Meet A Rumie Learning Designer

Find out why people love volunteering for Rumie


Meet Tyler

Tyler A. Whitaker

eLearning Specialist | Instructional Design | Linguistic Anthropologist

Rumie Learning Designer  | Rumie Learn Author Page | LinkedIn Profile

Clarksville, TN

Passionate About: Cosplay, beer, and language revitalization

We spoke with Tyler, one of the volunteer Learning Designers at Rumie.  See what they had to say.


"My experience with Rumie has been one of the most helpful aspects of my job search."


1. Tell us a little bit about what you were doing before you got involved with Rumie, and what prompted you to volunteer as a Learning Designer. 

Before pursuing instructional design, I served as the Linguist for the Tunica-Biloxi tribe of Louisiana. I became interested in instructional design through teaching and reawakening the Tunica language. I took online classes in ID, and made some portfolio pieces, but I was missing practical experience. I found Rumie through a call for volunteers on a Facebook group for instructional designers, and I figured it would be the perfect way to gain hands-on experience while also fulfilling my desire to help society.

2. What are some of the skills you have been able to develop through your Rumie experience? 

I’m very proud that I’ve been able to tame my academic writing style to be more straightforward and action-oriented. I can better evaluate learning objectives, plan lessons, and narrow topics down to what is absolutely necessary. Thanks to the sprint structure, my efficiency has increased so I can complete projects noticeably faster than before.
Something I do to get the most out of my volunteer experiences is trying out a new technique or tool with each Byte. For example, in my Byte on the Kirkpatrick model, I used unDraw and inkScape for the first time and I tried my hand at using personas and scenarios. Behind the scenes, I’ve also experimented with different storyboarding tools and techniques.

3. Tell us about your new role. 

Right now I work as an eLearning Specialist for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. I create eLearning training for domestic violence advocates, who help domestic violence survivors utilize social programs, navigate the legal system, and regain their autonomy. Since advocates have to go through a lot of training, it’s important to streamline information while presenting opportunities to apply learning beyond the training itself.

job search
4. Was your Rumie experience helpful at all in the job search? How about in your actual role?

In fact, my experience with Rumie has been one of the most helpful aspects of my job search. In addition to the practical experience and new skills, it also gave me published pieces I could link to in my portfolio. What I love about Rumie is that Bytes have a super fast turn-around from conception to publishing, so I went from having few published portfolio pieces to several in a matter of weeks. Being published on a website lends it extra legitimacy, especially knowing the peer-review process it went through.

I also want to emphasize how much I value Rumie’s peer-review process because it showed me what a productive and communicative team environment could look like. When you’re sitting in a job interview, it is so important to keep in mind that you are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you. Rumie showed me what was possible from a team environment and encouraged me to keep my standards high.

5. Who do you think the Rumie Learning Design team volunteer experience is a good fit for? 

I think this is a good fit for people who have a bit of writing or education experience, but who need some help with the practical application or portfolio building to break into the learning design field. Anyone who likes a challenge, enjoys a feedback-rich environment, and who has the time to dedicate will benefit from this experience.

6. Anything else you’d like to add/advice you’d share?

Three major tips: keep notes, take screenshots, and time yourself. Notes are important documentation to remind yourself what you did and how you problem-solved. Screenshots give you lots of material for your portfolio and you can keep it even if your Byte disappears for some reason (also a reason to create custom graphics, etc.). Timing yourself with a tool like Clockify allows you to track your progress and have an idea of how long it takes you to complete projects (something that often comes up in interviews or contract negotiations).

Sound like a team you'd like to be part of?

Apply to become a Rumie Learning Designer today!