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Instructor Spotlight – Rick Paradis

Posted by Darcy MacPhail on January 8, 2024

Any institution of higher learning is only as good as its instructors. Dalhousie’s Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development is proud to work with experienced, knowledgeable instructors. It’s these people who impart their knowledge to learners in their pursuit of career advancement.

In the first installment of our series, Instructor Spotlight, we’re pleased to highlight Rick Paradis. As part of our Certificate in Adult Education, he’s the instructor of the Effective Facilitation and Designing and Teaching Online courses.

Let’s get to know Rick, as he responds to these questions:

1. How long have you been in the field of Adult Education? 

Shockingly, I have been involved with Adult Education for over 40 years. I was first involved in leadership training with older teenagers through outdoor adventure experiences and then evolving to working with adults and management training.

2. What has been the biggest change in your field in recent years? 

Not surprisingly, I’m sure, but a major change in recent years has been due  to COVID-19 and the necessity of moving adult education from the classroom to an online environment. This has involved the challenge of not only learning and becoming adept with the ever-evolving technology that exists but also the challenge of designing engaging and effective learning experiences for participating adults. While definitely not the same learning experience, I have been pleasantly surprised at what has been possible in the online world.

3. What’s the most surprising thing we might see on your resume/CV? 

For some, a surprising element might be the fact that I cut my Adult Education teeth working with young adults - both as a volunteer with various non-profit organizations as well as a paid employee. Those of a certain vintage might remember the national youth service organization Katimavik with which I was a participant and later worked with as a group leader. I think it is fair to say these experiences launched my interest in adult education and laid the foundation for my subsequent career.

4. How do you unwind? 

In addition to what might be common activities for unwinding such as reading, hiking, and the occasional glass of wine, I am an avid amateur photographer with a leaning towards a Buddhist or contemplative form of photography called ‘Miksang.’ The practice of seeing the beauty in very simple and traditionally mundane aspects of what surrounds us has been a joy for several years.

5. What's the best aspect of teaching with the Faculty?

With no hesitation, I can honestly say that a consistently positive aspect of working with the Faculty has been the staff. They are great people with passion, talent and creativity. In addition, I really love the variety of students that participate in the programs I have been involved with. It is amazing to see the range of backgrounds and experience that learners have as well as their strong interest in becoming even more skilled in engaging with their adult learners and delivering meaningful learning experiences.

For more background on Rick and his career, check out his LinkedIn profile.