • Semesters taught: 20
  • Courses taught: 58
  • Courses updated and redesigned: 4
  • Courses designed from scratch: 2
  • LMSs used: 2
  • Semesters that my average Student Opinion Questionnaire scores were higher than the program average: 15/17*
  • On-campus grants received: 5
    • Fall 2019: FEID Grant – Used the 3-unit course release to create curriculum related to virtual reality for use in MSIDT courses (also released as OER)
    • Fall 2021: Exceptional Service Grant – Used the 3-unit course release to create a self-paced online orientation course for MSIDT students
    • Three mini-grants from the Dean of the College of Education to fund conference attendance
  • Invited presentations: 3
  • Conference presentations: 8
  • Conferences attended: 11
  • Blog posts published: 114
  • Videos recorded for teaching: Uncountable
  • Most popular videos on MSIDT YouTube that are my work: 9 out of top 10
  • Views of most-loved video: 34,000!
  • Graduate programs entered myself: 1 (I’m finally getting my EdD!)

Goodbye MSIDT!

I live in Arizona and the MSIDT program is based in southern California. I started teaching for MSIDT in 2016, went full-time for MSIDT in 2018, and moved to Arizona in 2020. I’ve happily traveled on my own dime to SoCal for student meetings twice a year or so since the pandemic began to wane, but travel demands are now increasing and I just can’t afford to travel to SoCal as much as I would like!

Online teaching is also very isolating when you do it full-time. While I was so lucky to make connections with so many students, most of the time it was just me in my home office hoping that each week’s module made sense. After five years of working solo and remotely, I missed being in-person!

But I love teaching and am not ready to give it up. I’m already signed up to adjunct for University of San Diego’s LDT program. I’m also working at Arizona State University as the new Assistant LMS Systems Admin and it’s awesome to support training at an entire university from a centralized position.

I love instructional design and I love teaching. This is also why I launched my own business, Lindsay O’Neill Consulting LLC. I do lots of training and consulting on instructional design. Talking to people is my favorite! I’m hoping to do more freelancing and consulting in the future. Thanks, MSIDT, for getting me to this point.

So long MSIDT, and thanks for all the good wishes!



*Reasons why two semesters were lower than department average: One summer only one person responded and either they really hated me or didn’t understand Likert scales, and one semester I scored .04 lower than the departmental average! The remaining three semesters out of my total teaching I either didn’t receive reports or evaluations haven’t been processed yet.

4 Responses

  1. Cody

    What a loss to the MSIDT program, but I can only be happy to hear about your growth and movement in the field. I know I am better at what I do every day as an ID because of your direct influence. Thank you for being one of the best instructors I’ve had in my academic career and a role model for new and developing IDs!

  2. Colleen Tudman

    I feel lucky as a former student in the MSIDT program (and soon to be grad) to have had you for two classes Lindsay! I learned so much and really appreciate the time you took with us. It was very valuable. Definitely wishing you well in your future endeavors and hoping to catch some of your speaking engagements in the future as I develop my career in the instructional design and e-learning spaces.