2017 Leadership Award Winners

Dr. Lori Wallace

Dr. Wallace has been active in instructional design and the development of its practitioners since the 1970s, and in distance/online education (design, admin, policy) provincially, nationally and internationally since mid-1980s. She has been an active member of CADE/CNIE since 1986.  Lori’s contributions to the fields of distance/online education and to higher education as whole are impressive.

Biographical sketch
Lori Wallace has been a faculty member at the University of Manitoba since 1984, with instructional design and distance/online education being a major focus of her career. For many years, she served as director of the UM Distance and Online Education unit and Sr. Instructional Designer. From 2007- 2013, she served as the Dean of Extended Education, working to expand innovative programs for adults and non-traditional learners, and increase accessibility through delivery methods such as online and blended learning. She has also worked in training and development in the private sector, and internationally as a distance education specialist.

Lori is now a Professor in the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, with a portfolio that includes faculty development for blended teaching, research investigating the experience of Indigenous and international students in online courses, as well as the demographics and academic choices and outcomes for Indigenous learners.

For many years, she has been an active contributor to the professional organizations in our field, including serving on the Board of Directors, editorial boards, and conference committees of the Canadian Society for Studies in Higher Education (CSSHE), Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE), and CNIE/CADE. She is also an active volunteer beyond professional associations: most recently serving as the instructional designer of online professional development
materials for the Canadian Executive Services Organization.

Since the inception (in 2000) of the Canadian Virtual University Consortium (CVU-UVC), she has been active in supporting its mandate, including serving two terms as President and Chair of the Board of Directors, and working with member institutions to expand access to online programs, and improve laddering and mobility of credentials.

Dr. Wallace’s research and publications are in the areas of institutional policy development for online/blended course delivery, digital copyright, distance/online student demographics, patterns of student interaction and navigation in online courses, educational and employment outcomes of disadvantaged learners, and the demographics and academic outcomes of Indigenous university learners.

Dr. Wallace holds a Ph.D. (adult/higher education) from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology (University of Manitoba). She is a Certified Training and Development Professional (Canadian Society for Training and
Development), a member of the Canadian Association of Instruction Designers (CAID), CAUCE, CNIE, and an Emerita member of Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC).

Sarah Hainsworth

“Over more than two decades, Sarah has inspired so many educators; faced down so many bureaucratic challenges; changed so many minds; and informed so much learning around educational technology.” (nominators) 

Sarah Hainsworth began her career as an educator in 1988, first as a classroom teacher of French, and subsequently as a children’s librarian in the public library system.  These early experiences proved to her the fundamental importance to learning of a rich variety of media and resources in every educational context. That deeply held conviction subsequently informed her pivotal role in establishing & developing K-12 distance education and technology integration in Nova Scotian public schools.

Having achieved a Master of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University in 1995, Sarah joined Learning Resources and Technology Services at the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development as what was then known as “Education Media Librarian.”  This position had evolved to manage a centralized film and video collection, from which Nova Scotian public school teachers could, at no charge, borrow films or obtain video copies of resources in support of the Nova Scotian curriculum and teacher professional development.

As an enthusiastic early adopter of educational technology, however, Sarah was anxious to reinvent the increasingly obsolete distribution system she inherited. During 1995-2008, she oversaw the rapid evolution of the LRTS collection into a video and software only library, accessed by teachers primarily online, through a pioneering, interactive website. As educational technology evolved further, she transferred the LRTS collection entirely to an online database, and made hundreds of educational videos available on demand to Nova Scotian schools.  For the first time in the media library’s long history, student and teacher access to educational video resources became –with apologies to Air America- “any resource, anytime, anywhere.”

Beyond her role as Media Librarian, Sarah eagerly took on designing and delivering professional development across Nova Scotia, as an active –even activist- Department representative on the Regional Board Technology Supervisors group, RBTS.  Her in-service responsibilities came to include not only conventional workshops in new curriculum such as Science, but also sessions concerning classroom technology integration- particularly the use of online databases; K-12 software packages; copyright law as it applied in the classroom; and the use of content management software. Most notably, she became an early advocate of open-source, Moodle learning environments for both teachers and students and was part of the team that oversaw Moodle’s widespread application across the public school system in Nova Scotia.

Such efforts often meant persuading skeptical school board officials, classroom teachers and occasionally staff at the Department itself of the value of integrating technology with K-12 curriculum. Customarily, Sarah displayed – and displays- such a breadth of preparation and calm, patient resolve that her audiences, however skeptical at first, were and are -generally- won over. Partly as a result of Sarah’s intelligent persistence during scores of events, face to face and online, all Nova Scotian school boards have been using educational technology extensively to increase the engagement and learning of their students since the turn of the century.

By 2008, the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development was ready to offer online a range of secondary courses particularly to schools where, hitherto, rural isolation and small student populations limited curriculum choice. Though conventional, paper-based correspondence study continues to serve some Nova Scotian learners, the new system augments and transcends it by offering online course options to most students unable to access them in a conventional classroom. As the new Coordinator of Distributed Learning, Sarah Hainsworth managed the creation and development of this Nova Scotia Virtual School more or less from day one.

As the de facto principal of NSVS, she has had a major role in evaluating and choosing its learning management systems; selecting and prioritizing its initial course offerings; training online teachers; and developing school policies and procedures, including assessment, registration, and province-wide implementation.  She continues to manage Departmental designers, technical specialists and clerical staff supporting the virtual school and to counsel students and liaise with parents and regional boards in all aspects of its administration.

The Nova Scotia Virtual School started as a fully funded, provincial entity in 2011, with 479 students over 2 semesters; 10 full-time teaching staff equivalents; and 21 courses. Only six years later, largely as a result of Sarah’s vision, diligence, tact and resolve, NSVS has nearly tripled in size, with 15.5 FTEs teaching 45 courses to a current total of 1401 students. If one combines the student populations of NSVS and traditional correspondence study, Sarah administers to about 2500 students -in effect, she has made this combined service equivalent to the largest secondary school in Nova Scotia.