Bio

For a quick overview of my work experience and education, you can check out my LinkedIn profile: Dr. Cannon on LinkedIn

I have ten years’ experience as a university educator, including eight years as an assistant and now tenured associate professor of history at the University of Central Missouri. For the last two years I have directed the undergraduate history program and served as the history advisor.

In addition to these roles, my own professional journey has included pursuing additional training in instructional design.  My initial interest in pedagogy and educational technologies evolved into a desire to learn more about learning theories, cognitives sciences, and instructional models.  Beginning in 2014 I decided to pursue certifications in quality assurance from Quality Matters and later with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) OSCQR rubric.  I will complete the Instructional Designer Certificate from OLC in a few weeks (March 2018), and plan to develop a suite of faculty guides and tools focused on developing engaging learning environments.

My professional activities have often sought to bridge academia with a wider public audience. Seeing the need to build these connections developed while I worked as an intern in the History Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (2007–8). Learning how to capture an important part of our nation’s history helped guide my own long-term interest in making rich and complex histories accessible for all individuals. (Some of the transcripts, images, and other materials I worked on are now available through the Johnson Space Center History Portal. The preparation for interviewing Ivy Hooks was particularly fun given her leading role in the development of the Space Shuttle.)

Engaging people in meaningful ways with historical content has been a visible thread of my work through a number of lecture series events and 360-degree video and image projects, but I would like to mention two examples in particular.  The innovative augmented reality project I designed for an upper-level history course and my history video series probably best showcase how my instructional design experience and subject matter expertise blend to create innovative approaches to adult education.

I designed and implemented an augmented reality project in my upper-level History of Flight course during the fall 2015 semester. Students completed historical research, created short documentaries, and produced augmented reality displays for a public museum. Students gained valuable first-hand experience, and the interpretive materials they created are currently installed in the Nicholas-Beazley Aviation Museum. The interactive displays enrich the patron experience by providing access to short documentaries that expand on human and technology stories surrounding museum artifacts. This project was completed and installed in December 2015, but has inspired additional 360-degree image projects for the 2017-2018 History of Flight and U.S. Civil War courses.

The second example is the On the Trail of History video series. The goal of the series is to make history–and the wealth of rich historical scholarship–accessible to students and interested members of the public wherever they may live. It takes an “on-location” approach, taking viewers to explore a historic site and provide broader context on various U.S. history topics.  There are limited OER resources available for history, with video content often limited to 90 minute specialist-oriented lectures or 3-5 minute projects created by high school students.  The series seeks to make quality materials available for free on a range of topics from  the development of the iron industry and its role in building America at sites like Cornwall Iron Furnace in Pennsylvania to what daily life on the frontier was like at Fort Osage in Missouri.

I am currently looking to work full-time in instructional design, where I will have more time and resources to explore the latest technologies and help other faculty and staff apply new ideas from cognitive and learning sciences to their course design.  Feel free to contact me at drjacannon@gmail.com to discuss collaborative or consulting opportunities.