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Learning technology is focus of new Canada Research Chair

March 15, 2013

An expert in learning technology has been appointed today by the federal government as Royal Roads University’s newest Canada Research Chair (CRC).

George Veletsianos, currently assistant professor of learning technologies at the University of Texas, Austin, will be Royal Roads University’s first Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology.

“Royal Roads University has been a pioneer in online learning right from the beginning and has accumulated a wealth of data on the subject,” said Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor. “We are delighted that Dr. Veletsianos will be joining us; and his research on new learning technologies will benefit the whole university by continuously improving the quality of education it delivers.”

"Education is about new ways of living and seeing the world. It's about creating opportunities and developing solutions to societal problems,” said Veletsianos. "The last 10 years have seen dramatic changes in the ways millions of individuals connect, communicate, and network via technology. My research will lead to a better understanding of online learning and explore ways that researchers can use social technologies to create and share knowledge.”

Veletsianos conducts research in emerging technologies and teaching methods for online learning. He has taught courses on designing online and hybrid learning environments and the use of technology from primary school to university.

“We welcome the addition of our new Canada Research Chair because his work will enhance our strong and expanding school of education,” said Matthew Heinz, dean of the faculty of social and applied sciences at Royal Roads University. “His focus on learning technologies will keep us at the forefront of this important field.”

Veletsianos is a Tier 2 Chair, a classification for exceptional emerging researchers. His five-year renewable term begins in September. Royal Roads currently has two other Tier 2 CRCs: Ann Dale, CRC in sustainable community development; and Phillip Vannini, CRC in innovative learning and public ethnography.

Born in Cyprus, Veletsianos holds an MA and PhD in learning technologies from the University of Minnesota. He is a past recipient of a Fulbright scholarship and was recently awarded one of seven early-career fellowships by the Network of Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning European Union Initiative. His work has also been funded by the US National Science Foundation and the Swedish Foundation for Knowledge and Competence.

Canada Research Chairs

Established in 2000 by the federal government, the Canada Research Chairs program invests $300 million per year to attract and retain accomplished scholars from around the world as part of a national strategy to make Canada a top nation for research and development. The Canada Research Chairs program invests $300 million per year to attract and retain academics in a variety of disciplines.

Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University, a public university established in 1995, offers a progressive model of post-secondary education, delivering top-quality applied and professional programs through the faculties of management and social sciences. The university gives its students a unique blended learning experience, combining online and on-campus instruction to offer undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees, certificates and diplomas, as well as executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

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