As Director, Digital Learning Innovation, Laurie provides advice and guidance regarding eLearning initiatives and capacity development across all three University of Toronto campuses. She brings a wealth of experience across all facets of online learning including: project planning; design and implementation; faculty development; strategy and policy.
Laurie’s achievements in the University IT community include, among other initiatives, advocacy in the area of accessible and inclusive design and oversight of the Online Undergraduate Course Initiative. Most recently she has coordinated a number of externally eCampusOntario funded digital content projects as well as the MOOC development projects. In 2020-21 she served as chair of the Learning Analytics Strategy Table.
Laurie has had extensive leadership experience in the field, with insights garnered from a range of leadership roles within the university over the past 20 years. The Online Learning Strategies portfolio is part of Information Technology Services and reports to the Chief Information Officer. Her strategic and tactical leadership is strengthened through close working relationships with the Vice-Provost Academic Programs, the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation, and also the Director of Academic and Collaborative Technology and his team.
Laurie holds a PhD from the Higher Education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, having focused her research on eLearning policy and strategy leadership. She is a member of the Board of Directors for eCampusOntario and is the past chair of the Ontario University Council on eLearning Stewardship Committee.
As Coordinator, Will Heikoop works with the Digital Learning Innovation portfolio on University of Toronto eLearning initiatives including the Online Undergraduate Course Initiative (OUCI), Ontario Online and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). He brings expertise in online course (re)design and works closely with teams on learning resource development and course production. In addition, he offers training and support with numerous educational technologies from webinar tools to eLearning authoring software. Will also brings course building experience in various learning platforms such as Quercus Learning Management System, and MOOC platforms edX and Coursera.
Will is a graduate of McMaster University and York University’s Master of Education program with a focus on teaching and learning with technology. He has been working with Online Learning Strategies since 2013.
Hedieh Najafi is a researcher with Digital Learning Innovation at the University of Toronto. She obtained her doctoral degree in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development and completed the Knowledge Media and Design Institute collaborative Program at the University of Toronto. With a strong background in educational research and learning analytics, Hedieh is now conducting evaluations regarding learner and instructor experience in online learning contexts. Her research areas include computer supported collaborative learning, self-directed online learning, self and group regulation in technology-enhanced learning environments, inquiry-based learning, formal and non-formal online learning, faculty development, and technology-supported knowledge communities. She has designed, conducted, and published qualitative and quantitive studies and has collaborated in multi-disciplinary curriculum design and evaluation projects in post-secondary education, professional development, and in science education context.