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People Make Pathways

Senior Director of Learning, Jennifer Coles, has been with Pathways Training and eLearning from the very beginning. As we celebrate fifteen years of business this year, we also celebrate fifteen years of working with Jenn!

Jenn holds a Masters of Education from the University of Western Ontario (Masters Thesis: Online Learning), a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts from Brock University, and an Advanced Certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto.

Today, we caught up with Jenn to talk about her Pathways journey, adjusting to working from home, and her trials and tribulations in the kitchen.

Hey Jenn! Having been with Pathways from the beginning, you’ve worked on loads of cool projects. I’m going to put you on the spot here… what’s been your favourite project so far?

It’s definitely difficult to choose! There have been so many incredible projects over the years and I’m proud of every single one of them.

However, I think one of the most enjoyable projects is one that I’m actually working on now with Centennial College. We’re developing courses for students who want to become chefs. The content is very interesting and it's amazing to see the cakes and desserts these chefs can create. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped my baking skills at all… I am still a terrible cook.

I’m sure you’ll be whipping up Instagram-worthy cakes in no time. Being in the field that you’re in, you’re very familiar with the world of eLearning. What changes or developments do you anticipate in this space now that more and more people are transitioning to working and studying online?

Pathways is the first vendor in Canada to create eLearning experiences using 360 videos and virtual reality. I would’ve anticipated more people would have moved to using more innovative technologies (like VR) for learning given the pandemic, but that hasn't been the case.

The movement has been more for companies that’ve been predominantly classroom-based to move their content to eLearning. I’m hoping that in 2021, more companies become receptive to VR for learning as the technology is available, companies just need to adapt.

Absolutely. Speaking of changes… how has your work life changed now that you’re working from home?

As I now no longer have to commute, I find I have extra time to focus on planning early in the morning and to get myself organized for the day before my meetings start.

I feel really lucky that my team adapted well to working from home and we now have a daily meeting over Zoom to prioritize tasks and discuss client projects. Although it’s not the same as seeing them in person, it’s definitely become the “new normal,” for us.

We all know what Toronto traffic is like — I’m sure losing your commute added quite a bit of time to your day. Have you discovered any new media obsessions during lockdown? Podcasts, books, TV shows?

My daughter has got me hooked on Modern Family!

Your daughter has good taste! What are you looking forward to in 2021?

I’m looking forward to learning how to cook and to hopefully applying what I’ve learned from reviewing over forty Centennial College baking and cooking eLearning courses…

We’ll see you on MasterChef next year, Jenn. You can connect with Jenn on LinkedIn here to see more of what she’s up to at Pathways.

We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — follow us there so you don’t miss the next instalment of #PeopleMakePathways.


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