Jillianne Code

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Jillianne Code
Born1976 (age 47–48)[notes 1]
Edmonton, Alberta
SpouseNick Zaparyniuk
Academic background
EducationBEd, Secondary Education, 1999, MEd, Educational Psychology, 2002, University of Alberta
PhD, Educational Psychology, 2010, Simon Fraser University
ThesisAssessing Agency for Learning (2010)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of British Columbia
University of Victoria
Main interestsLearning sciences
Translational research

Jillianne Reay Code (born 1976) is a Canadian researcher and learning scientist. She is an associate professor in the faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia and director of the Assessment for Learning in Immersion and Virtual Environments (ALIVE) research lab.

In addition to her academic scholarship, Code became a public health advocate following her diagnosis of heart failure in 2005 and subsequent surgeries for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in 2010 and left ventricular assist device in 2014. She has received two heart transplants and writes about her experiences on her blog Heart Failure to Harvard.

Code co-founded the HeartLife Foundation with Marc Bains and Dr. Sean Virani in 2016 and received the Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society in 2019 in recognition of their significant contribution to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and promotion of cardiovascular health in Canadians.

Early life and education[edit]

Code was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and earned her Bachelor of Education and Master's degree from the University of Alberta.[2] On July 18, 2005, she drove from Edmonton to British Columbia where she experienced her first congestive heart failure.[1] She was diagnosed with Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy and given 72 hours to live.[3] Code was stabilized with medical therapy before earning her PhD at Simon Fraser University.[1] As a graduate student, Code was recognized by the American Educational Research Association for her work.[4]

With her PhD in educational psychology, Code accepted a one-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Assessment and Learning Technologies.[2] During her post-doctoral fellowship Code had surgery for an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator[5] She was later hospitalized with end-stage heart failure and placed on the heart transplant waiting list, during which she received a left ventricular assist device.[6] A donor was found in 2014 but complications during the surgery led to her being sent into a medically induced coma for eight days. When she awoke from her coma, it was discovered that she had severe delirium and muscle atrophy.[3] Her heart transplant journey is documented on her blog Heart Failure to Harvard[4] and in I am the Clinical Trial for the JACC: Heart Failure journal.[7]


In 2011, Code accepted an assistant professor position at the University of Victoria (UVic)[5] where she co-edited Massive Open Online Courses for the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching[8] and received Outstanding Paper Awards[2] from the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology in 2011,[9] 2013[10] and 2016.[11] She was also awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for her research Assessment for Learning in Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE).[4]

In 2016, Code collaborated with Marc Bains and Dr. Sean Virani at the national meeting of the Canadian Heart Failure Society in Montreal, Canada, to create a patient-led advocacy organization for Canadians living with heart failure called The HeartLife Foundation of Canada. It became the first and only heart failure advocacy group in Canada to be run by patients in Canada.[12][13]

In June 2017, Code accepted a tenure-tracked Assistant professor of Media and Technology Studies Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC).[14] That same year, she suffered a heart attack and required a second heart transplant. Her first transplanted heart developed fast-acting cardiac allograft vasculopathy so she had an emergency re-transplant at St. Paul's Hospital.[3] Upon returning to UBC, she published Assessment in immersive virtual environments: Cases for learning, of learning, and as learning[4] and was appointed to the British Columbia Medical Services Commission Board.[15] She also sits on the Heart & Stroke heart failure council.[16] In 2019, Code and her Heartlife colleagues received the Dr. Harold N. Segall Award of Merit from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society "in recognition of a significant contribution to the promotion of cardiovascular health in Canadians."[2] In 2022, she received the Killam Teaching Prize in recognition of excellence in her teaching. [17] In July 2023, she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.

Code features in the 2023 documentary My Broken Heart, directed by her husband, Nick Zap. The documentary is an "unflinching look at the possible complications and consequences of organ transplantation" and was premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival Centre on March 26, 2023.


Code's research focus is on the area of translational research across education, health, medicine, and STEM; student agency, learning technology, and educational assessment. She specializes in mixed methods research and uses autoethnography to educate others about the lived experience of heart failure and heart transplant.[4] In 2020, she published "Agency for learning: Intention, motivation, self-efficacy and self-regulation" in the journal Frontiers in Education[18] and Pandemic designs for the future: Perspectives of technology education teachers during COVID-19 in a special issue of the journal Information and Learning Science. The article explores the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public school teachers.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Code is married to Nick Zaparyniuk and participates in running events in her free time.[6]


  1. ^ In 2016, Code was reported to be 39[1]


  1. ^ a b c Harnett, Cindy E. (February 3, 2016). "Heart failure patient: 'Without these people, I wouldn't be alive'". Times Colonist. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Jillianne Code". edcp.educ.ubc.ca. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "A HeartLife Story". heartlife.ca. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dr. Jillian Code, PhD". transformhf.com. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Wong, Kendra (January 13, 2016). "New heart saves Fairfield woman's life". VicNews. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Heart transplant recipient completes 8 km race 1 year after surgery". cbc.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. October 12, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Code, Jillianne (May 2019). "I Am the Clinical Trial". JACC. 7 (5): 439–441. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2018.12.019. PMID 31047023. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  8. ^ Siemens, G; Irvine, V; Code, J. "Guest Editors' Preface to the Special Issue on MOOCs: An Academic Perspective on an Emerging Technological and Social Trend". Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 9 (2).
  9. ^ Code, J., Clarke-Midura, J., Zap, N. & Dede, C. (2011). Student perceptions of immersive virtual environments for the meaningful assessment of learning. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications (pp. 358-367). Lisbon, Portugal: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
  10. ^ Code, J. & Zap, N. (2013). Assessments for learning, of learning, and as learning in 3D immersive virtual environments. In J. Herrington et al. (Eds.), Proceeding of the world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications (pp. 159-166). Victoria, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
  11. ^ Code, J. & Hatzipanagos, S. (2016). Open badges in online learning environments: Peer feedback as an engagement intervention for promoting agency. In C. Fulford & G. Veletsianos et al. (Eds.), Proceeding of the world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications (pp. 1332–1342). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Available at https://www.learntechlib.org/p/173130/
  12. ^ Dimoff, Anna (August 8, 2018). "Vancouverite receives 500th heart transplant in B.C." cbc.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Celebrating our first official year!". heartlife.ca. January 24, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Dr. Jillianne Code". edcp.educ.ubc.ca. June 26, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Ms. Jillianne R. Code". fin.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  16. ^ "Tackling a growing epidemic". heartandstroke.ca. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  17. ^ "Dr. Jillianne Code and Dr. Robert VanWynsberghe receive 2021-22 Killam Teaching Prizes". educ.ubc.ca. 12 April 2022. Retrieved Mar 22, 2023.
  18. ^ Code, Jillianne (February 26, 2020). "Agency for Learning: Intention, Motivation, Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation". Frontiers in Education. 5. doi:10.3389/feduc.2020.00019. S2CID 211472686.
  19. ^ Code, Jillianne; Ralph, Rachel; Forde, Kieran (July 8, 2020). "Pandemic designs for the future: perspectives of technology education teachers during COVID-19". Information and Learning Sciences. 121 (5/6): 419–431. doi:10.1108/ILS-04-2020-0112. S2CID 221824706.

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