Jacki Soister

Everyone has a story to tell – usually more than one. For the sake of this website, I am starting this particular chapter of my story in 2014, when I joined the online education staff at Denver Seminary in a newly created position of Instructional Designer. Prior to that time, the Educational Technology department had been focused more on the technology side of online learning than on course development, so it was an exciting role to come alongside faculty designers to launch a blended/hybrid program. Over the next few years we transitioned to fully online course development, and as my position expanded to more curriculum and faculty development, I was promoted to Senior Instructional Designer in 2018. In early 2021, I joined the new fully online PhD Program in Counselor Education and Supervision. I was proudly part of the initial design and launch of the program’s online classrooms and live webinars.

Early in 2024, I decided to journey into the next decade on a new path that has led me down a vineyard toward the wine industry. Still with a love for online adult learning, I hope to apply my many years of experience to designing courses for wine education. I am currently in the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) training courses to gain further knowledge and certification in the world of wine.

Educational Background: I have a Master of Arts in Learning Design and Technology with a concentration in Instructional Design & Adult Education from the University of Colorado Denver (Spring, 2021). The initial intent of this website was to serve as a portfolio to showcase my work done throughout the program and to demonstrate my acquisition of the degree program’s Core Competencies.  You can access many of my culminating projects and products through my Portfolio page. These range from the more research-oriented and academic, to creative undertakings in video, audio, and graphic design. In addition, you will find samples of my professional work, much of which was done on behalf of Denver Seminary.  

Philosophy of Teaching & Learning

What is it to learn? What is it to teach? I believe both involve story. In our contemporary digital landscape, this means that our narratives can be multimedia, expressed through sights, sounds, words, and images. We can tell our stories through monologues or dialogues, soliloquy or colloquy. Knowledge and wisdom is moot if not shared. And with the media tools and technologies available to us today, along with more digital spaces and platforms, we can give voice in new ways to our narratives, whether teacher or learner.

Not all stories will be blockbusters or dramatic sagas; some will be documentaries and histories. To effectively be ingrained in our thinking and experience, knowledge and wisdom must involve comedy and tragedy, the passionate and the practical, the emotional and the cerebral. For teachers, multimedia storytelling in a digital space is not just about the story you have to tell; you must consider how you will tell it, and how you want it to be received and interacted with. For students, online interaction is not about completing learning activities for their own sake; it is about taking hold of opportunities to absorb what one has learned, and then to articulate to others.

In other words, it is about having our learning become part of our story. And as we teach and learn, we are constantly adding to our stories and to the stories of others.

My various roles in Instructional Design have allowed me to help faculty and students alike articulate their stories in an online learning environment. This is no small task for educators, since there is a unique andragogy involved in online teaching and learning that goes well beyond the technical sides of navigating the online classroom. To me, Instructional Design is more about andragogy than technology, and more about interaction and communication than even about information. I have the exciting opportunity to work in a digital realm where the best of teaching and learning can be about multimedia storytelling. I am eager to hear your story. . . and maybe even help you tell it.