About the Centre

UPEI Teaching and Learning works in partnership with faculty members, instructional staff, graduate students, and academic and service units to continuously build the UPEI learning environment through a commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and by keeping pace with innovative and integrative technologies that support teaching, research, and scholarship.


UPEI’s mission states that “…we are a community of scholars with the primary tasks to teach and to learn, to engage in scholarship and research…” and as a teaching and learning community, UPEI understands that our value to students is recognized through the quality of education and experiences we provide. To ensure we deliver on this value, UPEI is committed to building upon our strengths in teaching and learning to deliver transformative learning experiences that support our students in their development as lifelong learners, enabling them to reach their full potential in both the classroom and the community. 

Our team

Dr. Charlene VanLeeuwen

As Coordinator, Charlene provides academic and administrative leadership to the Teaching and Learning Centre. She collaborates with institutional, national and international partners to support, research and advocate for initiatives related to teaching and learning. 

Charlene has taught at UPEI since 2003, developing a deep familiarity with higher education teaching and learning along the way. Her interdisciplinary background includes a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Guelph, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Education in Leadership in Learning from UPEI and a Ph. D. in Educational Studies from UPEI. Her postdoctoral research focused on understanding and improving faculty experiences of teaching, learning, and participation in post-secondary digital learning environments. She also maintains research interests revolving around the scholarship of teaching and learning, community-based learning, and international development work in rural Kenya, with an emerging interest in the scholarship of educational development. 

Charlene is an active member of national and international organizations related to teaching, learning, and educational development. In addition, she's led the Shad UPEI program, a Pan-Canadian STEAM and Entrepreneurship program as Program Director since 2019. Away from campus she is involved in the community as a Swim Canada official and sits on the board of Farmers Helping Farmers, a local organization that does international development work in Kenya.

A recipient of multiple awards for teaching and educational leadership, Charlene is excited to share her experiences as an educator in physical classrooms and online spaces as Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Prince Edward Island. 

cvanleeuwen@upei.ca or tlc@UPEI.ca

Jason Hogan
Instructional Designer

Jason has been an instructional designer with UPEI since 2015, working with faculty and staff to support online, hybrid, and blended instruction in both credit and non-credit contexts, assisting in brainstorming, course planning and mapping, and rubric and assessment design. He has participated in UPEI’s Academic Integrity Working Group and helped found UPEI’s Teaching Community Conference. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Chemistry as well as a Bachelor of Education. He has worked with UPEI’s Accessibility Services to help foster awareness of Universal Design for Learning and co-develop student empathy mapping personas. Jason also blogs about instructional design ideas on Medium.

As a volunteer Jason assists in the design and facilitation of training at Cross Roads Fire Department. 


Joel MacDonald
Instructional Designer

Joel has been involved in the world of instruction for over 30 years. His specialties and interests include online course design/re-design, faculty training and development, interactive content design, and ecological dynamics theory applied to teaching and learning. Joel has a Bachelor of Human Kinetics Degree and a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of New Brunswick, a Master of Coaching Sciences Degree from the University of British Columbia and a Certificate in Adult Education and Instructional Design from St. Francis Xavier University.

In addition to his work as an instructional designer at UPEI, Joel has taught both at the public school and college level, worked in youth soccer as a coach and technical director, and has facilitated hundreds of sports coaching courses and workshops.


Kristy McKinney
Instructional Multimedia Specialist

Kristy provides support in the creation of multimedia resources. She does this by meeting one-on-one with instructors and instructional support staff, running workshops, and creating short self-guided courses. Support varies from suggestions of equipment and software to recording audio and video projects in collaboration with faculty. Recent video projects range from filming lectures across campus to lab safety videos with Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering to creating a video lab manual for first-year Chemistry. A couple of her audio project collaborations have been with The Maudcast: The Podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, Halifax Literary Landmarks a project with Dr. Kate Scarth, and presenting to Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture students on creating a podcast. She is always interested in discussing projects and coming up with creative solutions for unique obstacles. Kristy has been involved in online education for over 10 years and multimedia creation including photography and video for 15 years.


Simran Gupta 
Applied Communications, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC) Student

Simran, who prefers to go by Sim, is from Abu Dhabi. She's currently in her final semester at UPEI in the Applied Communications, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC) program. Her placement project with the TLC is focused on creating new student Moodle tutorial videos. Some of her favourite hobbies are writing, singing, reading, and often, binging Netflix series. On Sundays, she serves at Lighthouse Gospel Ministry, as a choir member and Saturdays are nap days (sometimes).

Ahmed (Ray) Ghiasudeen
Applied Communications, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC) Student

Ray is a fourth-year student majoring in Applied Communications, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC) and minoring in Business Administration. He's working on Moodle tutorial videos for students to help students navigate changes with a Moodle update coming in spring 2023. Between juggling his role as a student and a part-time employee at a local crafts store, he is also working on a startup that specializes in helping businesses grow online. In his free time, you’ll usually find him shopping online for high-performance, exotic sports cars or watching entrepreneurship videos on YouTube.