Instructional design student uses natural remedies to bring home win


By Abby Stoudt

When Vishakha Hegde attended her first DevLearn conference last October, she wasn’t quite sure how she’d fit in. As a first-year master’s student in the Instructional Design and Technology graduate program at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg, she was in a completely new field compared to her undergraduate studies in business administration. 

Despite her worries, Hegde was met with nothing but support at the conference and won the Best Student Project award with her project, “Nana’s Remedies.” 

“Nana’s Remedies,” is an interactive, health-awareness learning experience that uses game-like elements to teach about natural remedies from her home in Pune, India. “In India, grandmothers are known to possess a treasure trove of natural remedies to cure almost anything,” explains Hegde. “This experience revolves around improving the health of Nana’s granddaughter ‘Maru,’ using her Nana’s remedies.” 

Hegde says that participating in the DevLearn Conference was the highlight of her year. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference and present my project to such a supportive and enthusiastic audience,” says Hegde. “Although instructional and learning design was a new space for me and I was struggling with imposter syndrome, I was able to meet many extremely passionate people and felt a strong sense of belonging in the field.” 

“Nana’s Remedies” was one of the most complex projects Hegde has developed so far. From having to narrow the scope of her content to just a glimpse into the world of natural medicine, to learning how to use JavaScript to figure out how to insert music into her project, nearly every step of the process uncovered a new hurdle Hegde had to overcome. 

Despite these challenges, working on a project like this was exactly what Hegde was looking for in a graduate program. “Initially, I felt very lost in my search for the ‘right’ graduate program,” said Hegde. Throughout her search for a program, Hegde came across Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg’s name several times and decided to attend an introductory webinar for the instructional design program. “One thing that particularly stood out to me was the way the program is extremely hands-on, and students are able to organically work on multiple portfolio-worthy projects using the latest tools and technology.” Following the webinar, Hegde was so eager to get involved in the program that she says she was prepared to wait a year to try again if she wasn’t admitted. 

After she finishes her master’s degree, Hegde hopes to enter the healthcare or tech industry to create training for a company. “Nana’s Remedies” can be found at: