Multidimensional Student Finds Balance Through Online Learning
Alicia Ritchey | February 23, 2018
Juggling all of life's challenges can feel like an obstacle course. Chad Riddle, student in the Master of Learning Technologies (MLT) online program at The Ohio State University, knows this all too well. Riddle balances his time between family, career, and personal goals all while maintaining his educational pursuits.
"I am heavily involved in a variety of projects and I wear many hats: I am a husband, I am a teacher, and I train extensively for American Ninja Warrior. I have also helped a couple Ninja Warrior gyms open in my area. Plus, I am working on my own instructional design idea," he said. "Time is something that is very limited for me, and by being an online student, I have been able to arrange my schedule to still allow for each of these ambitions."
It is this ambitious nature that led Riddle to the MLT program at Ohio State. As an award-winning educator in the South Western School District in York, PA, Riddle was encouraged to seek out professional development opportunities to hone his skills as an instructor. As a life-long Ohio State fan, Riddle jumped at the chance to enroll in the MLT program at his dream school.
"The global network of Ohio State is unparalleled. They have the total package and to be part of that gives you credibility to do anything you want," he said. "Attending Ohio State will help me accomplish my future goals and has given me a better outlook than if I had gone elsewhere."
Riddle's chosen program is focused on applying current research and foundational topics to solving problems of practice facing the use of technology to support learning. This 30-credit program provides in-depth theoretical and practical training covering a range of topics including instructional design, technology skills, assessment, reading research, learning theory and specific applications such as online learning environments.
"This is broad field, and technology is going to continue to emerge and integrate into our day-to-day lives. You can fight against it, but it is going to happen," Riddle said. "There is a fear among educators that technology will negatively impact the teaching profession. I was apprehensive, thinking, 'I'm taking a program that can take my job,' but going into this program has me looking at it in a new way. It's helped me be a better teacher, a better technologist, and will help me have a sustainable career."
The curriculum can be adjusted for both part-time and full-time students which works well for those with extracurricular activities. Riddle is committed to "American Ninja Warrior" as a season six challenger-turned-trainer for aspiring contestants.
"I think this is natural evolution that has emerged due to the growth in popularity. As young learners and other adults became interested in the sport, it created an opportunity for us to help teach others how to overcome some of the shortcomings that affected us early in the process," he said. "My education has still allowed me to pursue my dream. As I travel to various gyms, I find myself working on graduate projects while friends drive. You have to make the most of whatever little free time you have if you want to be successful!"
Riddle isn't sure what the future holds, but he knows he's on the right path thanks to his academic opportunities.
"My career ambitions have changed over time, and I am not sure what tomorrow will hold. What I can say is that this degree from Ohio State will make me more marketable, more flexible and more knowledgeable regardless of what opportunities come my way."
Riddle found work-life balance with the help of Ohio State's online MLT program. Learn more about and additional online offerings at .