School of Computing and Information Systems
Athabasca University

Chair title

NSERC/iCORE/Xerox/Markin Industrial Research Chair in Adaptivity and Personalization in Informatics

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2010


The exponential growth of wireless technologies in recent years, the increasing availability of high bandwidth network infrastructures, advances in mobile technologies and the popularity of handheld devices have opened up new accessibility opportunities for education, and the true potential of e-learning as "anytime, anywhere" has finally begun to be realized. The primary goal of this research is to enable rich learning experiences in authentic environments by merging real-life objects with virtual modality in order to improve the existing educational environment while broadening access to education for the disabled and isolated, particularly those living in remote and rural communities who generally do not have access to learning opportunities. The aim is to harness the benefits of location, context, device and learner modelling, and combine them with mobile technologies to achieve personalized delivery of multimedia-rich learning objects: anywhere and anytime; collaborative problem-solving in the context of learners' surroundings; authentic problem-solving through multiple forms of input; and appropriate use of these different media formats as part of problem-solving for rich learning experiences. With the use of multimedia-rich content on mobile devices and the design of appropriate learning tasks within a collaborative paradigm, this research aims to deliver education at a higher quality than is presently available in a classroom environment by incorporating contextual problem scenarios from learners' working and social environments.

The Chairholder, Dr. Kinshuk, has been involved in the area of adaptive and personalized learning for the last 15 years. His work has been dedicated to advancing research on the innovative paradigms, architectures and implementations of learning systems for individualized and adaptive learning in increasingly global environments. This has resulted in more than 265 research publications in refereed journals, international refereed conferences, book chapters, frequent keynote speeches and visiting professorships around the world.

This research is supported by Xerox and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL). It benefits from the Xerox Canada's expertise in knowledge management and document management technologies, and the natural language processing and semantic technologies expertise of Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) in Grenoble. Various technical experts at CNRL contribute in the area of designing techniques for employee progression through innovative instructional technology approaches, knowledge building through technology-enriched knowledge management approaches, and applying and testing the adaptive problem-solving techniques resulting from this research.

This research has far-reaching benefits for the Canadian educational and training system. On the one hand, it will enable access to high quality learning for those who are unable to join mainstream education, while on the other, it will improve the overall quality of education by incorporating valuable pedagogies of authentic learning, collaborative learning, and multimedia- based problem solving through the use of emerging mobile technologies. The generic nature of the outcomes means the research will be beneficial for the wider community of practitioners, who will be able to use the results to enrich their educational practices, and researchers, who will be able to incorporate the architecture and models into their own research work. This research also opens up new avenues of commercialization of research for mobile industry and training providers. There will be a very positive and motivational impact on the Canadian workforce as a direct result of the initiatives led by the research chair because working and remote communities will be able to access the educational content anytime, anywhere and anyhow, thus truly benefiting from the life-long learning experience. The initiative will therefore directly contribute to human capital development and wealth creation in Alberta and Canada.


  • iCORE
  • Allan Markin / Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
  • Xerox Canada

Contact information

School of Computing and Information Systems
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, Alberta
T9S 3A3

Tel.: 780-675-6812
Fax: 780-675-6973


Contact Newsletter

Get highlights of things happening at NSERC delivered to your email inbox. View all Newsletters

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram