Dr. Cindy Ives is the Director of AU’s Centre for Learning Design and Development (CLDD). In this position, she leads ?multifunctional teams responsible for the design, development, production and evaluation of distance education courses and programs at AU.?
Dr. Ives has been with AU since July 2007, but says that she has ?worked in higher education for many years in a variety of contexts and locations,? and has been ?an instructor, faculty developer, researcher, distance educator, academic administrator, and evaluation consultant.?
?I have both professional and teaching experience in university administration and distance education, with expertise in designing and developing effective course materials and faculty development. My doctoral studies in Educational Technology at Concordia University and subsequent responsibilities at McGill University (both in Montreal) focused on ensuring the appropriate integration of technologies for teaching and learning through collaborative, multi-perspective and systemic planning, implementation and evaluation processes,? she says. ?Before that, I worked in Advancement, Continuing Education and Distance Education at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.?
As Director of AU’s CLDD, Dr. Ives is responsible for ?articulating and disseminating a clear vision and strategy for course development procedures, processes, and tracking within the scope of AU’s Strategic and IT plans. This includes contributing to the selection, implementation, and evaluation of new pedagogical approaches and methodologies designed to improve the distance and online learning opportunities for AU students.?
?I collaborate with Academic Centres and Student Service areas; liaise with partner institutions; manage a staff of 45 and the resources to support their work; and recommend resources to enhance the quality and availability of courses and programs,? she says. ?As well, I have recently taken on a new initiative in designing and delivering educational development activities for AU faculty and staff, and I am the Program Director for the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) content digitization projects. This project has added another 50 staff to CLDD.?
Dr. Ives lives and works in Athabasca. ?Most days, you can find me in my office on the second floor, at my computer or on the telephone or Skype. Meetings occupy the majority of my time, with at least 10 monthly meetings, five weekly meetings, and four bi-weekly meetings as part of my regular schedule. CLDD has one third of its staff based in Edmonton now, and I travel back and forth most weeks.?
?A typical day will involve a planning meeting, some troubleshooting, data analysis about productivity or problem solving, and a lot of communication with the stakeholders in various projects: members of the university executive, managers within CLDD and in our collaborating departments, faculty members working on course developments, course design and development teams and production units. When I’m lucky,? she says, ?I have the opportunity to teach somebody something about using technology to enhance learning or productivity. I also write lots of reports, proposals, and presentations.?
?One of Athabasca University’s strategic goals is to use learning technologies to enhance student learning and success,? explains Dr. Ives. ?My Centre is right at the heart of the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of that goal, through its mandate for the development of quality courses and learning resources. We have a team of staff who are uniquely qualified to design quality learning materials and environments for student success.?