Limited Call for Volunteers: Subject Matter Experts

We are announcing a limited Call for Volunteers for our next Designers for Learning service project. The Call is limited in that we are seeking assistance from subject matter experts in either adult basic education or instructional design (or both) to help us with the design and facilitation of our Spring 2016 service project. Applications are due by August 16, 2015, and the volunteer selection will be made by August 24, 2015.

For details about the project and each of the three roles, please review the Project Description and Call for Volunteers linked below:

  • Project Description: An overview of the two-phase service experience.
  • Call for Volunteers: A description of the volunteer roles, requested commitment from volunteers, and the link to the online application.

Why apply to serve on this project?
While there is no financial compensation for the roles on this service project, selected volunteers will be participating in the design and implementation of an innovative service-learning approach that will facilitate the design and development of needed adult basic education resources to support a grossly underserved population of adult learners. In the US alone, 30 million adults do not have high school credentials, and less than 2 million are currently supported within adult education programs. Through your participation in this project, you will expand your service contributions in your field to an underserved population, while furthering your own professional development.

Project Overview:
This service project is managed by Designers for Learning, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the US. We coordinate volunteer service-learning opportunities with those who seek to gain experience creating instruction and other types of performance improvement solutions for nonprofits and other social causes. Building on recent Designers for Learning projects, our next service-learning experience will kickoff in early 2016, and will focus on the instructional design of open educational resources (OER) for adult basic education.

While our service focus remains the same (to support adult basic education), our service-learning facilitation approach will be different in this project. Our aim in changing our process is to include more service-learners to help us expand the number of deliverables we can offer to adult learners and educators. To that end, we will be running the service-learning experience in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Open Online Course: In early 2016, the first phase of the service-learning experience will begin within a 5-week open online course. Unlike our prior service-learning experiences, this open online course will have no prerequisites for participation and no application / selection process. Everyone who enrolls in the open course will be immersed into a real-world authentic instructional design challenge that centers on the design of instruction on a topic that aligns with an anchor standard in the College and Career Readiness standards.
  • Phase 2 – Selected Cohort: Designers who complete the course requirements in the Phase 1: Open Online Course will be invited to submit their design proposals for selection consideration to join a smaller cohort of service-learner volunteers. By limiting this 7-week cohort to a smaller number of designers who have submitted promising design proposals, the facilitators and subject matter experts will be able to provide greater one-to-one feedback and support than is possible in the larger open online course.

Overview of Call for Volunteer Roles:
We are seeking professional educators and / or experienced instructional designers with an extensive academic and work background in either adult basic education or instructional design (or both) who will help us in the design and facilitation of this next service-learning experience. At this time, we are accepting applications for only the three roles described below:

  • Adult Basic Education SME: We are seeking professional educators with extensive experience in adult basic education who will help us in the design and facilitation of the service-learning experience. If you have a strong background in adult basic education, please consider submitting an application to serve as a volunteer on our subject matter expert (SME) panel. Our objective is to secure a panel of 5 to 7 experienced adult educators who will volunteer to carry out the tasks outlined on the Call for Volunteers.
  • Experienced Instructional Designers: We are seeking experienced instructional designers with an extensive academic and work background in instructional design to serve as volunteers on our design team for the spring 2016 service-learning experience. Our objective is to secure a team of 3 to 4 experienced instructional designers, including advanced graduate students and faculty in instructional design programs, who will collaborate to design and develop both phases of the service-learning experience.
  • Service-Learning Course Facilitators: We are seeking experienced instructional designers to serve as volunteers on the facilitation team during the Spring 2016 service-learning experience. Our objective is to secure 4 to 5 experienced instructional designers, including graduate students and faculty in instructional design programs, to help us facilitate the open online course and the subsequent selected cohort.

Application Process:
Please see the Call for Volunteers for application instructions. Applications are due by August 16, 2015, and the volunteer selection will be made by August 24, 2015.

Comments or Questions?
Please forward this Call for Volunteers announcement to other colleagues who fit the selection criteria, and contact us with any questions or comments. Thank you for your interest in volunteering your time, skills, and knowledge to this important need.

Jennifer Maddrell
Designers for Learning
Designers for

Designers for Learning is organized as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Illinois, and operates exclusively for charitable purposes in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Designers for Learning promotes service-learning opportunities through collaboration with schools, students, and volunteers.

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