Meet Karen Crouch, our new Instructional Design and Technology Consultant! She holds a Master’s in Education with a specialization in International and Comparative Education from Northcentral University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from CU Boulder. She brings 15 years of experience working in education at international and K-12 levels and has been at CU Boulder for over 8 years designing learning experiences and programs, teaching, and researching technology.
Karen is excited to join ASSETT because she loves working with students and faculty to plan new ways to improve student learning, and this team is in a great position to support the college. She has been designing online and student learning experiences at the University of Colorado Boulder since 2013. Combining pedagogy and instructional design is rewarding and allows her to support meaningful and effective learning at CU. Karen says, “As we acquire new platforms and tools, technical innovation and teaching are exciting topics and critical areas to explore. I am all about finding the tools and tech that work for faculty and enhancing engaging learning experiences for students.”
Prior to joining ASSETT, Karen was faculty at CU’s International English Center (IEC) and worked at the Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC) as a Professional Research Assistant with a focus on immersive technology for language and culture learning. When asked about her journey from undergrad to ASSETT staff, Karen says, “I love traveling and working in other countries, but I keep coming back to CU! I was a CU student back in 1999 studying International Affairs, involved in student groups, worked off-campus jobs, and honestly struggled during my undergraduate experience. If it wasn’t for excellent faculty, friends, and a patient advisor, I’m not sure I would have completed my UG degree. I often use my empathy muscle of being a student at a large public university to inform my decisions around creating community and engaging practices in teaching and learning. I love this school and am passionate about higher education and student retention….sko’ Buffs!”
Regarding instructional design, Karen wants people to know that “instructional design benefits learning programs and is worth the investment because, in the end, it saves time and resources. Instructional design provides the framework, adds clarity to learning objectives, and enhances teaching through technology. It creates more efficiency by eliminating redundant content and creates space for updated information, new concepts, and ideas. I would encourage faculty seeking advice, resources, and user experiences to reach out and get excited about incorporating instructional design in their courses.”
When she is not at work, Karen enjoys swimming, learning Taekwondo with her son, and practicing intuitive meditation. She loves to travel and is actively involved in local and global social justice issues through volunteer work.