Rory McGreal (Athabasca University)

About the Chair

Athabasca University UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair in Open Educational Resources 2011 2019

Research Focus: OER implementation, policies.

About the chairholder

Rory McGreal is a Professor in the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University – Canada’s open university. His other responsibilities include being the Co-Editor of the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL), which is Canada’s first open access scholarly journal. He is also Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) and has served as the co-Chair of the Alberta provincial steering committee on OER. Prof. McGreal is also the creator of the OER Knowledge Cloud, a repository of more than 1300 scholarly articles and reports on OER and MOOC themes. He is the recipient of several awards including the US-based Wedemeyer Award as a leading distance education practitioner. Others include a senior fellowship from the European Distance Education Network (EDEN); a Leadership in Education award from the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE); and a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Open Education Consortium. Previously, he was the executive director of TeleEducation New Brunswick, a province-wide bilingual (French/English) distributed distance learning network.Before that, he was a supervisor for Contact North/Contact Nord a distance education network in the remote regions of Northern Ontario.

Rory was the founder of the world’s first e-learning website for TeleEducation NB and one of the world’s first metadata learning object repositories. His expertise includes evaluations of elearning initiatives, elearning administration, and cost-effectiveness strategies. In addition, he is an expert in the application of OER. As an applied researcher, his investigations have been responsible for the implementation of a mobile device accessible digital reading room. As a Chairholder in OER, he is also active in promoting Open Educational Resources and is a board member of the Open Education Foundation. He has considerable experience as an evaluator of educational software and of implementation of technologically enhanced knowledge initiatives, including studies and reports for CANARIE, Health Canada, the Commonwealth of Learning and other organizations.

Relevant projects

OER Knowledge Cloud

Relevant publications

Miao, F., Mishra, S., & McGreal, R. (Eds.)(2016). Open Educational Resources: Policy, costs and transformation. Retrieved from

McGreal, R., (2013).Guide to Open Educational Resources. Commonwealth of Learning, Retrieved from

McGreal, R., Kinutha, W., & Marshall, S. (Eds.) ( 2013). Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice. Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning Retrieved from

McGreal, R., Anderson, T., & Conrad, D. (2015). Open Educational Resources in Canada 2015. IRRODL, 16(5). Retrieved from 8. McGreal, R. (2004, September 4).

Learning objects: A practical definition. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning (IJITDL), 9(1). Retrieved from


Centre for Distance Eduction TEKRI & IRRODL Athabasca University

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