Welcome Dr. Jan Lüdert: exemplary course designer

Jan Photo

By Grace Jackson

A Proficient Imagination

 “Proficiency in a craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies the prime source of creative imagination,” said Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement and one of the pioneers of modern architecture.

Jan (pronounced “Yan”) Lüdert, SAL’s new Senior Instructional Designer, enthusiastically agrees with Gropius’s sentiment. Whether it is designing a course on Blackboard, or planting a vegetable patch in his backyard garden, Jan enjoys creating with intention and purpose, and translating abstract ideas found in the imagination into action.

From Berlin to Seattle

Jan grew up in a small village north of Berlin and was 13 years-old when the Berlin Wall fell. He was raised in a hands-on family that instilled a “do it yourself” mindset in him, which he utilized while working on his family’s farm, and in both his brothers’ bakery and construction companies. Jan also helped to rehabilitate mentally and physically disabled people in his home town. These were gratifying experiences for Jan because they were haptic and immediate; each resulted in tangible outcomes.

One common concept links these vocations to his work in the School of Applied Leadership: design.

Exemplary Design of SAL courses

In his new role, Jan’s primary goal is to take SAL courses to the “exemplary” level, using the Blackboard Exemplary Rubric and the Quality Matter rubrics.

During his doctoral studies, Jan worked for the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. He designed online learning spaces for the internationally renowned Instructional Skills Workshop and for the Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning, a one-and-a-half year-long cohort program.

The experience he gained at UBC as a doctoral student will directly inform his work at CityU and SAL.

As our Senior Instructional Designer, Jan has the opportunity to combine his interest in adult education with his passion for design and technology.

A Global, Diverse Thinker

While an undergraduate student, Jan worked in the television industry as a script writer, editor, and photographer. He also worked in Botswana in the Okavango Delta region, providing HIV/AIDS education in rural communities. This was a profound experience for Jan and catalyzed him to go to graduate school.

For his master’s degree at the Australian National University and in his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Jan focused on how groups of peoples and local communities from all corners of the world engage governments through international organizations: the World Bank for his master’s, and the United Nations for his Ph.D.

Jan explains that at the center of his academic work lies the relationship between the local and the global but also – and more theoretically – how constructivist thinking helps untangle the relationship of agency and structure.

Microsoft, Hummingbirds and Hiking

While Jan misses swimming in the lake behind his parents’ home and organizing outdoor electronic music festivals with his artsy friends, both he and his wife have settled in Seattle. Jan’s wife, Cara, is a software engineer and works in the Office section of Microsoft. She is part of a team that ensures that Word, Excel and PowerPoint updates are delivered.

Jan and Cara enjoy being surrounded by Seattle’s trees, mountains and water. Hummingbirds and chickadees visit their garden at home. They look forward to summer, and finding good places to hike.

We warmly welcome Jan and his wife, Cara, to the SAL and the CityU family. Please stop by our department and say hello to Jan!

Visit the School of Applied Leadership for more information.

Published January 18, 2017



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