Elan Paulson

Teaching Innovation Consultant

Hello! I have been an educator in Ontario’s higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a teaching consultant in 2020, I led community engagement at eCampusOntario and hybrid and online professional education program delivery at Western University’s Faculty of Education. In my current role, I specialize in technology-enhanced learning, including faculty AI adoption and asynchronous online course delivery. 

Elan Paulson's head shot.Joel Beaupre's head shot. She is Teaching and Learning Consultant at Conestoga.
Elan Paulson, PhD

Degrees, Education, and Certifications

I have a Doctor of Philosophy (English, 2010) from Western University, supported by SSHRC and OGS funding. I have two Master’s degrees: a Master of English Literature and Language (Carleton, 2003) and a Master of Educational Technology (UBC, 2017).

I have an Empowered Digital Transformation (Dx) Leader micro-credential (eCampusOntario, 2024), a QM Teaching Online Certificate (Quality Matters, 2022), and an Empowered Educator micro-credential (eCampusOntario, 2021).

Empowered Dx Leader micro-credential
Empowered Educator micro-credential


  • Mental Health First Aid – Certificate Number: 394491 (2023)
  • Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW) trained and registered facilitator (2022)
  • Narrative and Storytelling Institute facilitator (2022)
  • TESL Certificate (UBC Continuing Education, 2003)

Teaching and Teaching Awards

Graduating from UBC.

As a Consultant, I facilitate faculty development through consults, observations, workshops, mandatory training courses, and micro-credential courses.

My teaching interests are varied, including theories of adult learning, online and hybrid learning, collaborative learning, research on teaching, gender theory and its application, and games and learning. I provide professional development on asynchronous online teaching and learning in online asynchronous courses.

Presenting at CPED.

Before joining Conestoga, I taught over 35 first-year to graduate-level social science, humanities, and education courses at Western U, Brescia UC, Huron UC, and UBC (Okanagan). I specialize in written and oral discourse, marketing and communications, and anti-racist, anti-homophobic gender studies.

Since joining Conestoga, I have taught the following diploma and degree courses:

School of Business

  • Organizational Behaviour (BUS1021)

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

I have received multiple teaching awards and nominations for teaching (Western, 2019, 2018, 2017; Brescia University College, 2011). I was nominated for multiple graduate teaching awards (Western, 2005, 2006, 2008). I won a “great ideas for teaching award” in 2011 (Western, 2011).

Leadership and Learning in Higher Education

Presenting a conference poster

I have served as Thesis Examiner for 11 doctoral and master’s students at Western University, Athabasca University, and Royal Roads University. As a program director (2013-2018), I was primarily responsible for developing and delivering online master’s (MPEd) and doctoral (EdD) professional graduate programs at Western’s Faculty of Education. I have organized several international, national, and local conferences on various education topics.

In addition to serving as the primary delegate to the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (a non-profit organization that supports over 100 institutions providing EdD programs), I provided online learning and awards committee leadership for CPED (2013-2018).

At eCampusOntario, I was Director of Communications and Community Engagement for two years (2018-2020), leading technology-enabled innovation in public Ontario post-secondary education.

I have participated as a lead and team member on multiple provincially funded open education projects, including The Hidden Curriculum (2022) and Student 2 Scholar (2015), which was awarded a Special Achievement Award from the Ontario Libraries Association (OCULA) in 2017 and the PRIMO Site of the Month award in 2016, and the Hidden Curriculum (2022).

International and Intercultural Learning

Community Service in Dominican Republic

I was the Team Lead for two post-secondary student international community service learning opportunities in the Dominican Republic (2011) and in Costa Rica (2013). I have also taught and supported community engagement study tour programs for Okanagan College International, British Columbia.

I have also developed in-person and online synchronous non-profit training for newcomers and women in various vocational fields.

Writing and Research on Teaching

I have contributed over 60 posts to the Faculty Learning Hub on various teaching and learning topics.

I have led and collaborated on research on teaching and learning projects using qualitative and mixed-method studies. Here is a partial list of selected peer-reviewed publications and presentations on PSE teaching and learning from that research.

Articles in Refereed Journals

Paulson, E., & Campbell, N. (2018). Collective approaches to ePortfolio adoption: Barriers and opportunities in a large Canadian universityCanadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(3).

Paulson, E., & Laverty, C. (2018). Leveraging learning outcomes to build an online information literacy toolJournal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning. 1-14.

Chapters in Books

Paulson, E. (2016). Adapting and advocating for an online EdD program in changing times and “sacred cultures.” Contemporary approaches to dissertation development and research methods. Hershey, PA. IGI Global.

Paulson, E. (2018), & Faubert, B. Education in the echo chamber: Understanding K-12 education governance in Ontario, Canada. Educational Governance Research. Eds. Olof Johannson & Helene Ãrlestig. Springer.

Book Reviews

Paulson, E. (2017). Review of the book Bernhard Streitwieser, B., & Anthony C. Ogden. A.C. (2016). International higher education’s scholar-practitioners: Bridging research and practice. Symposium Books. In International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (UNESCO).

Paulson, E. (2017). Review of the book by Pina., A.A. & Huett. J.B., Eds. 2016. Beyond the Online Course Leadership. Perspectives on e-Learning. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. In International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (UNESCO).

Selected Presentation from the Last 5 Years

Brady, K., Lowrey, S., & Paulson, E. (2018). Sharing “best practices” in faculty advising in online doctoral programs Through online communities of practice. AERA, New York, NY.

Bauman, C., Brady, K., Lowrey, S., Paulson, E., Richardson, J. Zeisner, C. (2017, Oct. 6). CoPs for an ethic of care in online advisory and instruction in educational leadership programs. 2017 Values and Leadership Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Freeman, W., Lock, J., Cleveland-Innes, M., Paulson, E., Kumar, V., Lakhal, S., Nelson, D., & Vaughn, N. (2018, May 29). Developing Research Agenda for Higher Education Reform through Blended and Online Learning. CSSHE. Regina, SK.

Paulson, E., & Nelson, N. (2021, Nov. 11). Promising practices for teaching hybrid micro-credentials. Technology + Education Seminar + Showcase, TESS 2021.

Things I Love

I love learning from others. I am the organizer of a personal book club. I love games, especially word and creative thinking games. I participate in an inclusive RPG gaming group.

I passionately enjoy arts, crafts, and creative play with my hands, including painting, crocheting, cooking and baking decoration, cosplay, and costume design. I have won some awards and sold some of my work. I also love musicals (live and movies), concerns, and most other kinds of theatre.

Elan in a jersey

I am an enthusiastic novice in multiple recreational sports, including soccer, hiking, paddling, snowshoeing, cycling, and curling. I was proud to be awarded the Most Improved Player award from the St Thomas Curling Club in 2022. In 2022, I obtained my Curling Instructor Certificate from the club.

I also reflect on my sports and fitness activities as a regular contributor to the blog Fit is a Feminist Issue, which has 24,000+ subscribers.

My favourite podcasts are This American LifeWorkLife/Rethinking with Adam GrantHidden BrainYou Are Not So Smart, and Strong Black Legends.