Research Team

Richard. A. Schwier, Ed.D. is a Professor of Educational Communications and Technology at the University of Saskatchewan, where he coordinates the graduate program in educational communications and technology. He is the principal investigator in the Virtual Learning Communities Research Laboratory, and his other research interests include instructional design and social change agency.

Ben Daniel, PhD, is a researcher with the Office of the Associate Vice President Research-Health (University of Saskatchewan)/Vice President Research (Saskatoon Health Region). He is co-investigator and member of the Virtual Learning Community Research Lab. Ben is also an Associate Researcher with the International Centre of Governance and Development. He serves as sessional lecturer on Computer-Mediated Communications, Research Methods and Applied Statistics at the University of Saskatchewan. Ben's current research foci concentrate on development of computational approaches for modelling complex social issues in virtual learning communities and distributed communities of practice, using applied artificial intelligence–Bayesian Networks. Other research work concentrates on the analysis of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 technologies in learning environments and their impact on creation, enhancement and sustainability of social capital and learning.

Heather M. Ross was a Research Assistant in the Virtual Learning Communities Research Laboratory from 2003-2006. She is currently a course designer with the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology where she works mostly designing distance learning courses for apprenticeship training programs. In addition she works on instructional design projects at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include distance learning, virtual learning communities and social capital. In her free time, Heather competes in triathlons. Actually, my first one is in May. If you want to read about my misadventures of training and such, see my latest blog,


Curriculum Studies

College of Education

28 Campus Drive

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0X1

Phone: (306) 966-7641

Fax: (306) 966-7658