Optimizing Project Management for Instructional Design in Higher Education

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This enlightening panel session will delve into effective strategies for project management (PM) in instructional design, empowering your practice in higher education. Expert speakers from four higher ed institutions will guide you through invaluable advice for new IDs, transitioning from informal to optimized PM techniques, and the significance of system thinking in process improvement. Explore the various professional development opportunities, both formal and informal, to boost your project management skills. 

As we envision the future of project management in higher ed, we’ll also discuss potential collaborative research areas. Whether you’re a novice instructional designer or an experienced educator looking to enhance your PM prowess, this webinar promises to inspire, educate, and shape your journey. Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your instructional design expertise!

Do you have any questions you would like to ask the panel? Post them to this Padlet!

Intended audience: 

Instructional designers, Instructional technologists, Administrators, Faculty, Researchers

Key messages/takeaways that will help readers choose to attend:

  1. Identify key project management methods and techniques applicable to instructional design.
  2. Investigate various formal and informal learning opportunities to enhance your project management competencies.
  3. Engage in dialogue about potential research domains to help broaden your understanding in project management.
Speaker Bio


Jiaqi Yu, Ph.D.
Senior Instructional Designer, Division of Academic Innovation – University of North Texas Health Science Center

Dr. Jiaqi Yu is a seasoned designer and researcher with significant experience in higher education and e-learning sectors. Holding a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University, Dr. Yu’s research is uniquely positioned at the intersection of online learning, instructional design, peer mentoring, and communities of practice. Her work significantly emphasizes Learning Experience (LX) research and design, underpinned by the theoretical framework of Communities of Practice (CoPs). Passionate about professional development, she actively supports the use of mentoring and CoPs as an informal learning approach to empowering novice designers and advocates for the integration of Project Management (PM) techniques into instructional design practices.

John McKenzie
Executive Director, Division of Academic Innovation – University of North Texas Health Science Center

John McKenzie leads the Division of Academic Innovation at UNT Health Science Center that designs online courses, microcredentials, short courses, continuing education, and rich educational media for all of the above. He is also chair of the HSC Microcredential Committee. John holds master’s degrees in Learning Technologies and Communication, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Communication in higher education for nearly 20 years. He is a Certified Digital Accessibility Specialist (TxDLA), Quality Matters Peer Reviewer, and CPE Reviewer.

Lynn Wahl
Director of Course Production – University of North Carolina Charlotte

Lynn leads the Online Course Production Team in their work with faculty in the redesign and development of blended and online courses. Lynn is passionate about working with faculty to leverage technology, learning theory, and national design standards to create innovative and successful faculty and student learning experiences. Lynn received her M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from Idaho State University and her M.A. and B.A. in English Literature from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. With over 15 years of experience in higher education, Lynn is an award-winning thought leader in instructional design and is a graduate of the Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning. Lynn’s work in project management began at the same time as her work in instructional design, managing course development projects. Her project management work now involves overseeing the course development process in the School of Professional Studies at UNC Charlotte, with over 20 projects per semester. The Course Production Team at UNC Charlotte uses Monday.com for intake, management, and tracking of projects.

Jessica Zeitler, Ph.D.
Bilingual Instructional Designer II – The University of Arizona

Jessica Zeitler, PhD, is a Multilingual Instructional Designer at The University of Arizona’s UCATT (University Center for Assessment, Teaching, and Technology). She serves as an adjunct faculty member in Spanish, GenEd, and Teaching and Learning. Additionally, she is an advisory committee member of ID2ID and co-hosts the HigherID Podcast. While Jessica transitioned into Instructional Design in 2019, she has been designing and teaching online for over 14 years. Her expertise lies in various types of course development projects, including foreign language courses, bilingual spaces, OER, and Social Sciences. She is particularly passionate about collaborating on initiatives that address DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging), HSI Online (Hispanic-Serving Institution), inclusive design, project-based learning, and Learning Experience Design. Jessica also brings project management experience as an Agile ID, focusing on process improvement and transparency. Apart from her work in instructional design, she is an avid language learner (foreign languages or computer languages) and a long-distance runner. During her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and audiobooks, writing, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Edward Queen
Quality Assurance Manager, Center for Learning Design and Technology – Johns Hopkins University

Edward Queen is the Quality Assurance Manager at the Center for Learning Design within the Whiting School of Engineering. His career in education, which spans over 20 years, began as an elementary school teacher after graduating with his BA in Elementary Education from Purdue University (#BoilerUp). During his 5-year teaching career, he obtained his MS.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology, also from Purdue (#HammerDown). He subsequently worked as an instructional designer at the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he developed e-learning objects for globally dispersed government foreign language and intelligence analysts. He joined the Johns Hopkins University in August 2010. Since then, he has designed and developed more than 150 online courses and has developed and delivered a wide range of faculty development opportunities. Edward lives in Lafayette, Indiana with his wife Kelly (also Hopkins staff), three children (two boys and a girl), a golden retriever (Hugo), and an orange tabby (Milo). He enjoys reading, watching TV and movies, and flying his DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone.