Professional Site

Research, Consultancy and Teaching


As a learning innovations consultant, researcher and advisor, Steve Wheeler regularly undertakes work for numerous agencies and organisations. Recent clients have included: Auckland University of Technology, Anglia Ruskin University, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boclips, The British Accreditation Council, Filtered, Hewlett Packard, Huawei Global, Learning Pool, Ogilvy Health, RM Education and Smart Technologies.

Steve was a pioneer researcher on some of the world’s largest distance education projects including the RATIO project (UK: 1996-1998) and the Star Schools South Dakota Digital Network (USA: 2001-2003). He is currently a member of the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills Digital Quality Assurance Group, and also serves on the International Advisory Board for Ireland’s National Institute for Digital Learning.

Steve has worked on Erasmus funded projects including ATLANTIS (student mobility collaboration with German, Polish and Irish universities) and CONCEDE (the evaluation of user generated content in higher education project). He has served as grant evaluator for the Academy of Finland, and the ESRC and is currently a Framework 7 and Horizon 2020 evaluator for the European Commission. Other roles include:


Most of Steve’s recent small scale research focuses on the use of social media in Higher Education. Two projects, both funded by the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT) were the WikiLit project (where wikis were used to support and encourage better academic writing and literacy skills) and MentorBlog (where two-person blogs were used to support remote student teacher mentoring). His interests also extend to the management of change and innovation in large organisations.

Teaching Awards

  • In 2010 Steve won a Teaching Fellowship award to investigate how Mino Flip Cameras could be used by students on overseas visits and placements to capture their experiences and share them on Video Blogs.
  • In 2012, together with former colleagues Peter Yeomans and Oliver Quinlan, he won the inspirational teacher award at Plymouth University’s Enterprise Awards, based on research informed practice.
  • In 2014 Steve won the award for ‘the most innovative use of teaching methods’ category in the SSTAR Awards, after nomination by his students.

Research Awards and Achievements

  • Steve was a finalist in the 2010 Plymouth University Vice Chancellor’s Research Awards for his research into how user generated content can be evaluated and quality assured (Concede Project).
  • Between 2008-2013 he served as chair of the influential UNESCO sponsored IFIP Working Group on distance education.
  • In 2008 he was awarded a Fellowship by the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) of Academics and Professionals for his services to European distance education research.
  • In 2011 he was elected to the steering committee of EDEN’s Network of Academics and Professionals.
  • In 2014 he was re-elected to the steering group of the EDEN Network of Academics and Professionals and also elected to serve as chair.
  • In 2015 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
  • In 2017 he was appointed a Senior Fellow of EDEN.

Academic Reviewing

Steve has reviewed for a number of European research funding agencies including the European Commission, ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council, UK), the Academy of Finland and the Institute for Adult Learning (Singapore), and has been an academic reviewer for several publishing houses.

Research Degree Examinations

  • PhD Rita Kop (University of Swansea, Wales) 2010
  • PhD Andreas Meiszner (Open University, England) 2010
  • PhD Katina Hazelden (Plymouth University, England) 2011
  • PhD Diana Andone (Brighton University, England) 2011
  • PhD Edilson Arenas (Deakin University, Australia) 2012
  • PhD Tharindu Liyanagunawardena (University of Reading, England) 2012
  • PhD Kevin Burden (University of Hull, England) 2013
  • PhD Khalid Saeed Alshahrani (Monash University, Australia) 2013
  • MRes Jason Richards (University of Reading, England) 2013
  • MRes Guy Pursey (University of Reading, England) 2013
  • EdD Joanne Lidster (Sheffield Hallam University, England) 2014
  • PhD Daisy Nwaozuzu (University of Dundee, Scotland) 2016
  • EdD Matthew Montobello (University of Sheffield, England) 2017
  • PhD Ashwag Binsuhaim (University of Sheffield, England) 2017
  • PhD Yousif Hadi Alanezi (University of Reading, England) 2018
  • EdD Dominique Alain Jan (Open University, England) 2018
  • PhD Manal Almuhanna (University of Sheffield, England) 2018
  • PhD Sulaiman Mohaia Almutairy (University of Reading, England) 2018
  • EdD Paul Jinks (forthcoming: University of Sheffield, 2020)

Research Degree Supervision

  • Ensaf Al Mulhim - ICT training needs of female novice primary school teachers (Completed July 2014).
  • Ahmed Al Mulhem - Designing, implementing and evaluating an Educational training Programme to develop technological and pedagogical teaching skills of academic staff (Completed July 2014).
  • Bandar Faisal Alzahrani - The use of Personal Response Systems at King Khalid University (Completed March 2019).
  • Christopher Cole - Ensuring the sustainability of Christian faith based organisations during a time of decline in religious privilege.

Research Grants

  • 1996-1998 RATIO Project (UK): Rural Area Training and Information Opportunities. £5,000,000
  • 2001-2003 Star Schools Digital Dakota Network (USA). US$ 95,000
  • 2007 WikiLit and MentorBlog projects. Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training. £6,000
  • 2008 CoreNet Project. Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training. £10,000
  • 2009-2011 Concede Project. European Union Lifelong Learning Programme. €40,000
  • 2010 Science Centre Project. £3,500
  • 2011 Teaching Fellowship. Use of Flipcams and video diaries in student overseas placements. £5,000

Photo Credit: The picture on this page was taken in Singapore at the Adult Learning Symposium (2016)