September 14, 2021

Life@CS101: Get to Know Senior Learning Designer Hien Nguyen


In our Life@CS101 series, we’ll meet the brains behind our bespoke computer science program, CS101 and get to know them a little better. The new accelerated program, powered by OpenLearning, is designed by industry and for industry, bringing together leading technology companies, computer scientists and learning designers to create a one-of-a-kind online program that makes computer science accessible to everyone.

Meet Hien Nguyen, a Senior Learning Designer working for the bespoke CS101 program. Hien holds a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) with honours from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Education from Penn State University. She is a creative and passionate learning experience designer with over 15 years of experience. Equipped with a vast range of skill sets, her specialties include eLearning, evidence-informed learning design, social learning, personalised learning and designing cognitive tools for online learning and more!

This week, we sat down with Hien and had a candid chat on all things CS101 and her journey so far:

Tell me about your role at CS101. What do you do?

I’m a learning consultant for the CS101 program. In essence, there are a couple of things I look after: firstly, I consult with the project team on the learning design at a high level. Second, I review and provide feedback for selected components in the course. Third and finally, I run workshops with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to source raw content for the program.

What led you to CS101?

Short answer: Adam, who’s the Founder and CEO of OpenLearning, had contacted me about participating in this exciting project. [Laughs] My availability at the moment is quite limited, but because of my background in Computer Science and my passion in making STEM learning an inspiring and integral part of the learning experience for people, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.

In addition, I just really love working with the passionate and talented people at OpenLearning again!

What’s your favourite thing about working on CS101 so far?

My favourite part about working on CS101 so far is the positive energy! Everyone is passionate about making the learning experience holistic, hands-on, active, fun, inspiring and community-oriented for learners. We pay extra attention to the big picture in learning the foundations of Computer Science.

What made you choose your career?

Well, it all began during my third year in my Computer Science program at Texas A&M University. I had the unique opportunity to participate in an education-related computer science research project. This opportunity, along with my experience in another education-related project during the following year, really sparked my interest in a career that involves using technology effectively in education.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

I don’t think I can select just one! [Laughs] I have a few that I have really valued: Follow your interest, Do your best, and Don’t Underestimate the power of effective communication. :)


What advice would you give to someone who is looking to upskill or reskill in Computer Science?

For someone who is looking to upskill or reskill in Computer Science, it will be valuable to build a network with like-minded people (you will find that by actively participating in this program!) and actively look for opportunities to practise what you are learning, whether you are in your current workplace or at home.

In your point of view, why should learners choose CS101 as their choice of study? 

It is important to build a solid foundation and develop a holistic view when starting to learn Computer Science, and this program is designed with that in mind. Learners will not only learn to code but also have opportunities to have deep and active learning experiences on important topics in programming and computer science. They will also be part of a vibrant community of learners and passionate educators. The learning experience has been carefully designed to help learners develop their skills and confidence from the ground up.

Can’t wait to see learners, like yourselves, in the CS101 program!

Follow Hien on Twitter.

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