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Academic awarded Chair by Commonwealth of Learning

Picture of the academic in the story John Traxler

A University of Wolverhampton academic has been awarded a Chair by a leading international organisation which champions learning across the globe. 

Professor John Traxler has been awarded a Chair by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) - the organisation established by the Commonwealth Heads of Government. He is Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton. 

COL’s mission is to help Commonwealth Member States and institutions use distance learning and technologies for expanding access to education and training.  

The COL Chairs were selected from a number of applications received from various open and distance learning (ODL) experts in the Commonwealth. During their term, the Chairholders are expected to promote thought leadership within the focus of COL’s areas of competence. 

The COL Chair programme is designed to facilitate the development of effective ODL and technology-enhanced education, and training through advocacy, research and capacity-building across the Commonwealth; strengthen regional cooperation; and provide visibility for COL in the field. 

Dr Jako Olivier, COL Adviser: Higher Education, said: “This group of Chairs represent some of the best ODL scholars from a number of highly regarded universities. Furthermore, they have specifically been tasked to explore ODL in terms of innovations and education technology, such as artificial intelligence, assessment, open educational resources, technical and vocational education and training, as well as teacher training.” 

COL Chairs are honorary positions hosted by universities within the Commonwealth. 

Professor Traxler said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be awarded this position.  As Chair I hope to create and widen access to opportunities for learning, making use of the potential offered by distance education and by the application of communication technologies to education.” 

The specific focus of Professor Traxler’s Chair will be innovations in educational technology in higher education. Likely topics in the first year are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and decolonising educational technology, both very ‘hot’ topics with unexplored implications for learners, especially learners from disadvantaged communities and non-traditional backgrounds. 

Professor Traxler already holds a UNESCO Chair in Innovative Informal Digital Learning in Disadvantaged and Development Contexts, and this new designation is a globally unique and unprecedented combination. He is looking to make contacts and collaborators where he can add value to ongoing and proposed developments. 

John is a Founding Director of the International Association for Mobile Learning. He is co-editor of the definitive, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, and of Mobile Learning: the Next Generation, available in Arabic, of Mobile Learning and Mathematics, Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice, Mobile Learning in Higher Education: Challenges in Context, and Critical Mobile Pedagogy, and many keynotes, panels, papers, articles and chapters on all aspects of learning with mobiles.  

His journal papers have been cited over 10,000 times and is in the top 2% in his discipline. He has worked on many digital learning projects and missions. He has been responsible for large-scale mobile learning implementations, small-scale mobile learning research interventions, capacity building, major evaluations, landscape reviews, and curriculum development.  

He has extensive experience developing e-learning and mobile learning capacity amongst university teachers. Over the last five years, he has become involved in policy and strategy. He is a frequent international keynote speaker and has worked with a number of international agencies and international corporates. He is from a working-class East London background and is on the autistic spectrum. 

Find out more about the University's research in the University’s eZene, Research Matters - showcasing our research successes and news from the sector.  

For more information about courses in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, check out the University website. 



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