A Day in the Life...of our Head of Instructional Design

This week’s blog comes from TPHQ and focuses on Christel Burris, the Head of our Instructional Design team!

What is an Instructional Designer?!

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines the responsibilities of Instructional Designers as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning.”

Our Christel Burris certainly checks all the boxes for those responsibilities and then some! She started her own business in 1989, providing consulting, support, and training to small businesses in San Francisco and Asheville, North Carolina. Christel came to us 18 years ago as a contractor, becoming a full-time team member almost four years ago after deciding to close her business.

The AECT definition of an Instructional Designer encompasses parts of Christel’s duties, but all of us here at TutorPro know that one of Christel’s guilty pleasures is multi-tasking, which equals doing too many things at one time, lol!

Who is Christel and What's a 'Typical' Day?

Before starting her own business and subsequently joining TutorPro, Christel resided in San Francisco, working three jobs simultaneously. She worked for a law firm as a Word Processing Department Manager, at the Western Association of Rock DJs, and Mother Earth News. Christel also managed rock bands in the 80s, including Faith No More, and still stays in touch with some of the band members.

OK, so what’s a typical day like for Christel nowadays?! If the weather is nice, she loves to do her TutorPro work on her screened-in porch at her home in New Orleans after starting the day in her garden fighting pesky weeds. Since the onset of the pandemic, she has adopted this routine as a calming way to begin work and take breaks throughout her workday.

Christel tackles reviewing emails and OneNote updates from her direct reports, Christine & Olivia, at the beginning of the day so that she can commit the remainder to writing, editing, content creation, and planning for future courses. Speaking of planning, Christel revels in planning so much that starting in August, she will dedicate an entire day each month to planning and organizing the moving business parts that are part of her responsibilities.

When asked about the most positive change she has experienced/seen in her career at TutorPro, Christel cites it as our CEO, Claire Revell. Christel stated that everything Claire has done from a business standpoint has brought TutorPro to where it is today! Coincidentally, Claire and Christel share the same birthday!

A fun fact about Christel is that she used to ride British and Italian motorcycles while living in San Francisco, and that’s how she met her husband, Harry, of 33 years, a former motorcycle mechanic. They love their life in New Orleans, and when they can get out, they enjoy one of her favorite dishes-GUMBO at Liuzza’s by The Track near the NOLA fairgrounds. That is when they aren’t completely engrossed in a great movie or small screen series … she’s all about Fargo, the TV series right now!!

New Orleans and Claire are two of Christel’s favorite things in the world, along with her cat Ziggy who is currently on a restricted diet (and he’s not too happy about it, resulting in 4 AM face swats to wake up Christel and Harry for feeding time).

Christel doesn’t foresee retirement anytime soon, and we are delighted to keep her as part of Team TutorPro, knowing that she has no immediate thoughts of parting ways!

As always, if you have any questions about our courseware or solutions, please feel free to contact us at solutions@tutorpro.com. And, if you are ever visiting New Orleans, pop by Liuzza’s by The Track and look for Christel!