Melissa Jakubec is currently a Senior Learning Designer at Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning. She is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of learning activities and exploring design and pedagogical models that break down the barriers and linear confines of the traditional learning management system. She has also served as departmental chair and Provost’s Fellow, Blended and Innovative Learning.
Prior to becoming a learning designer, Melissa taught English as a Second Language at Thompson Rivers University for more than 15 years. She believes in providing student-centered, contextualized, and meaningful instruction, as well as in using technology to enhance the learning process. These values continue to inform her practice in curriculum development. In the summer of 2015, Melissa returned to her ESL roots, instructing in a teaching training program in Beijing.
Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in English (Honours) and Applied Linguistics from the University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in English from Dalhousie University. She also holds a Royal Social of Arts Diploma in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language and has achieved TESL Canada’s Level 5 Professional Certification. She also completed a Certificate in Designing and Facilitating E-Learning through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and continues to seek opportunities for professional development and further learning.
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.
Kari Rasmussen has over 25 years of experience in post-secondary, beginning as an instructor in Computer Systems Technology and evolving to specializing in the area of teaching and learning in a post-secondary environment. Kari has an MA in Distributed Learning and Leadership and her PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning and eResearch in which she examined the Canadian post-secondary environment with a focus on adult learners within Alberta and their perspectives on choosing online or blended alternatives to engage in their post-secondary education. Driven by her passion for accessibility and improved learning experiences Kari has taken on many roles from student to instructor, from instructional design to managing teams for teaching and learning initiatives, as well as taking on several consulting roles that widen her perspective on educational experiences. Kari currently is the Director, Teaching and Learning within the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta.
David Macdonald, B.Mus., B.Ed., M.E.T. is currently the Distance Education & Learning Technology Coordinator for Thorneloe University at Laurentian (Sudbury, ON) and the Registrar of Thorneloe University’s School of Theology. He also teaches as a sessional faculty member, both in-class and online, in the Department of Music at Laurentian University and works as a freelance Instructional Designer and musician. As an avid canoeist, David also has an interest in non-conventional learning spaces.
This board member represents media producers and distributors.
Katrin is an award winning, internationally known expert in the design and analysis of Serious Games and in gamification in the classroom. She holds two CS degrees and a PhD in Educational Technology. She is a certified instructional designer with a graduate certificate in serious game design and research. She has over 30 years of teaching experience and has taught CS, videogame design, DGBL, and technical writing. Her teaching innovations have been internationally recognized and she is widely published. She designs and develops eLearning in all sectors, including educational and advertising games. She is also the author of two books; one on the technical aspects of simulations and games written for non-technical people (2011), and another on choosing and using digital games for the classroom, due out in 2016.
Policy – Administration
This director represents policy makers and/or administrators.
Anthony Ralston is currently the Director – Teaching and Learning Technology in the faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. His is involved in projects ranging from the design on online courses, mobile learning solutions, and program mapping. Previously, his experience has included working at the United Nations developing distance education for staff globally, educational design consulting in Ireland, development and teaching of online degree courses in the areas of Education and Communication, and media development for education.
Professional Summary: Successful, well organized education designer and developer with experience within the humanitarian aid sector, corporate training and higher education. Diverse experience in the design and delivery of eLearning, mobile learning and online delivery modes.
This director represents researchers.
Colin is currently the Director of TWU Online, where he is working to build capacity for TWU to offer online degree programs for adults looking to complete an undergraduate degree, and also for those seeking an online graduate degree.
Previously, Colin was Coordinator for Educational Technologies at the Thompson Rivers University Centre for Student Engagment and Learning Innovation where he supported the thoughtful integration of educational technologies into courses in multiple disciplines. In addition to promoting and supporting open pedagogical practices in higher ed, he is an OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group conducting research into the effectiveness of OER and Open Textbook adoption in higher education.
Colin has presented locally, nationally, and internationally in North America and Europe on Open Educational Resources, online faculty development and promoting educationally effective interactions in distance learning environments.
Distance – Open Learning Professionals
This director represents distance/open learning professionals.
Afsaneh Sharif is a Faculty Liaison at the University of British Columbia, where she manages the development and delivery of online and blended courses and projects. She works closely with faculty members to ensure that course design and development meet best practices, and incorporates appropriate educational technologies in facilitating and assessing active student learning. As a skilled instructional designer, project manager, and e-Learning specialist, Afsaneh is interested in implementing research finding into practice. She has 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, and more than 15 years of experience in open, distance and technology-enhanced program development, faculty/staff development, course development and project management.
She has been listed as one of the top 90 Canadian researchers in online, blended and distance education. She is 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, quality assurance, accessibility, community of learning/practice, open education, and universal design.
Education/Training Technology Specialists
This director represents education/training technology specialists.
Terralyn is currently the Acting Director/Learning Technologies Specialist of Information Services at University College of the North, The Pas, Manitoba. In this role, she supports the academic operations of UCN’s learning technologies initiatives across two main campus sites and 12 regional centres through training and faculty supports in learning theory and practical technology applications for the institution’s distance and technology-mediated courses. She developed and is implementing the strategic roll out of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UCN as well as administering the institutional LMS and web-conferencing services. Her favorite duties in this position include providing pedagogical and design support for Faculty who are teaching online as well as transitioning materials into online formats. She pilots and advises on teaching technology and provides individual and small group training with technology tools and software used in course design and communications.
Over her career in post-secondary education and NGO management she has served in positions as Director, national trainer, instructor, Academic Specialist, and Learning Technologies Supervisor. She has served on the Board of Directors for MADLAT where she re-visioned and built their website and email services to align strategic goals with a current profile and to be more proactive with engaging membership digitally. This broad range of experience has provided Terralyn a unique perspective on the roles and opportunities technology can provide within education and industry.
ME – Distance Education – Athabasca University (in progress);
Graduate Diploma Instructional Design – Education – Athabasca University;
Aboriginal Counseling Certificate – University of Manitoba;
BSc (Education) – Eastern Oregon College
Director at Large
H. B.S.W. (Laurentian),
M.S.W. (Toronto), Specialization in Policy,
Organization and Community Development
Ph. D Candidate (Laurentian)
Anishinawbe-Kwe from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Susan Manitowabi has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Indigenous Relations since 2003. She is currently working on her PhD in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian. Her doctoral work the “Raising the Spirit Mental Wellness Project” focuses on the engagement of First Nations mental health programs with the Mental Wellness Team using a storytelling methodology. She has extensive experience in the mental health and addiction fields having worked for Northeast Mental Health Centre as Clinic Manager, Researcher, and First Nations Development Consultant and as the Prevention Manager with Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre in Wikwemikong.
She is the author of several articles and has presented at many academic and professional conferences and workshops. She has been involved in several research projects dealing with traditional Aboriginal healing practices, Aboriginal mental health, issues related to violence against women and climate change. Her research interests include: Aboriginal Mental Health, Aboriginal Child Welfare, Culturally Appropriate Consultation and Research Methods, Aboriginal mental health policy development and community development.