Chris Scruton

Academic Technologist
Chris Scruton

About My Work

What I Do

I joined the Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) and Academic Technology Tools (AT Tools) teams in April 2013. As an analyst, I conduct technical and functional evaluations of emerging academic technologies and learning tools; support Canvas, Moodle, and other University enterprise learning tools; and provide research and consultation support to faculty members and academic technology decision-makers.

My areas of professional expertise include the design, development, and troubleshooting of complex hypertexts (including branching narratives, learning cases, and games); the design and management of semantic systems (including ontology development, data federation and integration, and knowledge-based discovery); and the design, management, and assessment of competency-based learning experiences.


I hold degrees from the University of Minnesota in history (B.A., with emphasis in diplomatic and political history); technical communication (M.S.); and visual rhetoric (Ph.D., with emphasis in the analysis of material culture, narrative inquiry, and visual cognition). My academic research focused on the rhetorical potential of pictures, specifically historians' use of images and other visuals to make and support arguments about the past.

Prior to joining ATSS and AT Tools, I worked as the Director of Academic Technology for Faculty Education in the Office of the Vice Provost for Distributed Education and Instructional Technology (2007–2013). In this position, I was responsible for identifying, evaluating, and piloting emerging academic technologies being considered for enterprise adoption at the University of Minnesota. I also worked as Senior Instructional Technology Consultant in the University of Minnesota Digital Media Center from 1996-2007. In this role, I coded many of the first Web-based courses offered at the University of Minnesota and managed grant and outreach programs intended to foster more effective teaching and learning in online spaces.