For many inquisitive types, the pursuit of knowledge never ends. Suzanne Klausner fits that mold to a T. She is a lifelong student and educator, and a naturally curious person who thrives on understanding the “why” and “how” behind the “what.”
This desire to learn, combined with diligence and an unquenchable thirst for discovery, has proven invaluable in Klausner’s main occupational objective: most effectively communicating technical subject matters.
Klausner earned her master’s degree in education at Northern Arizona University while teaching K through 8 students before switching career tracks and developing text-books and educational software for Pearson and McGraw-Hill.
A decade ago, she married her interest in education and learning with her passion for design and became an instructional designer with WorldatWork.
Workspan: What sparked your initial interest in instructional design?
Klausner: I was looking for a way to use my passion for education in a setting other than a classroom. My job with WorldatWork opened a new world of working with subject matter experts. My challenge: Capturing the knowledge of the HR and total rewards experts and turning that into a meaningful experience for learners.
W: How much has the development and delivery of education changed in your 10 years with WorldatWork?
K: When I started at WorldatWork, the primary options for learning were self-study or attending a classroom event with an instructor. We had just begun exploring virtual options. As my role evolved, our educational offerings evolved. We’ve kept the essentials and expanded to deliver content in new and different ways.
W: During your tenure, WorldatWork has added several courses, certifications and programs. What has been the primary motivation behind changing things up?
K: We’ve grown to deliver more topics, while at the same time expanding the way we deliver that information. We recognize that our programs and classes are part of a person’s career development and growth and we tailor them to the needs of the busy professional.
W: What is it about your job in professional education that most excites you?
K: Being able to work with a variety of experts and learning as I go from an incredible network of SMEs who contribute content from all over the world and all different levels of expertise on anything that touches total rewards.
W: How do you apply a learning and design mindset in your personal life?
K: I’m an avid reader and I love to learn, so my curiosity drives a lot of what I do in my personal life. I love to discover the design behind the things that I enjoy. For example, the way today’s authors are using storytelling to shift the style of nonfiction to read more like fiction. That’s design. Intentional design.