Inspirational Women In eLearning
From Catharine Beecher Maria Montessori, the history of education is filled with women who advocated for equal learning opportunities and stretched pedagogical boundaries. Today, their reach has expanded into online higher education, corporate training, and other virtual learning pursuits. These modern eLearning professionals carry the torch by sharing their insights to help us create meaningful and motivational curricula based on behavioral psychology and learning science. In no particular order, here are the women in L&D making their mark on the industry, inspiring us to take our eLearning experiences to new heights.
eLearning Thought Leaders You Should Know About
Louise Puddifoot‘s long career in the corporate world helped her conquer most aspects and functions of Learning and Development. This accumulated knowledge was put into use when she founded her own professional training and consultancy company, Willow & Puddifoot. Along with her team of experts, she provides businesses with skills-based programs that help them successfully scale up and grow while navigating the ever-changing corporate landscape.
On top of the many years she spent researching L&D innovation and authoring insightful reports and articles, Laura Overton was the first female recipient of the Learning and Performance Institute’s Colin Corder Award as well as the Learning Technology Award for outstanding performance. Laura strongly believes in the power of leaders to unlock employee performance and overcome changes and challenges. She is the former Founder and CEO of Towards Maturity, and you will find her sharing her insights at international conferences, master classes, and seminars.
For almost three decades now, Jane Hart has been the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT) and has helped countless businesses modernize their employee training strategies. Jane has authored several online courses on workplace learning and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences and events online and around the world. She has also been awarded the Colin Corder Award for Outstanding Contribution to Learning by the Learning & Performance Institute (LPI).
Dr. Darcy Hardy
Dr. Darcy Hardy is the current Associate VP for Academic Affairs of the Anthology Education and Research Center at Anthology Inc. (formerly Blackboard). However, before she started her long journey with this company, she had a career in the academic field spanning 25 years. Dr. Hardy is deeply invested in the online learning ecosystem and the ways it can affect an organization. Her work mainly focuses on strategy and vision, organization, policy, governance, as well as faculty development processes.
Tracy Bisette Huckabee
An innovative learning leader, interactive content designer, and solutions architect, Tracy Bisette Huckabee always strives to provide businesses with the learning solutions they need to remain competitive. She is currently the Vice President of Content and Quality for CareAcademy.com, as well as a member of Chief, a private network for the most powerful women in executive leadership. Tracy has helped multiple companies update their learning strategies and is a regular participant in industry events and conferences.
Sharon Boller‘s impressive career in the field of learning started in 1995 when she founded her own learning solutions firm, Bottom Line Performance (BLP). Although BLP has now become part of TiER1 Performance, Sharon still holds an affiliate consulting position so that she can share her insights and long experience. Sharon has authored three books, several blog posts and articles, and regularly speaks at prestigious conferences about game-based learning and learning design.
Ali Parrish Cheshire
After a few years of working as a teacher, Ali Parrish Cheshire decided that educators need more support and opportunities for learning and growth. As a result, she dove into Instructional Design and eLearning and founded Teacher Transition, which provides teachers with advancement opportunities, and Idealized Learning, which helps businesses improve their learning strategy. Additionally, as an educational consultant and Customer Success Manager for Measurement Incorporated Inc., Ali helps schools identify and implement the Ed Tech they need.
Allison Salisbury is the Senior Vice President at Guild Education, where she leads marketing, strategy, and solutions teams that support businesses in successfully reskilling their employees. Before that, Allison had accumulated over 15 years of experience in the field of learning, Ed Tech, and HR Tech, as well as helped establish and build the G2M functions for four Ed Tech companies. You will find her thoughts on the future of learning, work, and economic mobility on the Forbes website.
Dr. Josie Ahlquist
Dr. Josie Ahlquist is a Digital Engagement & Leadership Consultant, a regular keynote speaker, and a published author. In addition, she teaches at Florida State University and is a research associate with a focus on digital management and leadership. During her long career, Josie has spoken with and offered guidance to thousands of students, professionals, organizations, and executives on how to best leverage their online presence to engage their audiences.
Heather E. McGowan
One can say that Heather E. McGowan is one of the leading figures of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She is a future-of-work strategist and thought leader who has helped countless organizations transform their strategies, re-engage their employees, and become more effective in achieving their goals. Heather speaks at more than 75 events of different industries and sectors each year, has published books and content on the future of work, and her work is often quoted in the media, most notably in The New York Times.
Dr. Maria D. Avgerinou
Dr. Maria Avgerinou is an international scholar with multiple postdoctoral diplomas in eLearning Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the MA in Learning Design and Technology at Deree – The American College of Greece. In her 20-year-old career, Dr. Avgerinou has received various prestigious awards, notably IVLA’s Research Award. Moreover, she has performed extensive research and published content on subjects such as online and blended learning, action research, and visual literacy for education and training.
Patti Shank, Ph.D.
Patti Shank, Ph.D., is a designer, analyst, author, and facilitator who focuses on evidence-based workplace learning. She is listed as one of the top ten most influential people in eLearning internationally, has written numerous books, and her articles are found all over the internet. With a robust business background and a long experience as a trainer, Patti Shank applies learning and related sciences to improve results from instruction and performance interventions.
Victoria L. Rodgers
Victoria L. Rodgers has over two decades of experience in business and learning development, culture transformation through DEI, leadership coaching, and strategy consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Management Information Systems, and an MBA in Global Business Strategy from Cardinal Stritch University. Currently, she is an IDEA (inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility) Leadership Strategist, Facilitator, and Coach for CenteredSoul Consulting, where she supports Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in leveraging emotional intelligence to optimize leadership.
Julie Dirksen is an Instructional Designer and Learning Strategy Consultant for Usable Learning, collaborating with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and tech startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She has more than 15 years of experience creating highly interactive eLearning experiences to improve UX design, incorporate game-based learning, and drive behavioral change within organizations. She is the author of Design For How People Learn and holds a Master’s in Instructional System Technology from Indiana University Bloomington.
Danielle Hart has a long career in internet and multimedia-related industries and is currently the Chief Brand Officer at SweetRush Inc., a company she has been part of for almost 20 years. She has a passion for the field of learning, which she expresses by taking on various roles, such as instructional writer, project manager, public speaker, and solution architect, to name a few.
Cathy Moore is an established thought leader in the industry of learning experience design with decades of experience captured into a book, in-depth toolkits, and online resources. Her mission is to eliminate irrelevant corporate training through action mapping, a visual method of analyzing problems and offering actionable solutions. As an independent consultant for almost 25 years, she has provided coaching, support, and Instructional Design solutions to numerous corporations around the world.
Dr. Ruth Colvin-Clark
Dr. Ruth Colvin-Clark is an established thought leader in Instructional Design and technical training with almost 40 years of experience designing workforce learning programs. She is the owner and President of Clark Training & Consulting, a company that provides workshops, seminars, and classes (both online and offline) aimed at workforce L&D professionals. She is also a keynote speaker and author of seven books and many articles.
Are You An eLearning Thought Leader Who’d Like To Be Featured On A Future List?
We’d like to congratulate all of the learning gamification thought leaders featured on this list who help eLearning pros take their experiences to the next level and fully engage their audiences. If you’d like to be considered for our next eLearning Trailblazers List, our Editorial team would love to hear from you. We’ll also publish more niche-specific thought leader lists in the near future. Finally, we’d like to invite you to guest post on our eLearning Industry platform to share your insider expertise.