Andrea Nixon


Andrea Nixon is the Director of Educational Research at Carleton College. She served as an invited expert to President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on data use to inform effective educational uses of technology in higher education. She currently served on the External Advisory Committee for MIT's Online Education Policy Initiative. She was a founding co-director of the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL); a partnership among Amherst College, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Haverford College, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, Vassar College and Williams College.  Andrea has served on a variety of EDUCAUSE committees including the Security Task Force - Policies and Legal Issues Working Group, is a former chair of the Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning, member of an EDUCAUSE annual conference planning committee, and Director of EDUCAUSE's Learning Technologies Leadership Institute. 

A longtime employee of Carleton College, Andrea led the development of the College's Coordinated Support Model, a collaborative venture among faculty, students, librarians, instructional technologists, and other academic support professionals. The model is designed to provide effective curricular and research support measured through student and faculty success. Starting in 1990 she served as a computing lab manager, academic technologist and then administrator in the College's IT organization. She wrote of her early experiences in a 1999 article for CAUSE/EFFECT titled 'Discipline-Focused Technology Support Fosters Curriculum Innovation.'

Andrea received her Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. Her research has included both policy analysis and educational research. Her dissertation research examined the role of institutional copyright policy on the development of curricular materials for online instruction. A recent collaborative research project titled "Curricular Uses of Visual Materials: A Mixed-Method Institutional Study." The central research question of this study was: Are the sources of support that the College provides well suited to the work demanded of students and faculty as they make curricular use of visual materials? Her current research includes the 1) Student Engagement with Academic Support (SEAS) longitudinal study that examines student behaviors as they work on course assignments and 2) collaborative projects focused on the ways in which online learning materials can be used to greatest effect in residential liberal arts settings.

Andrea is currently on leave from Carleton and is serving as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources and the Division of Undergraduate Education.  She works on the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE); Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM); and Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship programs.

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • Reflecting on Learning Analytics
    • Article

    Technological leaders must draw on the strengths of both the proponents and the skeptics in our communities to ensure that institutional mechanisms are in place to examine the overall efficacy of learning analytics systems.

EDUCAUSE Presentations



EDUCAUSE Involvement

  • Constituent Group Leaders
    • Member: 2008 - 2009,2016 - 2019
  • Professional Development Committee
    • Ex Officio: 2011 - 2013
  • Institute LTL Program Faculty
    • Member: 2010 - 2013
  • MWRC Adjunct Committee
    • Member: 2009
  • ELI Challenges Project
    • Member: 2008 - 2009
  • EDUCAUSE 2008 Program Committee
    • Member: 2007 - 2009
  • Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning
    • Member: 2003 - 2006
    • Chair: 2005 - 2006
  • ELI 2006 Annual Conference Program Committee
    • Member: 2005 - 2006
  • ResearchWare WG
    • Member: 2005
  • 20-20 Advisory Group
    • Member: 2005 - 2009
  • HEISC Policies and Legal Issues Working Group
    • Member: 2004 - 2009
  • Teaching and Learning Award Committee
    • Chair: 2003
    • Member: 1999 - 2003