Ellen Wagner Headshot

Ellen D. Wagner, Ph.D.

Ellen D. Wagner, Ph.D. is an innovator, entrepreneur, practitioner and scholar of learning design and technology systems.  She seeks to improve the value and impact of technologies used for learning and professional development purposes. From online learning to immersive environments, from learning analytics and blockchain to machine learning and AI, Ellen’s work products in public sector, not-for-profit and commercial sector learning technology transformation efforts have demonstrated that emerging technologies’ value to enterprises is only as good as their ability to improve outcomes and results produced by people using those systems.

She is currently the founder and managing partner of North Coast EduVisory Services, LLC, a specialized advisory practice focused on digital transformation initiatives. In addition to supporting North Coast EduVisory clients, Ellen is active as an affiliate research professor with the Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Laboratory, Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida. She is a member of the IEEE-Industry Connections Industry Consortium on Learning Engineering (ICICLE), after chairing the Learning Engineering Among the Professions (LEAP) SIG. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computing in Higher Education, eLearn Magazine, and the Journal of Applied Instructional Design. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Foundation. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Kirwan Innovation Center of the University System of Maryland, as well as the Global Advisory Board for OEB (Online Educa Berlin). She stays in entrepreneurial shape though her Advisory Board work with Aspire Ability, a data-driven talent management start-up. She has held positions as tenured professor, department chair and academic affairs administrator (University of Northern Colorado). She has served as a senior executive in publicly traded and private commercial software companies, both domestic and international (Informania, Inc; Viviance new education AG; Macromedia, Inc.; Adobe Systems, Inc.; Hobsons). Her public sector experience includes serving as VP of Technology for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and Executive Director of their national community of institutions specializing in online learning excellence, WCET. While leading WCET, she and her staff founded the interstate distance learning program review organization now known as NC-SARA. She also co-founded the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework, a predictive analytics research effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. PAR launched as an independent non-profit in 2015 and was acquired by Hobsons in 2016. It is part of the student success software product called Starfish Retention Solutions, now owned by EAB.Ellen received the Richard Jonsen Award from WCET for eLearning in 2008. She was inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame in 2010. The eLearning Guild named her a Guild Master in 2015. In 2018 she was awarded the Mildred and Charles Wedemeyer Award from the American Journal of Distance Learning and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She has been affiliated with AECT since 1981. She first joined AECT while a graduate student at the University of Colorado while studying under former AECT presidents Robert DeKieffer and Elwood (Woody) Miller. During the years she was a professor at UNC, she was an active member of AECT, serving as president of DID, and as a member of committees including the Definition and Terminology Committee. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the AECT Foundation since 2017.