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Teresa Catford

Learn how Teresa built her Articulate Storyline skills and landed a job outside of the classroom.

Teresa Catford's Student Story | The eLearning Designer's Academy by Tim Slade

Teresa Catford, M.Ed.

🇺🇸 Washington, United States

For nearly 23 years, Teresa had a distinguished career as a teacher. And while she enjoyed her job and what she was doing, as the pandemic started, Teresa decided it was finally time to try something new, different, and challenging with her career.

Back in 2016, Teresa earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Design. But as she explored the possibility of leaving the classroom and transitioning into instructional design, Teresa found herself too nervous about making the leap.

“My master’s program was great, but it didn’t offer me the support I needed to transition into a new job. So, I panicked and ended up going back to teaching because it was safe. But as the pandemic hit, I realized that if I wanted to achieve my goals and become an instructional designer and eLearning developer, I’d have to push myself outside of my comfort zone.”

And so, Teresa decided to quit her teaching job and started teaching herself how to be an instructional designer and how to use Articulate Storyline. She already knew a lot about adult learning theories and instructional design, but the technical and aesthetic parts intimidated her.

This led Teresa to The eLearning Designer’s Academy, where she could learn the whole eLearning design and development process, rather than trying to string together the different bits she was trying to teach herself.

“What I was most excited about with Tim’s program was how I could learn the process and techniques in a structured way. With his experience, Tim provided me the gold standard for what I was trying to achieve for myself. The lessons throughout the course were concise, practical, and easy to follow. Tim also did a great job making sure every skill was put into practice in a way that made me feel confident in my growth.”

During Teresa’s time in the program, she focused mainly on learning the technical aspects of Articulate Storyline and her visual design skills. Using a topic she was already familiar with, Teresa created a blended learning experience on lowering cholesterol.

As a student in the program, Teresa was able to complete her flagship project and show the full range of her skills, including her ability to create a design document, draft a storyboard, and design a visually engaging learning experience. And as Teresa worked to develop her skills, she relied on Tim and the other cohort students for feedback and support.

“I really appreciated how connected I felt with Tim and the other cohort students. Tim was always approachable, welcoming, and supportive. As I worked through the course content and learning Articulate Storyline, it felt like he was sitting right next to me, guiding me through each step and click.”

Teresa Catford's Student Story | The eLearning Designer's Academy by Tim Slade

After finishing her work in the program, Teresa started to explore the possibility of picking up some freelance eLearning design work. She wasn’t sure how to get started, but then Tim suggested she try subcontracting as a way to introduce herself into the world of freelancing.

Ultimately, Tim referred Teresa to two of his past clients, who ended up hiring her for various eLearning development projects.

“I can confidently say that I am a freelance eLearning designer today because of Tim’s guidance and support. Enrolling in The eLearning Designer’s Academy, connecting with Tim, and learning from his years of expertise was the best career decision I’ve ever made.”

Today, Teresa continues to work and establish herself as a freelance eLearning designer and instructional designer. Her story is one that shows how pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can help you accomplish things you never thought possible.

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I am so grateful for the eLearning Designer's Academy! Under Tim's guidance, I gained the skills, and, more importantly, the confidence to successfully navigate my career transition. Tim is a wonderful guide, mentor, and coach for those looking to get into eLearning and instructional design. Tim constantly models what he is teaching and generously gives his time to provide individual support and share his own work, his thinking, and his process. The eLearning Designer's Academy and community will continue to be my go-to resource as a working eLearning professional.

Teresa Catford, M.Ed.Instructional Designer

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