Current Board – 2020-2021

President’s Message

I am proud to welcome all current and prospective members of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE)-Réseau canadien pour l’innovation en éducation (RCIE) and I am thrilled to serve as president in the year to come. I thank those who have contributed so much to the influence of CNIE-RCIE in the past.

CNIE-RCIE is a vibrant and inspirational network of learning and research in educational innovation in Canada. We offer collaboration and professional development opportunities through our annual conference and webinars, and we publish monthly newsletters and cutting-edge research through two open access journals (the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology and the International Journal of E-learning and Distance Education).

These are our primary activities, linked to our values of diversity and inclusion, integrity, collegiality, excellence and leadership in innovation. 2020 has already been a year of unanticipated challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we endeavour to continue supporting your needs for relevant information with grace and dignity.

CNIE members are instructional designers, educational developers, teachers and researchers at all stages of their careers, including students, early and mid-career, and retired, who are working to transform teaching and learning for a better world. We welcome your involvement in developing new resources and communication channels that will attract more members and suggest more services. We invite you to invite colleagues who might have similar interests. Consider becoming an active member by:

  • Submitting descriptions of educational innovations, case studies of innovative projects, and other news to our monthly newsletter
  • Submitting your research to one of our journals, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology and International Journal of E-Learning and Distance Education
  • Submitting your projects for one of our awards, Awards of Excellence or AMTEC Trust Awards
  • Volunteering to review entries to the awards of excellence
  • Proposing a webinar of interest to our membership
  • Attending or presenting at our annual conference in spring 2021 (Call for Proposals will be available by December 1)

We have a new website and a reformatted newsletter, so I believe we will see increased opportunities for members to stay in touch with the Board and with CNIE-RCIE colleagues across the country.

As always, we will be focusing on ways to emphasize the benefits of membership in CNIE-RCIE. I look forward to hearing your ideas.


Cindy Ives

Cindy Ives

My contributions as a university instructor, educational developer, researcher, distance educator and course developer, academic administrator and evaluation consultant began at Laurentian University in 1988. I have worked at Concordia University in Montreal, teaching graduate courses both online and in person and as a faculty developer at McGill University. I joined Athabasca University in 2007, and after positions in learning design and development, took on the interim positions of Associate Vice President Academic and Vice President Academic. I have been involved in many innovative online and open initiatives, including MOOCs, Open Education Resources, course and program development and evaluation, digital learning resources and learning analytics. I am now full professor of Distance Education at AU, teaching courses at the masters and doctoral levels and supervising students. Two current research projects focus on organizational change in Canadian universities adopting online learning, and on women and leadership in higher education. I have a PhD in Educational Technology from Concordia University and a Master of Arts in Canadian Studies and Bachelor of Arts in English from Carleton University. I have been a member of CNIE and its founding organizations CADE and AMTEC since 1995, and is currently also Vice President of the AMTEC Trust.


Saul Carliner

Saul Carliner

Saul Carliner is a Professor and Director of the Graduate Programs in Educational Technology at Concordia University in Montreal., where he previously served as Interim Chair of the Department of Education, and Provost’s Fellow for e-Learning. He has also served as faculty in the International Summer School at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, and previously held faculty appointments at City University of Hong Kong and the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.

His research and teaching focus on the design of instructional and informational materials, the management of groups that produce these materials, and the larger systems that affect this work. He has received research funding from SSHRC, Entente Canada-Quebec, and Hong Kong University Grants Council. The author of over 200 publications, Carliner’s books include the recently published An Overview of Training and Development: Why Training Matters (with Margaret Driscoll), the best-selling Training Design Basics, award-winning Informal Learning Basics, and several books on e-learning.

Also an industry consultant, Carliner has provided strategic advice to organizations like Boston Scientific, PwC, ST Microelectonics, Turkish Management Centre, and several Canadian and US government agencies, and as Research Director of Lakewood Media and a Research Fellow of the American Society for Training and Development.

Carliner has received the two Frank R Smith Awards for Outstanding Article, the Kenneth Rainey Award for Research, Jay Gould Award for Teaching, and Concordia University Alumni Teaching Award, and is a member of the Concordia University Provost’s Circle of Distinction.

In addition to serving as an officer of CNIE and co-chair of its 2021 conference, Carliner is a Board member of the International Board for Standards in Training and Performance Improvement and past president of Agence Ometz, an integrated human services agency in Montreal. Carliner is also a Fellow and past board member of the Institute for Performance and Learning and Fellow and past international president of the Society for Technical Communication.

He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Georgia State University.


Afsaneh Sharif

Afsaneh Sharif

Afsaneh is a long-time member of the CNIE family and has served on the CNIE board since 2016 as the Director of Distance and Open Learning, Vice-President and currently as the CNIE President. Currently, she is a Faculty Liaison/Senior Project Manager at the University of British Columbia. She has over 22 years of experience managing projects, supervising staff, leading teams, developing curriculum and courses, developing and conducting workshops, developing formative and summative program evaluation strategies, teaching and training staff/students/instructors, developing rich online learning environments, developing grant proposals, designing courses and representing universities at both international and local events. Afsaneh is interested in implementing research finding into practice and has been listed as one of the top 90 Canadian researchers in online, blended and distance education. She is also a consultant at the Commonwealth of Learning, where she teaches online courses internationally. Afsaneh holds a PhD in Education, with a specific focus on the Quality Assurance of E-learning Program. Her interests include curriculum design, inclusive design, quality assurance, accessibility, community of learning/practice, open education, and universal design.


Diane Janes

I am a faculty member and Educational Developer with the Centre for Academic Development and Innovation (CADI), Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with responsibility for coaching, mentoring and strategic leadership in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. My career has spanned 5 provinces and has incorporated teaching, administration and leadership. My research interests include SoTL, transformative communities of practice, e-strategic planning, faculty development, collaborative online learning, online teaching pedagogy, e-research, program evaluation and instructional design.

My most recent publications include:

  • Janes, D.P., Makokis, J., & Campbell, K. (2020). ‘Reconciliation as Design: A Case Study’. Handbook of Research in Educational Communications and Technology 5th edition. Bishop, M.J., Boling, E., Elen, J. and Svihla, V. (Eds). Springer International Publishing; p. 855-866. DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-36119-8;;
  • Janes, D.P. and Carter, L.M. (2020). ‘Empowering Techno-resiliency and Practical Learning Among Teachers: Leveraging a Community of Practice Model Using Microsoft Teams’. In Ferdig, R.E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R. & Mouza, C. (Eds). Teaching, technology, and teacher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stories from the field. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE); p. 265-273.
  • and McMahon, R., Almond, A., Whistance-Smith, G., Steinhauer, D., Steinhauer, S., & Janes, D. P. (2019). ‘Sweetgrass AR: Exploring augmented reality as a resource for Indigenous–settler relations’. International Journal of Communication, 13; p. 4530–4552. Available at

Board Members

Media Production

Kelli BuckreusThis board member represents media producers and distributors.

Kelli Buckreus

I’m Kelli, I am a Doctor of Education student with Michael and Jess at Athabasca University. I work in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta where I develop in-person and eLearning training for physicians and other clinicians, and have had a chance to use innovative 4D simulation and immersive technologies for teaching and learning. I am new to the CNIE board, and am looking forward to my role as Director for Media Producers. I have an extensive background in multimedia development, and am passionate about multimedia in education, which I feel will become more important as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) technology progresses. My dissertation research for my doctorate will explore new ISO standards for AI and personalized learning in distance education contexts.

Policy – Administration

ruth hickeyThis director represents policy makers and/or administrators.

Ruth Hickey

Hi! I am Ruth. I have been a contributing member to CNIE-RCIE since the early 2000s, mainly because I continue to learn so much through the relationships forged by the activities and opportunities of the organization. My experience in post-secondary education spans both university and college sectors, developed through roles in student services, teaching and facilitation, registrar and other senior administrative capacities. Currently, I am the manager of the learning design and development team at the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), Memorial University. I manage a team of 11 eLearning professionals, who are responsible for ensuring the effective use of technology in teaching, as well as the development of fully online courses for the university.

My educational background includes a BA from Memorial University, MA(ED) from Central Michigan University (research topic: student perception of interaction in online courses for which I was the recipient of the 2010 Honourable Mention for CMU/OCASA research award). I am currently completing my BEd (Post-secondary) at Memorial to compliment the post-secondary instructor certificate I already hold. My research/professional interests are faculty development, educational technology and open pedagogy.


This director represents researchers, and acts as liaison between the Board of Directors and CNIE-RCIÉ’s two journals (the Canadian Journal of Learning Technology and the International Journal of Elearning and Distance Education)

Carol Sparkes

Carol Sparkes

Carol Sparkes is an Instructional Designer at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) – Open Learning. She shares her passion for learning by designing online courses. Prior to moving to TRU, Carol designed instruction at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, and Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carol recently attained her PhD (Educational Technology) from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Her research involves using meta-analysis to measure the impact of the flipped classroom as compared to the traditional classroom on student achievement in higher education. Carol holds a Master of Information Technology Education from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and two undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Arts in sociology and Bachelor of Commerce) from Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Carol is looking forward to hearing from the CNIE researchers.

Distance – Open Learning Professionals

This director represents distance/open learning professionals.

Angela Van Barneveld

I have held a full-time academic position at Lakehead University (Faculty of Education) since 2015 and am also an Adjunct at Purdue University (College of Education) since 2011. I teach exclusively online (asynchronously) and primarily at the graduate level. My area of expertise is learning design and technology (particularly for online asynchronous learning), and research interests include instructional design, online teaching and learning (particularly in higher ed), and innovative pedagogies in professional education.

In addition to my higher education experience, my extensive professional
experience is strongly situated in industry/corporate, spanning government, non-profit, and various levels of academia. These experiences have contributed to my knowledge of the diversity of perspectives, goals, and challenges in each of these distinct work and organizational systems. As a management consultant, I developed training programs for and worked with the Inuit people in northern Canada. My industry experience with international organizations (e.g., Nortel, IBM) provided me with the opportunity to work with colleagues and clients from diverse backgrounds across all regions of the globe. Throughout all my professional experiences has been the imperative to understand the context and environment in which work was conducted, including the facilitators and obstacles, in order to design the most effective solution for the specific need with the given organizational system. With regard to distance education (online learning), I have been brought in to consult (review and advise) on college online learning programs, delivered multiple workshops and conference presentations on best practices (designing for online learner engagement and community building), coached adult education teachers to deliver online blended classes, managed projects to convert F2F content to eLearning format, liaised with the LU Teaching Commons to design re-usable assets for faculty to move online at my university, launched a Community of Practice and a Buddy system for online teaching and learning within my Faculty, and engaged in research about online readiness (learner and instructor) within my Faculty and with school boards (northern Ontario).

Education/Training Technology Specialists

This director represents education/training technology specialists.

Kelly Brennan

Kelly Brennan

With almost 15 years of work experience in the field of online education, instructional design, and faculty training, I have discovered that my passion starts with the educator. More specifically, the ways in which we can engage and encourage educators to better realize the pedagogical approaches to using technology for learning and teaching.
I am an Instructional Technology Coordinator who works with Laurentian University faculty and course developers to best implement a variety of approaches to using technology for learning and teaching. My favourite duties in this position include providing pedagogical and design support for faculty who are teaching online and on campus. I facilitate small and large workshops and training sessions related to teaching with technology, student engagement, and course design.
Connecting and collaborating with colleagues is extremely important to me. I have served as the Distance and Online Learning Community of Practice Executive member for the Ontario Council for University Lifelong Learning and have been the CNIE-RCIE Awards Festival coordinator since 2017.

Indigenous Educators and/or Education Specialists

This director represents indigenous educators and/or education specialists.

Robline Davey

Robline (Robbi) Davey

My research interests include exploring the way distance learning and digital spaces can provide increased access to post-secondary education for Indigenous students. As a media specialist in online education, I am interested in integrating design thinking and technology to bring an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to my research including developing promising practices to inform ways to increase Indigenous pedagogies and epistemologies that can transform distance delivery, development and design. Other research interests include issues around equitable educational access, career pathway development for Indigenous students, and the revitalization of traditional food and technology, as a way of bolstering Indigenous health and well-being. As a graduate student, I have worked on recent successful interdisciplinary community-driven CIHR and SSHRC grant applications towards these aims. I currently work as the Indigenous Experiential Learning Coordinator in the Career and Experiential Learning Department at Thompson Rivers University. I am currently working toward a doctorate in SFU’s Educational Technology and Learning Design program, have a Master of Education from TRU, a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from UBC. I have Métis and English ancestry, and am currently the women’s representative for my local Métis community in Kamloops and a mother to a 9-year old boy.

Director at Large

Mervi SaloDaph Crane

I have over 20 years of instructional design experience focusing mainly in the online learning environment. I have worked as an instructional designer and program evaluator at Bow Valley College, Calgary, before returning to Newfoundland to become a senior instructional designer at Memorial University. As an active member of Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning’s course development team, I work across multiple disciplines to guide faculty in the development of their courses and teaching. I have a keen interest in online assessment, feedback and micro blogging.

Director at Large

Vacant | Poste à combler


Director of Administration

Tim Howard

Member Services

Barb Ford