Current Board – 2020-2021

President’s Message

I am proud to welcome all the members of CNIE-RCIE and those considering becoming a member to what I hope will be a very exciting and evolving/transforming year for this amazing organization. CNIE is one the most vibrant and inspirational networks of learning and research in Canada. In addition to the excellent networking and learning opportunities that our annual conference offers, the two journals affiliated with CNIE-RCIE provide great opportunities for research, collaboration and professional development.

Our goal is to provide you with an exceptional and inclusive networking experience, and your involvement to achieve this goal is essential. We aim to provide a welcoming platform as well as resources and support for students, and early-career instructional designers and educational developers to connect with researchers and more experienced educators to transform teaching and learning for a better world. I hope you will join me and take part in the shaping of CNIE’s future. Here are some ways you can do so:

  1. Stay an active member and share your ideas
  2. Consider becoming a member of the CNIE
  3. Consider becoming a member of the CNIE board
  4. Consider publishing your work in one of the two open access journals affiliated with CNIE-RCIE
    • The Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT), and
    • The International Journal of eLearning and Distance Education
  5. Help make our annual conference a success by attending, presenting, or volunteering with proposal review, award adjudication, and conference operations.

We are delighted to have the Concordia University as the host for the 2020 conference! Soon you will begin receiving regular updates as they become available.

I look forward to the year ahead and reporting greater achievements and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about CNIE-RCIE. I look forward to continuing to work with this great organization in this new capacity. Thank you for the opportunity.


Cindy Ives

Cindy Ives

Dr. Cindy Ives has a long history in the Canadian post-secondary world as an instructor, educational developer, researcher, distance educator and course developer, academic administrator and evaluation consultant. She began her university career at Laurentian University in 1988 and has since worked at Concordia University in Montreal, teaching graduate courses both online and in person. As well, she was a faculty developer in teaching and learning services and an administrator in instructional multi-media services at McGill University for a number of years. Cindy joined Athabasca University in 2007, and after positions in educational media development, learning design and development, also held the interim positions of Associate Vice President Academic and Vice President Academic.

During her career at AU, Dr. Ives has been a key player in many of the AU’s innovative online and open initiatives, including MOOCs, Open Education Resources, course and program development and evaluation, digital learning resources and learning analytics. She has been responsible for a variety of academic units responsible for student and academic services, including Faculties, Library and Scholarly Resources, web services, Learning Support Services and a range of learning and teaching projects designed to enhance the student experience. She is now full professor of Distance Education at Athabasca University, where she teaches courses at the masters and doctoral levels. Her current research projects focus on organizational change in Canadian universities adopting online learning, and in women and leadership in higher education.

Cindy’s educational background includes 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. She has 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

Dr. Diane P. Janes is currently a faculty member and Educational Developer with the Centre of Learning and Teaching (CLT), Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with responsibility for coaching, mentoring and strategic leadership in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. From 2015- early 2019 she was an Instructional Designer with the Learning Engagement Office (LEO), Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta, located in Edmonton. Formerly she was the Associate Dean, Donald School of Business at Red Deer College (2013-2014) and an Associate Professor, who served as Chair of the Education Department (2009-2011) before becoming Chair of the School of Professional Studies, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 2011. She joined CBU on July 1, 2009, after working with the University of Saskatchewan (UofS, 2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Professor of Instructional Design (promoted and tenured to Associate Professor in 2007) and member of the Centre for Distributed Learning (CDL), a research think-tank on technology and learning. Since the closing of the Extension Division at the UofS in late 2006/mid 2007, she has been a visiting professor, at various times, teaching in online graduate programs offered by Royal Roads University, Cape Breton University/Memorial University, Athabasca University, the University of Calgary, and the University of British Columbia.

Passionate about teaching, learning and technology, much of her work is in online, web-based and blended course development in the areas of occupational health and safety, law, leadership/management, visual arts, and beyond; she’s also consulted on distance education, instructional development and program evaluation in Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Diane has a Master’s degree in educational technology, from Memorial University, an MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education, from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include e-strategic planning, faculty development, collaborative online learning, online teaching pedagogy, e-research, program evaluation and instructional design. Her past work has focused on MOOCs, and post graduate certification in International Business; while her current work includes using Augmented Reality (AR) to offer ways to begin and further settler/ally conversations with indigenous knowledge keepers in the Academy.

Diane most recently co-Chaired the AMTEC Trust (2016-2018). She has been VP, President and Past President of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) 2012-2015 and served as book review editor for the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (formerly the Canadian Journal of Educational Communications) from 1993 to 2005. She has served as Prairie representative on the national board of the Canadian Association of Distance Education (CADE) from 2004 to 2006, is a reviewer and editorial board member for several international journals, and has had a number of publications and conference presentations to her credit. She was on the Board of CADE when it merged with AMTEC to become CNIE. She co-edited a book with Dr. Mark Bullen entitled Making the Transition to E-learning: Strategies and Issues (Hershey, Pa.: Idea Publishing Group, 2007). Her most recent publications include a chapter with Lorraine M. Carter (2018) The Transition of Women to Leadership in Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada: An examination of the literature and the lived DIM experiences of two female leaders in Exploring the Toxicity of Lateral Violence and Microaggressions: Poison in the Water Cooler 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, 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

Ruth has over 20 years of experience in the post-secondary sector in a variety of roles, including student services, teaching and facilitation, registrar and other senior administrative roles. Currently, as the manager of the course design team at the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), Memorial University, she manages a team of approximately 15 eLearning professionals who are responsible for ensuring the effective use of technology in teaching, either online or in-class. Prior to coming to Memorial, Ruth offered her eLearning expertise to the Engineering and Computer Science Co-op Office at Dalhousie University in an effort to build online resources to support students during co-op placements and had helped to ensure specific requirements of Engineering Graduate Attributes were being met. Prior to this Ruth was the Director, eLearning at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning for 10 years.

Giving back to the profession is important to Ruth. She is currently an active member of the NL Teaching with Technology Community, teaches fully online, mentors new online instructors and instructional designers, and is the 2016 CNIE-RCIE Awards Festival coordinator. While living in Ontario she was an active member of the eLearnnetwork (2009-2010 Chair), OntarioLearn consortium and the ETC (provincial Educational Technology Committee).
Ruth has a BA from Memorial University, MA(ED) from Central Michigan University (research topic: student perception of interaction in online courses of which she was the recipient of the 2010 Honourable Mention for CMU/OCASA research award). Ruth also has a post-secondary instructor certificate and completed The Chair foundational and advanced leadership academies where she sat on the practitioner’s board for 5 years.


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 over 10 years work experience in the field of online education, instructional design, and faculty training, Kelly has discovered her 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.

Kelly Brennan is 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. Her favorite duties in this position include providing pedagogical and design support for aculty who are teaching online and on campus. She facilitates 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 Kelly. She is currently the Distance and Online Learning Community of Practice Executive member for the Ontario Council for University Lifelong Learning and was the 2017 CNIE-RCIE Awards Festival coordinator.
Kelly has extensive instructional design training and holds certificates in French as a Second Language, Quality Matters Teaching Online, and Foundations Training for Action Learning. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Windsor. She is currently finishing her Bachelor of Education in Adult Education from Brock University with the intent to pursue her Masters of Education in 2018.

Indigenous Educators and/or Education Specialists

This director represents indigenous educators and/or education specialists.

Vacant | Poste à combler

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