|Name Linda Harasim||Education University of Toronto|
|Books Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online|
E-Learn 2017 - Linda Harasim
Linda Marie Harasim is a pioneer and leading theorist of online education. She is a professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada. Her six books and hundreds of articles about Computer-supported collaborative learning have been acknowledged as seminal works in the field.
Harasim began to develop her Collaborative Learning Theory, pedagogy and the research methodology of Online Discourse Analysis while working as a senior researcher and assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1983 - 1989. In 1986 Harasim designed and taught one of the first totally online university courses in the world with Dorothy E. Smith on the topic of women and computers in education.
In 1987-1989 she developed the online pedagogy and small group discussion methodology which was adopted, after a consultancy with Harasim, by the University of Phoenix. Harasim joined the faculty of SFU in 1990 and has been active in studying pedagogical approaches, and developing the theory and research methods associated with Collaborative Learning in online environments.
Her books "Educational Applications of Computer Networks" (1986) and Online Education: Perspectives on a New Environment (1990) were amongst the first in the field.
In 1993, Harasim, along with Thomas W. Calvert, led a project to develop Virtual-U, a virtual learning environment customized to support collaborative learning. The Virtual-U software was used to support online courses and to prototype new educational social media environments and tools until 2014. It was also used by the Global Educators Network.
In 1995 Linda Harasim founded and served as CEO of the TeleLearning Network of Centre of Excellence (TL*NCE) in Canada. The $50 million project was funded half by the Canadian federal government and half by other public and private sector sources. During its operation (1995-2003) TL*NCE funded hundreds of researchers from 32 universities in Canada and worked with participants from 225 public and private sector organizations. While CEO of the network Harasim focused her research on 500 online courses which were conducted on Virtual-U, a virtual learning environment customized to support collaborative knowledge construction. While performing this research she collaborated with Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia to further develop theoretical work in collaborative learning and knowledge building, especially the use of latent semantic analysis of online educational discourse.
Harasim has been a member of several prestigious boards and committees such as Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Harasim currently teaches, publishes and undertakes research in “Understanding Digital Social Media and the Knowledge Society”, “Digital Media Research Methods”, “Online Education” as well as communication and learning theories.