Melissa Wang

  • Graduate student
  • UC Davis

Before enrolling in the PhD Literature program at UC Davis, I worked as an instructional designer for several years at a sleep device company, designing online training for sales and medical professionals. While much of our industry-researched (and corporate-established) objectives focused on delivering information efficiently (turning content into easy-to-process media modules), it shied away from making content decisions (what kind of material can and should be taught via e-learning). The missing link, I think, was our consideration of human cognition (beyond some very basic structural things, like breaking up long paragraphs) and what it takes to process challenging concepts--for example, how to assemble a life-support device. I think this is something that must apply for the humanities, but on a theoretical level.