Authors //
Linda M. Harasim
Network Leader and CEO
TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence

Linda Harasim is the network leader and CEO of Canada's TeleLearning Network of Centres of Excellence, ( which was established under the Networks of Centres of Excellence program in July 1995. The TeleLearning NCE is a national collaboration linking Canadian researchers and client communities involved in the development, application, and evaluation of advanced education technologies based on collaborative learning and knowledge building. The TeleLearning NCE has been awarded $26.2 million in funding to March 31, 2002. Harasim is also a professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She leads the Virtual-U research projects, involving the largest field trials of postsecondary education in the world.

In 1983, Harasim completed a PhD in educational theory at the University of Toronto. She produced three books: Online Education: Perspectives on a New Environment (Praeger, 1990), Global Networks: Computers and International Communications (MIT Press, 1995), and Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online (MIT Press, 1995). Harasim has published many articles on online education, and has presented her research as a keynote and invited speaker at numerous international meetings and conferences.

Harasim is recognized internationally as a pioneer in designing, testing, and delivering online education and for demonstrating the effectiveness of teaching and learning online. Harasim's research in educational and organizational applications of computer networking spans over 15 years.

Nationally, Harasim has been highly instrumental in creating a space where education and economy merge to create a new realm of possibilities for Canada. In 1985, Harasim was one of first to teach a totally online graduate course. In the following year, she and her colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education delivered the first professional development courses taught online. Used worldwide by educators and trainers, her seminal book published in 1995, Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online, continues today to be one of the key texts in the field. She has designed, implemented and evaluated networking applications in Canada, the U.S., and Latin America. As an example, Harasim designed the successful model for the University of Phoenix Online. Her innovation in rethinking learning models has also been incorporated in Canadian software products and in the design of online courses in Canada's universities and colleges. She has promoted the use of public/private partnerships to create new models and products for education and training delivered online. Through the work of the TeleLearning NCE, over 200 partnerships are underway to research, develop, demonstrate, and in many cases to commercialize telelearning products and services.

Internationally, Harasim is a world-renowned expert in the field of network learning and has presented her work throughout Europe, Africa, Latin America, Australia, and the Caribbean. She is also helping other countries, notably those in the developing world, adopt telelearning to further social and economic goals. Harasim is currently working with a number of international experts in cross-cultural, higher education initiatives through the development of Canada's Global Educators Network.

In December 1997, Harasim was appointed by the Queen to the Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and was subsequently selected as a member of SSHRC's Strategic Planning Committee. In November 1998, Harasim was named as a member of the National Advisory Board of Canada's SchoolNet.

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// Technology Source Articles
  • Virtual-U: Results and Challenges of Unique Field Trials
    // Virtual University, July/August 1999