ELI is a community of higher education
institutions and organizations committed
to the advancement of learning through
the innovative application of technology.


Three Pillars of ELI


Effective teaching and learning is, first and foremost, about the learner. ELI believes that its efforts begin with a consideration of the learner, whether a Net Generation student; an adult learner; or a faculty member, staff member, or administrator seeking to use technology to improve a student's success. Learn more >


Learning Principles and Practices

Learning science research has identified a number of principles that can guide the selection of pedagogies and technologies to support successful learning. ELI emphasizes those principles, but goes a step farther by linking them to practices that work. Learn more >


Learning Technologies

This term encompasses information and instructional technology, as well as telecommunications tools, applications, and systems that support learning. ELI explores the possible benefits and challenges of individual learning technologies, but also considers the potential impact their integration may have on advancing teaching and learning. Learn more >


Benefits of Membership

As an ELI member, you will have full access to all ELI programs and resources on learners, learning principles and practices, and learning technologies, including:

  • Discounted registration for face-to-face and online ELI events which bring together the teaching and learning community for information sharing, networking, and in-depth exploration of key issues
  • Free access to 12+ webinars with presentations from leading voices on topics like assessment of student learning, online and blended teaching and learning, learning analytics, and more
  • Immediate access to Seeking Evidence of Impact case studies as well as other briefs and white papers to keep you informed on emerging trends
  • Monthly issues of the popular ELI 7 Things You Should Know About...™ series on the latest technologies
  • A 10% registration discount for all institutional attendees at the Learning Technology Leadership program
  • A chance to engage, share, and gather solutions from colleagues in the ELI Community Forum
  • An opportunity to share your ideas and expertise with the ELI Community through volunteer activities such as serving on a program committee, advisory group, or on the ELI advisory board
  • Access to the new EDUCAUSE Benchmarking Service BETA, a new service that will help you to assess and benchmark organizational maturity indices for key teaching and learning initiatives in the areas of analytics, e-learning, culture of innovation, and student success.


ELI History

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) began as the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, or NLII. The NLII started in 1994, at a time when most campuses had adopted IT for administrative purposes, but few viewed technology as central to a successful learning environment. NLII sought to drive systemic change in higher education by identifying how technology could best support effective teaching and learning.

The NLII initially focused on creating a technology infrastructure to improve higher education access and quality while reducing costs. In addition to new tools and standards, institutions needed principles, practices, and partnerships to ensure that the infrastructure appropriately supported high-quality, affordable education.

Recognizing that continuously anticipating and adjusting is the key to success, a strategic planning group met in 2005 to anticipate and adjust the direction of the NLII for the next 10 years of its operation. The resulting strategic plan moves beyond infrastructure to a mission of advancing learning through IT innovation, with learners and successful learning as the strategic focus. As part of this transition, the NLII became the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) to better reflect its emphasis on learning, learning principles and practices, and the use of learning technologies to support it.


Many of ELI’s goals overlap with the interests of other organizations. Rather than duplicate efforts, ELI establishes partnerships that increase the ability of all parties to fulfill their missions and strategic objectives. ELI’s current partners include:

As we continue to pursue our strategic objectives, ELI will explore new partnerships and other relationships with organizations that share our interests and goals.

Interested in discovering more about EDUCAUSE and its other programs?  Learn more >


Coming July 2017: 

The All-in-One EDUCAUSE Membership

ELI and ECAR available with EDUCAUSE Membership

Beginning July 1, ECAR research and ELI teaching and learning resources will be included with EDUCAUSE membership, no longer requiring separate subscriptions.

Learn More

ELI Staff

Malcolm B. Brown
Malcolm B. Brown
Director, ELI

Veronica Diaz
Veronica Diaz
Associate Director, ELI

ELI Community

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative events and resource are informed, planned, and organized by ELI members who are committed to the advancement of learning through the innovative application of technology. Thank you to our advisory boards and program committees.