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Joann Kozyrev

Joann Kozyrev

Vice President of Design and Development | Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Joann Kozyrev serves as Vice President of Design and Development at Western Governors University.

Areas of Expertise: 

Competency-Based Program Design, Design Thinking in Program Design, Optimized Learner Pathways, Activity-Driven Design, Teaming and Communication for Curricular Change, Credential Design, Stackable Credentials, Skills-Driven Design, Delivering Value in Online Learning


Juniata College: B.A., Russian/English and Penn State University: MA-TESL

Social:  LinkedIn


Competencies and Credentials as Currency Plenary

Close It Summit 2019

Joann at Talent Forward © 2019 Talent Forward, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Joann at Talent Forward © 2019 Talent Forward, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Talent Forward 2019


Joann Kozyrev is Vice President of Design and Development at Western Governors University, a position she has held since January 2018. In this capacity, Kozyrev leads WGU’s student-centered team of skills architects, assessment and curriculum specialists, learning designers and developers, and content specialists to provide students with personal, flexible and affordable education based on real-world high demand skills and competencies.

Prior to taking on her current role, Kozyrev was Executive Director of Learning Innovation at the University of Texas System Institute for Transformational Learning, where she was a founding member of the Institute’s leadership team. She also led teams that developed college content in the fields of Psychology, Philosophy & Religion, Developmental English, Literature, and ESL at Houghton Mifflin and Cengage Learning.

Joann Kozyrev holds a B.A. in Russian/English from Juniata College and earned her MA-TESL from Penn State University.


Selected media appearances and articles.

Fast Forward: Looking to the Future Workforce and Online Learning

The Evolllution, 2020-12-02

COVID-19 will be a flashbulb memory for many lifelong learners—it’s important for postsecondary institutions to lean on the advantages that learners found in remote learning to illustrate the benefits of true online environment. 

Fast Forward: Looking to the Future Workforce and Online Learning

The Evolllution, 2020-05-29

A discussion of the impact remote learning has on an online institution, concerns about the future of online learning and how to get people back into the workforce fast and efficiently.  

9 Thoughts for Dealing with Online Learning in a Crisis

Campus Technology, 2020-03-27

Colleges and universities everywhere are rushing to move courses online and keep teaching and learning going during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how to cope with what may feel like an impossible task.

Moving to Digital Learning Fast: Where to Start

Campus Technology, 2020-03-18

As coronavirus changes life as we knew it, education experts offer advice on how to make the transition to online instruction.


Three Models for Designing Dream Teams

LinkedIn, 2019-07-02

Great teams produce great results. The internet and business leadership literature are full of ideas for leading a team, turning around a dysfunctional team, and making a good team great. But what an opportunity when you get to form a team from scratch for a special project or new endeavor!

Four things that Competency-Based Education Needs to Learn

LinkedIn, 2018-05-22

Recently, my instructional design colleagues asked a provocative question: What do we need to learn? The question turned into a theme for a conversation I had with our design and development organization about a week ago and it has continued to hang with me. 

Alternative Credentials: What about the Curriculum?

LinkedIn, 2018-03-07

Micromasters, Nanodegrees, Verified Certificates, Badges—whatever your term of choice, “alternative credentials” were in the spotlight at the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Summit on Digital Credentials last week and badges were the star of the show. While there appeared to be broad agreement at the meeting on key requirements for alternative credentials to come into their own, there was one piece of the puzzle that didn’t receive much attention: curriculum. But first, a summary of the current state of affairs.