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Dr. Timothy Michael Stafford Dissertation Chair, Program Director and Coordinator for the MS in Instructional Design and Technology Program, Associate Professor

Dr. Timothy Michael Stafford

"An educator who finds a passion for students will never be without a challenge, a heartbreak and a mind-numbing success that keeps the educator moving forward."

Degrees Held:

  • PhD in Instructional Design for Online Learning – Capella University, 2014
  • MS in Instructional Design for Online Learning – Capella University, 2009
  • BA in Christian Ministries/Theology – Bethany University, 2004

Career Highlights:

  • Over 30 years of experience as an educational leader and innovator with an emphasis in leading educational technology and e-learning development teams for blended and asynchronous learning environments, institutional technology rollouts, accreditation, curricula development and development of professional learning environments and infrastructures
  • Pioneered work on innovative designs for schools that would deliver curricula to children of expats serving all over the world in various military and missions groups, 2008
  • Oversaw the design and development of virtually blended schools that currently service children in 16 countries
  • Oversaw the development of professional learning systems for national trade associations including the American Institute for Architects and the National Society of Professional Engineers

Links to share:

Which classes do you teach online?

EDL815, EDL816, EDL821, DIS897.

What do you want students to learn in these classes?

  • Each course has a specific set of outcomes that are expected from each student, but in addition to those specific outcomes, it is always my intention that each student will be able to:
    • Articulate clearly his/her ideas in relationship to the literature
    • Innovate ideas, theories and models into working realities that could be implemented today and bringing effective results tomorrow
    • Collaborate and interact with other students in a way that breeds an environment of discovery and connectivity among the students
    • Complete every assignment, paying attention to detail

Why did you start teaching?

I was born into a family with many educators in it. As a young person, I worked as a janitor for a school for many years and always helped Mom out with grading papers and cutting out letters for bulletin boards, but I resisted the idea of becoming a teacher myself. I wanted to be a rock star!

I did some private music teaching as a part-time job when I was a teenager and into college, but when I was given the opportunity to teach in a small private school, it seemed realistic that this could be my day job while I pursued a musical career … I fell in love with teaching almost immediately.

What advice would you give to those considering this degree program?

The best advice I could give anyone entering a graduate program, especially a doctoral program, is to be able to articulate a reason why you are pursuing it. It cannot just be for more income, or better status, or for "Dr." in front of your name. What is the driving reason behind why you are embarking on this journey? That is what will keep you pushing through it when it gets tough, and it will get tough! Knowing why is the real motivator and driving force in this process—many other things will come as benefits to those who pursue and finish such a journey, but that one driving thing will make all the difference in the success of the sojourner.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in this field?

  • Grit: The ability to get up one more time than one gets knocked down
  • Vision: Every successful educator must be able to see what is coming next and embrace it
  • Passion: A real educator exudes passion not only for his/her subject(s), but most effectively for the success of his/her students. An educator who finds a passion for students will never be without a challenge, a heartbreak and a mind-numbing success that keeps the educator moving forward

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"The Medici Effect" by Franz Johansson.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

I am a jazz fanatic! I have listened to and studied jazz for almost 30 years, and I have a genuine love for the whole of the art. I moonlight as a professional musician and play jazz around town.

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