Elliott Visconsi, associate professor of English and concurrent associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the University’s inaugural chief academic digital officer by Provost Thomas G. Burish.
“Online learning and the digital academic environment in higher education have been growing and developing rapidly over the past decade, and the potential advantages and pitfalls for the higher education industry and institutions like Notre Dame are both enormous and complex,” Burish said. “With his outstanding record for scholarship and his deep understanding of and appreciation for technology, Elliott is the ideal candidate for this position. I very much look forward to working with him on enhancing our work in this area.”
Visconsi will be charged with four primary responsibilities:
- Develop a University-wide digital strategy, with oversight of emerging digital learning platforms; provide guidance on University investments in online offerings, mobile technologies and digital tools for teaching and learning; develop strategies for the use of e-texts and other digital learning materials; coordinate digital learning activities involving platforms such as Facebook, YouTube EDU, Twitter and iTunes U; and assess which massive open online courses best fit Notre Dame’s mission.
- Support faculty in teaching with digital resources, including determination of how best to advise faculty on the use of digital tools and online education delivery; collaborate with faculty on the development of pedagogy for digital-based teaching and learning efforts; and design programs to enhance faculty skills in the use and application of digital technologies in teaching.
- Support teaching and learning delivery, including leadership of how best to approach lectures, assessments, assignments and interactions; creation of compelling digital learning experiences for students and inspiring creative innovation across campus; and leverage of technological innovations and capabilities to create breakthrough teaching and learning experiences.
- Promote engagement, where appropriate, among faculty, students and administrators for the use of digital learning technologies, and monitor current developments in higher education related to digital technologies and service.
Visconsi teaches and conducts research on literature, law and political thought in the early modern period, ranging from 1550 to 1800 in England and the Americas. Among the topics of his research and teaching are Shakespeare, Milton, the literature of the Restoration period, and early American literature and culture. He is also actively working on contemporary First Amendment doctrine and writes on the future of free expression in the digital age.
Visconsi is the founder of Luminary Digital Media, a South Bend-based software company bringing humanities content to mobile devices, and the co-creator of “The Tempest for iPad,” an app designed to provide easy access to Shakespeare’s plays. He has worked as a consultant on topics related to digital strategy, mobile applications and educational technology for colleges and universities, venture investors, digital media concerns and established businesses.
A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2010, Visconsi previously served on the faculty in the English Department at Yale University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.; his doctorate in English from UCLA; and his master of studies in law degree from Yale Law School.