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Reflections of an EdTech Graduate Assistant


Ashley Shifflett, a graduate assistant (GA) for a grant-funded project with Loyola’s EdTech program, presented in a hybrid round table with Assistant Teaching Professor, Irene A. Bal, and the instructional designer of the grant, Matt Connell, at the 2022 Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) International Convention in October 2022.

Their session, Designing Non-facilitated Micro-credentials: Supporting a Large Team through Design Documents, showcased how design documents were used to lead a large team of designers, including subject matter experts, content designers, instructional designers, accessibility designers, project managers, and Ashley in her role as the Graduate Assistant (GA), in the design of six micro-credential courses.

Ashley is a middle school English/Language Arts teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Ashley took on the GA position while also completing her courses in the program, teaching full time, and being a mom. As the GA, Ashley supported the project in various capacities including creating the framework in the learning management system (LMS), creating references and citations for utilized resources, placing resources, and creating activities on the LMS based on the content in the design documents.

“As the GA, I learned the ins-and-outs of creating a course on an LMS which made it easier for me to navigate my school’s new LMS [Canvas], as they seem very similar to me. This experience, the content from the course ET631-Transformative Online Teaching, and the Loyola EdTech program helped me think about best practices for my students when placing content and activities in Canvas,” stated Ashley.

Ashley joined the presentation team synchronously for the 2022 AECT International Convention for a face-to-face roundtable where she engaged with professionals from around the world on the work she supported with the grant. Ashley reflected, “Presenting at AECT was a new experience for me. I have never presented on that big of a stage before. It was nice presenting my experience of the journey and the materials and documents we created.” Although connecting synchronously for a face-to-face roundtable was not ideal, it supported Ashley’s busy schedule of school, work, and home responsibilities.

Ashley is completing her program in January 2023 and the EdTech faculty are excited to see what comes next for her professionally and personally. Ashley reflected, “the Loyola EdTech program has helped me ensure that my students are 21st-century-ready. I learned how to be just to the students I serve and how to differentiate instruction in a way that meets the needs of my students while using data-driven instructional practices. Being a Loyola EdTech student has been wonderful, and my favorite experience. I think every teacher should participate in this program as my learning was so valuable and directly applicable in my classroom.”

Want to know more about the online Loyola Educational Technology program? Find more information on the program at and follow the Loyola Ed Tech program on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok  - @LoyolaET

headshot of womanAshley Shifflett is a middle school English/Language Arts teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Ashley’s Twitter: @MElagoat