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Connected Learning Advisory Council


The goal of the Connected Learning Advisory Council is to  advance effective use of innovative technologies to support teaching and learning, including adoption of “efficient IT” practices that make the sharing of data from various sources easier and more actionable, thus supporting the efforts to scale educational attainment. 

The Connected Learning Advisory Council works closely with IMS leadership to provide guidance in the development and adoption of IMS standards to enable an institution to become more agile in integrating digital applications, platforms and tools into the enterprise to evolve personalized connected learning.  Participants are generally vice-provosts, CIOs, and other technology/curriculum thought leaders appointed by IMS based upon their interest and commitment in leading the adoption of open standards in higher education. 

Task force members provide expertise and guidance to advance key IMS initiatives such as: 1) Connected Learning Innovation Challenge 2) Community App Sharing Architecture (CASA); 3) Caliper Learning Analytics Framework  4) Learning Impact Award Program; 5) Competency Based Education and Creating Guided Pathways to Success;  and other task forces as needed. 

Members of the Connected Learning Advisory Council

  • Sean DeMonner, Executive Director, ITS Teaching & Learning, University of Michigan
  • Max Davis-Johnson, Chief Information Officer, Associate Vice President Office of Information Technology, Boise State University
  • Jeff Henry, Director, Academic Computing and Media Services, UC San Diego
  • Patrick Laughran, Chief Information Officer, Framingham State University
  • Robbie K. Melton, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Mobilization and Emerging Technologies, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)
  • Terence N. O'Heron, Director of Operations and Program Manager, ANGEL, Teaching and Learning with Technology, Information Services, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Ken Tothero, Associate Director of Educational Technology, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Texas at Austin
  • Karen Vignare,Ph. D., Associate Provost, Center for Innovation in Learning, University of Maryland University College

Connected Learning Subcommittees

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about participating on the following task force subcommittees.

Community App Sharing Architecture (CASA) Taskforce

  • Eric Bollens, UCLA
  • John Johnston, University of Michigan
  • Rose Rocchio, UCLA
  • Daniel Suchy, UC San Diego
  • Scott Taylor, Boise State University
  • Anthony White, University of Michigan

Connected Learning App Challenge Evaluators

  • Jim Twetten, Iowa State University
  • Jeff Bohrer, Senior Learning Technology Consultant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Rich Johnson, VP of Product Development & Sales Engineering, VitalSource
  • Julie Lkrot, Instructional Designer, Brown University
  • Jesse Schreier, Instructional Designer, Brown University
  • Craig Schroer, Systems Librarian, University of West Georgia
  • Dr. Christopher Sessums, Chief Learning Officer, An Estuary
  • Liz Pisney, Follett
  • Scott Miller, Brown University
  • Robbie Melton, Tennessee Board of Regents

Caliper Analytics End-User Workgroup

  • Sharon Goodall, Unviersity of Maryland University College
  • Lucas Horton, University of Texas – Austin
  • Owen McGrath, University of California - Berkeley
  • Chris Millet, Penn State University
  • Beth Kirschner, University of Michigan
  • Peter Soderquist, University of Phoenix
  • Jim Williamson, University of California - Los Angeles
  • Anthony Whyte, University of Michigan

Competency Based Education / Guided Pathways to Success Workgroup

  • Leigh Abts, University of Maryland College Park
  • Paul Czarapata, Kentucky Community & Technical Colleges System
  • Mathew Gunkel, Indiana University
  • Hal Morgan, University of Phoenix
  • David Pinkus, Western Governors University
  • Devon Ritter, Saylor Foundation
  • Rich Stevenson, University of Maryland University College
  • Karen Vignare, University of Maryland University College
  • Nick White, Capella University

Learning Impact Awards Evaluators

  • Kris Bickell, University of Bridgeport
  • Christien Bok, SURF
  • Stacy Cohen, Framingham State University
  • Gary Driscoll, Educational Testing Services
  • D. Patches Hill, Indian River School District
  • Michael Feldstein, eLiterate
  • Tricia Kennedy, Gwinnett County Public Schools
  • Tom Ingram, Escambia County School District
  • Robin Robinson, Framingham State University
  • Christi Segal, Ellucian
  • Karen Vignare, University of Maryland University College
  • Stavros Xanthopoylos, Fundacao Getulio Vargas


Sean DeMonnerSean DeMonner, Executive Director, ITS Teaching & Learning, University of Michigan

Sean DeMonner has worked in the technology field for over 20 years in settings ranging from universities to commercial startups to established publicly-traded corporations. His professional experience includes functional management, organizational development, strategic planning, product development, and project and portfolio management. His broad technical background spans general IT applicationsand infrastructure, web and multimedia design and development, and delivery of related services.

Mr. DeMonner is currently responsible for enterprise academic technology and directs the Teaching & Learning organization for the University of Michigan’s Information Technology Services division. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara and an MA in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and two children.


Jeff HenryJeff Henry, Director, Academic Computing and Media Services, UC San Diego

Jeff joined the University of California, Berkeley as head of design and engineering for Educational Technology Services. Now at the University of California, San Diego, he supports a broad range of instructional technology services for the UCSD community and serves as Director of Engineering for UCTV, the university’s local and statewide broadcast television facilities.


Patrick LaughranPatrick Laughran, Associate Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer, Framingham State University

Patrick Laughran has over a decade of diverse experience within Higher Education, including senior administration positions at both private and public institutions, as well as two stints as founding Chief Technology Officer for companies within online media and e-learning industries.  He is also an instructor for an online MBA program, teaching courses on strategies for information resource management and enterprise growth through innovation.  Mr. Laughran holds an M.B.A. from Babson College and B.S.B.A. from Northeastern University.  He is currently Chief Information Officer at Framingham State University with responsibility for the oversight of all information technology and services, including educational technology and distance education support.



pic Robbie K. Melton, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Mobilization and Emerging Technologies, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR)

Dr. Melton serves as the chief system level administrator to oversee the system’s mission and initiatives for the Strategic Mobilization Planning and Business Models, Mobilization Quality Assurances, Faculty and Student Use of Mobile Devices related to teaching, learning, training, and workforce development, and the coordination of research, product testing, pilots and security safety networks. She has published and presented around the nation the impact and value of mobilization for education and the workforce and has acquired a new distinction as an “Appologist”, due to her study of the pedagogy and best teaching practices with mobilization, quality standards for the utilization of mobile apps, and for her creation of the Mobile App Education and Workforce Resource Center (50,000+ Apps that have been aligned with over ninety-five subject areas from PreK to Ph.D., including workforce careers, professional development and life-long-learning; according to one’s mobile device of choice). Dr. Melton curerntly serves on the Sloan-C Board of Directors, WCET Executive Board, Tennessee MERLOT Project Director, IMS Global Learning Solution Higher Education Co-Chair, and Co-Chair Global Educational Center.


Terry O'HeronTerence N. O'Heron, Director of Operations and Program Manager, ANGEL, Teaching and Learning with Technology, Information Services, The Pennsylvania State University

Terence (Terry) N. O'Heron is the program manager for Penn State’s Course Management System (ANGEL). He's responsible for coordinating services provided by various administrative and academic units supporting the successful development and deployment of ANGEL functionality which facilitates teaching, learning, and research for 100,000+ faculty and students. This encompasses education technologies, faculty development, training, and user support.  Terry also oversees the daily performance of ANGEL and interacts with other computing organizations to ensure a dependable and reliable computing environment. Terry came to Penn State University in May 2004 after serving 21 years in the United States Air Force. Terry completed his master's degree in Public Administration at Central Michigan University. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and an associate's degree in Computer Science from Southeast Missouri State University.


Ken TotheroKen Tothero, Associate Director of Educational Technology, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Texas at Austin

In his current role, Ken oversees a broad portfolio of initiatives that utilize technology to facilitate teaching, learning, collaboration, and assessment within and beyond the university. Prior to joining the CTL, Ken spent eleven years teaching secondary level physics and another eight years developing educational software for a variety of public and private entities. Most recently, he headed the External and Special Projects group in the Learning Technology Center – part of the College of Education at UT Austin. While there, he established the college's Education Visualization Lab – a dedicated facility focused on integrating information visualization and visual analytics into teaching and research within the college. 

Ken holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Millikin University and Master's degrees in Instructional Technology and in Quantitative Methods from The University of Texas at Austin. 

Karen VignareKaren Vignare, Ph.D., Associate Provost, Center for Innovation in Learning, University of Maryland University College

Karen Vignare, Ph.D., currently serves as Associate Provost, the Center for Innovation in Learning at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) leading the search and evaluation for next generation learning models. The Center for Innovation in Learning serves as the research and development arm of UMUC’s academic organization. Dr. Vignare is responsible for identifying innovations and collaboratively implementing with core teams at UMUC. Areas of experimentation will include adaptive learning, onboarding, prior learning, course design, analytics, e-resources, open educational resources, instructional design changes, competency based models.  

She has been part of the online learning field for over 15 years. Previous to UMUC she was a Director at MSUglobal at Michigan State University. Karen has published research on online learning in areas such as business models, serving special populations, open education, blended learning, corporate training and data organization. She has a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University and a M.B.A from the University of Rochester’s William Simon School of Business.