We met on one of the many Online-Learning Mastermind calls we attend and realized that we shared a passion for Course Creation and the Tech side of information delivery. More importantly, we have a deep appreciation of the age old adage, “The right tool for the job”. It is amazing just how much time, energy, and money can go down the drain by using the wrong tool.

We decided to combine our skills and shared passion for Course Creation and “Toolsmithing” and create a resource for Course Creators. Our goal is not only to continue researching the available tools but also present them in a way that Course Creators will find immediately useful. The right tool, used in the right way, can increase your students’ satisfaction and completion rates; it will also improve your productivity and course quality. This in turn, will increase your revenue. Our team is growing quickly – we hope you enjoy your visit.

Jon Farley

I am most alive when exploring our wonderful world

My journey to Online-Learning has been an excursion filled with many ups and downs and twists and turns. Over the past 15 years, I enjoyed a high-paced and successful medical career working as an ICU nurse and paramedic. Patients’ needs, especially in critical situations, always came first. My health, on the other hand, had fallen low on my list of priorities and as a result, my weight continued to rise and things got out of hand.

When I tipped the scales at 400Lbs, I knew I had to make a drastic shift if I wanted to live a long and happy life with my wonderful family. On Dec. 23rd, 2015, I underwent vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery (VSG). This was the start of a lot of hard work to get my life on track. My dedication paid off; in nine months I dropped over 215 Lbs!

This was an epic time in my life filled with successes and failures and I wanted to share my knowledge to motivate others who faced similar challenges. To that end, I founded a Bariatric online support company and helped over 10K people lose upwards of 600K Lbs. This was just the beginning of my Online-Learning ventures.

Aside from my interest of working in medicine, I’ve always had a keen affinity with technology. During high school I was very involved in theatre production, so much so that I earned a full scholarship to study theatre and television production at Mt. Hood Community College. 

I bring all this to Tools For Course Creators and look forward to helping others share their knowledge and expertise.

Mark Mayes

I have always loved music (and microphones)

I realize that my life journey has uniquely prepared me to succeed in Online-Learning. Online-Learning is a multi-disciplined undertaking. It requires at least five distinct roles to succeed: Subject Matter Expert, Community Builder, Instructional Designer, Technologist and Entrepreneur. Working with Jon on Tools For Course Creators is the next logical step in using my experience and skills to be useful to others.

In my early days I was fortunate to work with diverse experimental sciences, from decoding the language of dolphins, at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod; hosting a progressive rock radio show during the golden age of rock; teaching electronic music at a prestigious “New England music school”; to working on a Psychology degree, building computer controlled rat-mazes for research.

My work in research psychology sent me down the path of Computer Science. I taught undergraduate and graduate level CS courses at Boston University, earning Bachelor of Science degree before entering the “real world,” where I developed and shipped over 65 products with teams at GenRad (General Radio)Apollo Computer, HP, SuperMac, Silicon GraphicsHarman Intl. and Microsoft. I held many roles over the years, from Engineer, VP Engineering, Designer, VP Marketing, GM of product groups, which broadened my background even further.

After leaving Microsoft in 2011, I have been working on being useful to people as a Credentialed Leadership, Business and Personal Development Coach. I have over 1800 hours working with businesses and individuals to build lasting results. We accomplish this by exploring the values and beliefs that either fuel or impede deep change. I am now driven to apply these skills with course creators to help change the effectiveness of Online-Learning.

Susan Wheeler-Hall

I love learning and helping others

Online-learning found me in the late 90’s when two Canadian Universities commissioned me to write courses for their new online learning programs. One course was on disability adjustment counselling and the other on how to cultivate an accessible workplace. I worked for many years as a professional family counsellor, specialized in the field of chronic illness and disability, in hospitals, universities, health centres, and privately. Having a physical disability myself helped to elevate my subject matter expert profile.

My love of writing found its place in my counselling work as well. I published two magazines and wrote two non-fiction books. I also authored several professional training manuals and became known as an educator in my field. This afforded me to travel and work as an International speaker. I’ve been graced with several awards for my advocacy efforts.

The nature of my neuromuscular disability is progressive and this increasingly restricts my mobility. I now use a walker, scooter and all sorts of tools!. One must practice what they preach, thus, I went about re-inventing myself to work in a virtual capacity. I host a wellness related podcast, but overall I took this as an opportunity to transition more fully into technology. I enjoy web design and creating online courses. Being able to learn online opens up the world to a lot of people who otherwise would be excluded.