Open SUNY Online Teaching Intern 2018 : Xiyao Huang

Xiyao Huang

Xiyao Huang was the Open SUNY Online Teaching Instructional Design intern from the Summer of 2017 through the end of the Fall term in 2018. She is a doctoral student in the department of Education Theory and Practice (ETAP), specialized in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology at the University at Albany, SUNY.

She came to US from China to pursue her education and completed the master’s degree in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology (CDIT), from University at Albany in 2008. Xiyao worked at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as course development assistant, and she has also worked extensively with faculty and staff in both higher education and corporate sector in various online education-related research projects and course development projects.

Xiiyao is very passionate about higher education especially in discovering the latest developments and adoptions in educational technology for the instructional design for online/blended courses.

She aims to design and develop instructional solutions that help faculty engage learners to achieve success through high quality learner-friendly online learning environments and programs.

Currently, her research interest lies in mobile learning for language acquisition. More specifically, utilizing mobile learning apps on smart devices to help adult learners pursue self-path learning for foreign language acquisition.


It has been my honor to work at Open SUNY since September 2017. Being in the Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology (CDIT) doctoral program, I came to this internship with some theoretical understanding and background in instructional design and course development. I expected to build experience for “real-world” applications of instructional design for higher education. I was surprised to see the wide range of support and services that Open SUNY provides to different campuses, and how extraordinary they are in cultivating, supporting, and promoting system-wide excellence in online teaching and learning. As a result of this experience I have decided to shift my career focus and goals to become an online instructional designer.

I began by shadowing different areas within Open SUNY’s operational teams, and later joined in several projects including:

  • Conducting a research literature review for OSCQR,
  • Being trained and mentored to use OSCQR, the Open SUNY Online Course Quality Review rubric.
  • Providing online course reviews for the SUNY Center of Professional Development.
  • Collaborating with staff at the Online Learning Consortium to categorize feedback from their workshop participants on the OSCQR rubric.
  • Attending meetings and professional conferences.
  • Providing training for faculty at SUNY FIT.

All of these experiences were so valuable for me to see how different resources are leveraged to best support and promote online learning and teaching. They also prepared me greatly in the field as an instructional designer and researcher. As my internship came to an end, I was hired as an online instructional designer working for the Dallas County Community College system in Dallas, Texas, and credit the experiences and connections I gained from this internship with my success in securing this instructional design position.

I feel so honored to work with a group of great minds such as Alexandra Pickett, Dan Feinberg, Robert Piorkowski, and Willow Harris. I learned from everyone in the team and it has been such a great time. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone who is a graduate student in the CDIT program with a passion for promoting online teaching and learning and instructional design.

I will miss all the amazing people I met here.

Meet the Team


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