Assistant Dean of Digital Learning

McGill University - Montréal, QC (30+ days ago)

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School of Continuing Studies

The McGill University School of Continuing Studies (SCS) invites applications for a full-time Assistant Dean of Digital Learning (ASDL) to advance and support the production and use of technology driven learning solutions, design and platforms for highly diverse, global adult, professional and non-traditional learner and instructor population.

The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) seeks a creative, high-energy Assistant Dean of Digital Learning (ASDL) to help realize the School’s ambitious strategic vision for technology enhanced, online adult and lifelong education. Reporting to the Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs, this is a full-time academic appointment with an administrative stipend. The initial duration is three years, renewable pending performance and budget. The position is open to both tenure-stream and non-tenured academics; however, the School itself does not offer tenure-stream positions. Individuals holding tenure in other faculties of McGill University would retain their tenured faculty status in their home discipline.

The School of Continuing Studies is one of 12 faculties at McGill University, a public institution of advanced learning. The School serves a diverse, complex, and ever-changing adult learner population of ca. 6000+ annually, from pre-collegiate to post-retirement age, with an annual budget of approx. CAD$ 2+ million. It offers a combined total of 70+ credit and non-credit programs and courses at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, of varying duration, delivered through a variety of formats, including online and face-to-face courses and workshops. Academic content covers the breadth of digital transformation, applied social sciences and management, and communication studies. Particular emphasis is placed on serving the learning needs of First Nations as well as global communities and non-traditional adult learners.

SCS’s core pedagogic approach centers on highest quality, high-touch experiential and peer learning combined with close collaboration with practitioners, employers, and professional organizations. As a bridge between the University, the local community in and around Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the world, SCS operates in a predominantly bilingual (French and English) but multicultural environment. The School is funded through central budget allocations and self-funding activities, the latter constituting approximately 50% of overall revenues.

The Asst. Dean of Digital Learning (ASDL) serves as the School’s primary point of contact, advocate and resource for technology enriched learning. In this capacity, working in close collaboration with relevant unit heads and other associate/assistant deans in the School as well as the University’s Teaching and Learning Service, the Office of the Associate Provost for Teaching and Academic Programs, as well as the Office of the Chief Information Officer and IT services, the ASDL provides school-wide leadership, mentoring and daily technical and instructional support on all matters related to online, blended, HyFlex, virtual/remote and other forms of technology enriched learning and teaching. They will ensure and coordinate the development and delivery of highest quality of online, distance, and other technology mediated learning for targeted especially to adult learners and part-time instructors.

Key Duties:
Strategic Leadership & Oversight of Technology Enhanced Learning

Lead strategically an ambitious, accelerated delivery of all forms of technology enhanced learning, especially online learning, for credit and non-credit courses and programs, professional development certificates, self-paced learning, workshops and conferences, and custom programs, with an emphasis on accessibility, sustainability, interactivity and quality.

Guide strategically and motivate a dynamic team of faculty members, staff, part-time instructors, internal and external subject matter experts, and university colleagues to embrace and excel in technology enhanced learning.

In collaboration with the School’s leadership and academic units, and in close consultation with McGill University’s central leadership, identify, plan and implement learning systems to make McGill SCS stand out and succeed as a leader in high-quality, high-value, high-touch online learning. This includes identifying and participating in assessment of new opportunities and investments, as well as the planning for financially viable and successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Direct and manage complex projects with diverse teams within the School with internal and external stakeholders.

Working in close collaboration with the Assoc. Deans, Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Program Development, facilitate collaborative and peer learning, networking and academic quality assurance for technology enhanced within the faculty.

Collaborate closely with SCS academic units and learner support services, and central units as relevant, to deliver exceptional, holistic learning experiences to our highly diverse lifelong learners.

Serve as an expert resource to faculty and university wide planning and implementation efforts for technology enriched learning, including the vetting of and collaboration with external vendors and ed tech partners.

Serve as the School of Continuing Studies’ representative/advocate and public spokesperson/liaison regarding instructional design, technology innovation on relevant University committees and in professional associations (eg. Educause/UPCEA/CAUCE).

Management and Administration of Technology Enhanced Learning Course Development and Delivery

Oversee and facilitate best practices and procedures to ensure timely, streamlined development, delivery and refreshing of online/technology driven courses and programs in a fast-paced environment. Lead the Faculty in reaching a goal of at least 30-50% online content by 2023.

Assess the effectiveness of online learning offerings and integrate into continuous improvement of courses through qualitative and quantitative data feedback and incorporation of state-of-the art innovations from the field.

Direct, mentor and coach a committed, hard-working team of ca. 6-8 instructional/UX designers and administrative support through their day-to-day tasks as well as annual performance evaluations and goal setting/realization.

Manage all technology learning related instructor support before, during and after course delivery.

Working in close consultation with the McGill University Provost’s office, Teaching and Learning Services, the central ITS and relevant School leadership, inform and manage the acquisition, maintenance and use of all School facilities and equipment related to online/remote learning and digital media development, including recording studios, teaching labs and mobile equipment.

Maintain currency in the latest advances in technology enriched learning, including but not limited to new technologies, artificial intelligence and technology-relevant pedagogy.

Manage faculty-level operating budgets and human resources associated with instructional design and technologies for the School, in an environment of scarce resources at a public university.

Collaborate with relevant School units/colleagues in support of recruitment and marketing of online, technology driven course content.

Contribute actively to the fundraising of technology enhanced learning at the School including but not limited to occasional presentations to Board members and donors, and the identification and solicitation of grants and contracts.

Ensure maximum accessibility of technology enhanced learning platforms and tools to learners with different abilities and from diverse backgrounds, including linguistic and visible minorities and Indigenous learners, and lifelong learners to age 100.

Ensure compliance with cyber security, cloud computing and other relevant governmental and university policies and guidelines.

Serve on relevant School and University committees.

Other duties as required and appropriate.


A Master’s degree (PhD preferred) in a relevant field with appropriate certifications such as instructional design, distance learning, multi-media technologies, gaming, and/or other field relevant to technology driven pedagogy, program development and operations.

A track record of teaching and professional engagement (publications/consulting/conference participation) at post-secondary educational and professional levels.

Demonstrated commitment to, and advocacy of, technology as a tool for effective teaching and learning in higher and/or professional education.

Demonstrated commitment to accessibility and an inclusive learning and working environment.

Experience with data-driven performance analysis and implementation of quantitative and qualitative performance measures.

Knowledge of the principles of multimedia programming and production, learning theory and design, and management of educational technology software and hardware.

Strong leadership skills that include pro-active relationship and consensus-building, setting strategic and program priorities, creative problem-solving and advocacy, decision-making in ambiguous situations, and completing multiple tasks simultaneously.

Demonstrated ability to lead/manage projects and budgets in higher education.

Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication, and listening skills, at least in English preferably bilingually (English/French).

Comprehensive knowledge of the processes and policies involved in developing and implementing higher education programs (i.e., pedagogy, instructor selection, instructional design).

Demonstrated experience in support of users of technology, e.g. instructors/faculty and learners.

Experience in leading and/or creating a variety of educational programs, and the demonstrated ability to organize complex events and activities.

Experience in generating external funding or revenue through grants, contracts, and/or fundraising.

Demonstrated ability to work effectively with coalitions of diverse stakeholders.

Demonstrated supervisory, mentoring, and problem resolution skills.


At least a Master’s degree plus professional experience (teaching, publications, research) equivalent to a doctoral degree in a related field (or a doctoral degree) in a relevant field.

A demonstrated record of professional engagement, teaching, applied research, and/or publications in a relevant field.

Strong familiarity with educational technologies/applications including audio-visual reality and gaming applications

Prior experience with D2L software is a plus

Strong understanding of online student support and community building

A strong curiosity about, and willingness to experiment with, emerging technologies and applications for educational purposes, such as AR/VR.

A willingness to take calculated, reasonable risks in support of the School’s mission and vision.

At least a professional level of fluency in both French and English.

Demonstrated cross-cultural competencies and familiarity with international and multi-cultural settings, experience working with racialized and Indigenous, or other diverse communities such as disabled or LGBTQIA+ learners is a plus.

Strong professional network and policy/organizational leadership experience at any level.

Experience working in or with a major research-intensive educational institution or the public sector.

Prior experience with a variety of data analytic/business intelligence reporting tools is helpful.

Position Details
This is a full-time, non-tenure-track position with an initial appointment of three (3) years, renewable pending performance and funding. The review of applications will begin January 31, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Application Procedure

Applications must include the following materials:
Cover letter summarizing relevant educational background and work experience

Curriculum vitae tailored to this position

McGill University is committed to equity and diversity within its community and values academic rigour and excellence. We welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.

At McGill, research that reflects diverse intellectual traditions, methodologies, and modes of dissemination and translation is valued and encouraged. Candidates are invited to demonstrate their research impact both within and across academic disciplines and in other sectors, such as government, communities, or industry.

McGill further recognizes and fairly considers the impact of leaves (e.g., family care or health-related) that may contribute to career interruptions or slowdowns. Candidates are encouraged to signal any leave that affected productivity, or that may have had an effect on their career path. This information will be considered to ensure the equitable assessment of the candidate’s record.

McGill implements an employment equity program and encourages members of designated equity groups to self-identify. It further seeks to ensure the equitable treatment and full inclusion of persons with disabilities by striving for the implementation of universal design principles transversally, across all facets of the University community, and through accommodation policies and procedures. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact, in confidence, this email or phone at 514-398-2477.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.