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Max Sommer is an instructional designer, researcher, and teacher. Max earned his Ph.D. in Educational Technology at the University of Florida working under the supervision of Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt. His primary skills include instructional design, teaching, assessment development, curriculum development, and quantitative and mixed research methods.

Max designs and develops online and blended multimedia instructional experiences that are grounded in instructional design models and learning theory. The instructional experiences Max designs can be described as interactive, engaging, clear, and consistent. Max uses frameworks like ADDIE, backwards design, and First Principles of Instruction to create and carefully align learning objectives, assessments, and engaging multimedia learning materials. Max also implements several formative and summative evaluation techniques throughout the design and development process.

Broadly, Max’s research focuses on the areas of 1) applying instructional design processes to address important areas of need in education; 2) evaluation of technology-enhanced teaching approaches in the online and blended learning environments; and 3) assessment development and validation for complex outcomes. Max’s current research focuses application of instructional design processes to create and evaluate online multimedia learning experiences to address individuals’ lack of information literacy skills in today’s complex online information ecosystem. Max’s dissertation addresses the prominence of misinformation online and the real-world difficulties individuals have in assessing the credibility of online information.

Max employs instructional design models and learning theory to create meaningful and interactive online instruction, along with constructing novel assessments and applying rigorous research methods to measure the impact of instructional strategies and approaches. This work contributes to knowledge in the field by carefully isolating and measuring what shows evidence of being effective and what does not in certain situations, and it contributes to practice through the documentation of design processes and creation of instructional experiences for learners that can be applied in similar settings. Max’s work is grounded in theoretical and practical principles for designing instruction that addresses pertinent learner needs, and Max evaluates instruction using quantitative and mixed research methods. Max’s research focuses on the investigation of important problems in the areas of information literacy, credibility assessment, metacognition, and multimedia online learning through the broad approaches of instructional design, technology integration, and the evaluation of technology-enhanced pedagogical practices.