Director, Digital Learning Innovation

Laurie Harrison

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 has had extensive leadership experience in the field, with insights garnered from a range of leadership roles within the university over the past 16 years. The Digital Learning Innovation 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 is a graduate of the University of Guelph and OISE’s Master of Education program. She first joined the University’s central learning technology staff in 1997 as a specialist in online learning and inclusive design. After a short period managing Ryerson’s Digital Projects Office, she returned to OISE in 2006 to manage Education Commons’ services and partnership projects with government and other institutions. In this capacity, Laurie led several initiatives on OISE’s behalf including the collaborative development of the Ministry of Education’s Online Education Resource Bank, as part of the Province’s e-learning strategy. In 2008 she was selected to attend the Frye Leadership Institute, a respected program known for developing tomorrow’s leaders in Higher Education Information Technology. Prior to her current appointment, she was seconded to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic Programs to support development of online learning strategies in response to new provincial government initiatives. Laurie’s achievements in the University IT community include, among other initiatives, advocacy in the area of accessible and inclusive design and launch of the Online Undergraduate Course Initiative. Most recently she has coordinated a number of externally funded projects related to MOOC research & development; hybrid and active learning online; and the Ontario Online Shared Course Development initiative.

Laurie Harrison completed her Ph.D in educational research in higher education policy in 2016, with a focus on institutional adaptation to the changing landscape of online learning.