In recognition of his exceptional work in developing and leveraging learning environments as well as his entrepreneurial spirit, which has led to a number of successful enterprises, professor of Computer and Information Technology and director of the CyberLab in the School of Engineering and Technology, Ali Jafari was presented with an IUPUI 50th Anniversary Chancellor's Medallion by the Office of the Chancellor's Chief of Staff and Director of the 50th Anniversary, Christine Fitzpatrick at the School of Engineering and Technology Bepko Honors Convocation on April 18, 2019.
Jafari brought his expertise in technology to IUPUI in 1989 in order to translate research ideas into web-based programs that enhance the student academic process. In 1996, Jafari founded the CyberLab and continues to serve as its director. At the CyberLab, Jafari and his students pioneer new technologies that focus on improving teaching and learning. The CyberLab team also researches and develops advanced learning technology systems that are ready for commercial or open source rollouts, strengthening the connections between the university and industry partners.
Jafari and his team also invented OnCourse, an online course management system that was used across all eight Indiana University campuses. In 2000, Jafari co-founded ANGEL Learning, Inc., one of the top commercial course management systems in the area of learning collaboration, eLearning, and learning assessment. ANGEL Learning, Inc. was acquired by Blackboard in 2009.
Jafari's latest venture is the technology-based company, CourseNetworking LLC, a global academic social networking site with next-generation technology solutions for learning and collaboration. CourseNetworking combines social networking with learning management system and ePortfolio software in a single interface.
In 2012, Jafari was awarded a TechPoint Mira Award in the category of Technology in Education Excellence & Innovation for his contributions to revolutionizing education through technology.
He has contributed to three books, co-editing and authoring Handbook of Research on ePortfolios, Designing Portals: Opportunities and Challenges, and Course Management Systems for Learning: Beyond Accidental Pedagogy. He is a sought-after presenter and has delivered keynote addresses at more than 100 national and international conferences.