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Learning and Technology ecosystem Advisory Committee

The Learning and Technology ecosystem Advisory Committee (LTAC) is an IT Governance committee co-chaired by a senior member of the Office of the Provost and a senior member of Northwestern IT.

The mission of LTAC is to support pedagogical innovation through enhancements to learning spaces and advancements in instructional practices through the use of learning analytics and related educational technologies that intersect broadly to support the learning experience. The committee will make recommendations regarding priorities for investment and experimentation, while assessing the overall benefits and impact on the student learning experience.


Bennett Goldberg, Director, Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching, and Peggy McCready, Associate Vice President, IT Services & Support, Northwestern Information Technology, serve as the chairs of LTAC, which reports to Sean Reynolds, Vice President for Information Technology/CIO, and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Vice Provost for Academics and Co-Associate Provost.

LTAC committee members are invited to serve through the appointment of a dean or vice president and will serve for a two-year term. LTAC also has two subcommittees, a Learning Spaces Working Group and the LMS and Learning Applications Steering Committee.



  1. Foster new ways of thinking regarding the use of educational technology, learning spaces, and learner data, as it relates to improving the learning experience
  2. Evaluate emerging technologies and teaching practices for application at Northwestern
  3. Identify priorities for educational technology across the schools and explore potential solutions to existing challenges
  4. Collaborate across schools to effectively implement educational technology and enhance both the design and use of formal and informal learning spaces.
  5. Foster a culture that supports pedagogical innovation across the schools where ideas are explored and practices are frequently discussed and assessed by students, faculty and educational support professionals
  6. Identify common goals and priorities as they relate to the allocation of resources to enhance student learning for both the physical and virtual learning environments

Operating Principles

Committee meetings are held quarterly, or as determined by the committee.

Subcommittees meeting are held with sufficient frequency to accomplish their charge and report back to LTAC as necessary.  

Committee Members

Learning Spaces Working Group

Description and Purpose

The Learning Spaces Working Group leads the strategic planning, design and prioritization of resources to improve the quality of Northwestern learning spaces and enhance the student learning experience. The Group focuses on both formal and informal learning spaces and develops a set of University-wide design principles that are used to inform best practices across the schools.

Members include representatives from the Office of the Registrar, Facilities Management, Information Technology and the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, as well as schools and other areas that have an essential role in creating, utilizing and supporting learning spaces.



The work of this group will be used to inform best practices and guidelines for all campus learning space solutions. Responsibilities include:

  • Develop University-wide design principles that are used across the schools to enhance the student learning experience and foster best practices in teaching.
    • Determine how best to engage students and faculty to inform learning space and technology design guidelines.
    • Examine and learn from peer institutions and professional associations, including EDUCAUSE and the Learning Spaces Collaboratory, as well as convene stakeholders across campus for feedback on the design principles.
  • Perform a comprehensive review of the current learning spaces to assess the overall condition of the space and its attributes, document necessary improvements, and prioritize investments in upgrades and enhancements for Registrar-controlled spaces, taking into consideration the overall usability of the space to support active learning and the use of technology.
    • Keep abreast of innovative campus developments in learning spaces.
    • Review data regarding faculty requests for learning spaces to inform room-enhancement priorities
  • Develop and maintain information that is shared with LTAC to enable continuous feedback.
    • Meeting agendas and minutes
    • A published set of principles and guidelines to inform the process and design for building new and renovating existing learning spaces including informing classroom AV refresh.
    • A comprehensive report that notes the current condition and utilization of Registrar-controlled classrooms.
    • A comprehensive report that outlines all work regarding facilities, furniture and technology improvements planned for Registrar-controlled classrooms, including the estimated costs associated with this work.
  • Consult with other subcommittees of LTAC, as appropriate.


  • Denise Drane, Director of Research and Evaluation, Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching
  • Josh Folger, Associate Director Facilities, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Victoria Getis, Director, Teaching & Learning Technologies, Northwestern Information Technology
  • Mike Hannen, Senior Director, Information Technology, School of Education & Social Policy
  • Dustin Levell, Business Systems Analyst Associate, Office of the Registrar (Co-chair)
  • Trevor Musolf, AV Systems Engineer Lead, Northwestern Information Technology (Co-chair)
  • Sachin Patel, Operations Specialist, School of Professional Studies
  • Carrie West, Associate Director Facilities Planning, Facilities Management
  • Bradley Zakarin, Director of Residential Academic Initiatives, Residential Services

Learning Management System and Learning Apps Steering Committee

Description and Purpose

This steering committee will guide decisions around the University's Learning Management System (Canvas) and the Learning Apps supported by Northwestern IT. It makes recommendations for improvements, explore, support and promote innovations, draft recommendations for deployment and training as needed, and reports the recommendations to the Learning and Technology Ecosystem Advisory Committee (LTAC). The work of this group will help to build an institutional culture that supports experimentation in teaching.


Members of this subcommittee have an awareness of how the Learning Management System is used in their areas and are interested in exploring new tools to support innovation in teaching and learning.

Responsibilities include:

  • Explore, support, and promote of innovations in educational learning tools
  • Ensure that instructors’ and students’ needs are prioritized in decision-making around technology support for teaching and learning
  • Make recommendations regarding prioritized concerns for investment from central IT and the schools
  • Influencing and supporting enhancement requests to the LMS and Learning Apps providers
  • Evaluate, pilot, and select new tools and pedagogical support to recommend tools to be adopted, based on a process of data collection around user satisfaction and tool use; and to support this by volunteering or recruiting others to pilot new tools
  • Recommend tools to be retired, based on a process of data collection around user satisfaction and tool use
  • Advise on deployment of new features in Canvas
  • Work across schools to develop a standard process for delivering Learning Apps in Canvas
  • Develop and maintain the following information that is shared with LTAC:
    • Meeting agendas and minutes
    • A set of guidelines to inform the process for evaluating educational learning tools
    • A set of principles to promote innovation in the learning and technology ecosystem at Northwestern
  • Consult with other subcommittees of LTAC, as appropriate


  • Beth Bennett, Associate Dean (Academic), Journalism, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Michael Dice, Senior Blended Learning Specialist, Teaching & Learning Technologies, Northwestern Information Technology (Co-Chair)
  • Pat Garcia, Associate Dean for Curriculum, OME, Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Michelle Guittar, Associate University Librarian, NU Libraries
  • Shakir Hussain, Blended Learning Specialist, NU-Q
  • Bryan Libbin,  Director of Curricular & Academic Technology, School of Communication (Co-Chair)
  • Pauline Kenley, Senior Technical Support Specialist, School of Education and Social Policy
  • Hosea Lee, Senior IT Consultant, Center for Public Safety, School of Professional Studies
  • Aaron Peterson, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Math, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rick Salisbury, Associate Director, Educational Technologies, Kellogg School of Management
  • Matt Taylor, Information Tech Director, Media and Design Studio, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jackie Wickham,  Senior Learning Designer, School of Professional Studies

Last Updated: 8 March 2019

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