Prof Michael Thomas

School of Education

Michael is a research professor in education and Director of the Centre for Educational Research (CERES) in the School of Education. His primary research focus is digital education and social justice across a range of sectors from higher education to schools, both in the UK and internationally (Asia, Europe and Low-to-Middle-Income Countries e.g., West Africa), and his current projects explore inequalities related to gender, social class and disabilities.

He's currently conducting research projects with the University of Ghana on distance education and visually impaired learners funded by the GCRF/LJMU (ASPIRE), and two projects funded by the British Council, an ELTRA grant on curriculum evaluation in Nigeria (MERLIN), and a Widening Participation four country project on curriculum representation, ICT policy, girls' education and the representation of gender in teacher training materials in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa (THEMIS) in line with UN SDGs 4.c. and 5.

He welcomes applications from potential PhD and EdD students working broadly in the field of digital and online education, English language learning and teacher education, ICT4D, cross-curricular and project-based teaching and learning, critiques of neoliberal approaches to education and computer-assisted language learning/digital literacy (e.g., learning analytics, immersive environments, gamification, creative approaches to technology usage). He's examined PhDs in Australia, the UK and Europe, particularly in the area of online learning, digital pedagogy and computer-assisted language learning (CALL).

He has published extensively: founded 4 international book series; authored 3 monographs; edited 26 books; edited 14 special editions of peer reviewed journals; authored over 150 journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and book reviews; delivered 80 keynote and invited conference presentations; won over 60 external and internal grant bids; and organised over 50 national and international conferences and events. Among his outputs are books on collaborative digital education, digital natives, social media, game-based learning, project-based learning with technology and two four-volume major works on online learning and digital language learning with Routledge, Palgrave, Sage and Bloomsbury Academic.

He's a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and hold a PhD in cultural and critical theory from Newcastle University submitted in 1996 (post-structuralism, education policy, the political implications of deconstruction) and a second PhD from Lancaster University (technology mediated task- and project-based learning). He's also studied for an MBA in Educational Management at the University of Leicester (2002), an M.Ed in Educational Technology at Manchester University (2004), an MA in Literature and Film Studies at Newcastle University (1992) and change leadership at Cornell University in the USA (2016). He holds a First Class undergraduate BA degree in American Studies and Literature. (1992).

He's taught graduate and undergraduate students at nine universities in Germany (Heidelberg University, Stuttgart University, Mannheim University), Japan (NUCB Nagoya) and the UK (Newcastle University, the University of Central Lancashire, Liverpool University, Swansea University, Liverpool John Moores University), and led multinational research groups and project teams. He currently teaches, conducts research, mentors staff, leads research teams, and supervises PhDs and EdDs in several areas, including digital education and the impact of English language education policy, from critical pedagogy, critical digital literacy and social justice perspectives. He's been an invited keynote/presenter in numerous countries, including the USA, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Belgium, Croatia, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, the UK, Romania, Spain, Germany, Singapore, Turkey, China, France, Italy, Korea, Mexico and the Czech Republic. He's an academic affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in the US and a Trustee of the Stephenson Multi Academy Trust in Liverpool.

In other recent research projects he was PI of the CAMELOT project about task- and project-based learning with video; a Co-I in the VITAL project on learning analytics (2015-2017); and PI on the GUINEVERE project which examined gamification in virtual environments (2017-2019). He's the founding and lead editor of four book series including:
- Global Education Policy and Critical Futures in Education (Palgrave Macmillan, New York);
- Digital Education and Learning (Palgrave Macmillan, New York);
- Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Bloomsbury Academic);
- Advances in Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IGI, USA).

In 2009 he founded the Scopus indexed journal, International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPE). He's a member of the Editorial Board of the ALT Journal of Research in Learning Technology, a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Virtual Institute for Research at Cambridge University Press, and a Research Officer for the World Association of Online Education (WAOE).

Languages

German
Japanese
English

Degrees

2015, Lancaster University, UK, PhD
2004, The University of Manchester, UK, MEd
2000, University of Leicester, UK, MBA
1998, Newcastle University, UK, PhD

Academic appointments

External Examiner, MA Education, University of Strathclyde, 2020 - present
External Examiner, MA Education, University of Essex, 2018 - present
External Examiner, EdD Education, Keele University, 2018 - present

Chapters

Thomas M. 2021. Worlding Higher Education: From the Corporate Digital University to the University of Global Citizenship and Social Justice Di Leo J, Moraru C. The Bloomsbury Handbook of World Theory Bloomsbury. London & New York Public Url

Miller B, Thomas M. 2021. Accessing Learning Management Systems with Smartphones: What is the Effect on Learning Behavior and Student Engagement? Crawford C, Simons MA. eLearning Engagement in a Transformative Social Learning Environment IGI Global

Peterson M, Yamazaki K, Thomas M. 2021. Digital Games and Language Learning: The State of Play Peterson M, Yamazaki K, Thomas M. Digital Game-based Learning: Theory, Practice and Implementation Bloomsbury. London 9781350133013 Publisher Url Public Url

Thomas M, Yamazaki K. 2021. Introduction: Pandemics, projects, and the re-positioning of digital language learning Thomas M, Yamazaki K. Project-based Language Learning and CALL: From Virtual Exchange to Social Justice Equinox 9781800500242 Publisher Url Public Url

Benini S, Thomas M. 2021. A Critical Review of Game-based Learning, Gamification and Second Language Acquisition Peteson M, Thomas M, Yamazaki K. Digital Games and Language Learning Bloomsubry Public Url

Benini S, Thomas M. 2021. Project-Based Language Learning, Virtual Exchange and 3D Virtual Environments: A Critical Review of the Research Thomas M, Yamazaki K. Project-based Language Learning and CALL: Theory and Practice . Texas, USA Publisher Url Public Url

Thomas M. 2021. Epilogue: Critical project-based pedagogy and social justice in the post-pandemic university Project-based Language Learning and CALL: From Virtual Exchange to Social Justice CALICO/Equinox Public Url

Thomas M, Cinganotto L. 2021. Comparing two teacher training courses for 3D game-based learning: Feedback from trainee teachers Panconesi G, Guida M. Handbook of Research on Teaching with Virtual Environments and AI :267-292 IGI Global 9781799876380 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Saona-Vallejos MA, Thomas M. 2019. An Investigation of Social Networking Sites for Language Learning and the User Experience: The Case of Busuu and Learning Spanish as a Foreign Language Zou B, Thomas M. Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced and Computer-Assisted Language Learning :72-98 IGI Global Publisher Url

Baetty B, Thomas M. 2019. English Language Learner Motivation in the Digital Technology Classroom: A Case Study of a Vocational University in Indonesia Zou B, Thomas M. Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced and Computer-Assisted Language Learning :184-207 IGI Global DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Thomas M, Reinders H, Gelan A. 2017. Learning Analytics and Online Language learning Hyland K, Wong L. Face of English Language Education :197-212 Routledge DOI Public Url

Thomas M, Housef A. 2017. Academic writing in the flipped EFL classroom: A case study on student engagement in Oman Loucky JP, Ware J. Flipped Instruction Methods and Digital Technologies in the Language Learning Classrooms :232-251 IGI Global DOI Public Url

Thomas M, Reinders H, Gelan A. 2017. Learning analytics in online language learning: Challenges and future directions Faces of English Education: Students, Teachers, and Pedagogy :197-212 Routledge. London 9781138201576 DOI Publisher Url

Gasmi AA, Thomas M. 2017. Academic writing in the flipped EFL classroom: A case study on student engagement in Oman Flipped Instruction: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice :145-160 9781522518037 DOI

Thomas M. 2011. Technology, education, and the discourse of the digital native: Between evangelists and dissenters Deconstructing Digital Natives: Young People, Technology and the New Literacies :1-12 9780203818848 DOI

Thomas M. Learning analytics and educational data mining in research on learning beyond the classroom Reinders H, Lai C, Sundquist P. Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom Routledge

Thomas M, Morgana V. Video-based Approaches to Foreign Language Pedagogy: Two Case Studies on Techno-CLIL in the Secondary School Classroom in Italy and the Netherlands Herrero C, Suarez M. New Approaches to Transmedia and Language Pedagogy Bloomsbury

Book

Thomas M, Yamazaki K. 2021. Project-based Language Learning and CALL: From Virtual Exchange to Social Justice Thomas M, Yamazaki K. Equinox 978-1800500242

Peterson M, Yamazaki K, Thomas M. 2021. Digital Game-based Learning: Theory, Practice and Implementation Peterson M, Yamazaki K, Thomas M. Bloomsbury 9781350133013

Thomas M, Schneider C. 2020. Language Teaching with Video-Based Technologies: Creativity and CALL Teacher Education Routledge. London and New York 9780367434533 Publisher Url

Zou B, Thomas M. 2019. Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced and Computer-Assisted Language Learning IGI Global 9781799812845

Zou B, Thomas M. 2018. Handbook of Research on Integrating Technology into Contemporary Language Learning and Teaching Zou B, Thomas M. 9781522551409

Thomas M. 2017. Digital Language Learning and Teaching Critical and Primary Sources Critical and Primary Sources 9781474277952

Thomas M. 2017. Project-based Language Learning with Technology: Learner Collaboration in an EFL Classroom in Japan Routledge. New York and Oxford 9780415788281 DOI Publisher Url

Wishart J, Thomas M. 2017. E-Research in Educational Contexts: The Roles of Technologies, Ethics and Social Media Wishart J, Thomas M. Routledge

Thomas M. 2015. Contemporary Task-Based Language Teaching in Asia Bloomsbury Publishing 9781472572226

Thomas M, Reinders H. 2013. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching with Technology Bloomsbury Publishing 9781441138743

Thomas M. 2012. Technologies, Innovation, and Change in Personal and Virtual Learning Environments IGI Global 9781466624689

Thomas M, Reinders H, Warschauer M. 2012. Contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning A&C Black 9781441113009

Thomas M. 2012. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments IGI Global 9781466617711

Thomas M. 2011. Online Learning: Four Volumes Sage

Thomas M. 2011. Digital Education Opportunities for Social Collaboration Springer 9780230118003

Thomas M. 2011. Deconstructing digital natives: Young people, technology and the new literacies :1-220 9780203818848 DOI

Lytras MD, Pablos POD, Avison D, Sipior J, Jin Q, Filho WL, Uden L, Thomas M, Cervai S, Horner DG. 2010. Technology Enhanced Learning: Quality of Teaching and Educational Reform 1st International Conference, TECH-EDUCATION 2010, Athens, Greece, May 19-21, 2010. Proceedings Springer Science & Business Media 9783642131653

Thomas M, Cutrim Schmid E. 2010. Interactive Whiteboards for Education: Theory, Research and Practice Thomas M. IGI Global 9781615207152 DOI Publisher Url

Thomas M. 2009. Handbook of Research on Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning 9781605661902 DOI

Thomas M. 2006. The Reception of Derrida Translation and Transformation Springer 9780230514102

Journal article

Khojah M, Thomas M. 2021. Smartphone-mediated EFL Reading Tasks: A Study of Female Learners’ Motivation and Behaviour in Three Saudi Arabian Classrooms AsianEFL Journal, 25 :29-62 Public Url

Oris Tom-Lawyer , Thomas M. 2020. Re-examining the Status of the English Language in Anglophone Western Africa: A Comparative Study of Ghana and Nigeria English Linguistics Research, 9 :6-22 DOI Public Url

Janosy R, Thomas M. 2020. Self-Taught Language Learners in China and Their Learning Strategies: A Multiple, Instrumental Case Study of Approaches in Contextual Situations Asian EFL Journal, 24 :136-161 Publisher Url Public Url

Tom-Lawyer O, Thomas M. 2020. Re-evaluating the Hegemony of the English Language in Western Africa: A Critical Review of the Research International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, Public Url

Thomas M, Schneider C. 2018. Language teaching in 3D virtual worlds with machinima: Reflecting on an online machinima teacher training course International Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 8 :20-38 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Gelan A, Fastre G, Verjans M, Janssenswillen G, Creemers M, Lieben J, Depaire B, Thomas M. 2018. Affordances and limitations of learning analytics for computer-assisted language learning: a case study of the VITAL project Computer Assisted Language Learning: an international journal, 31 :294-319 DOI Publisher Url

Wishart J, Thomas M. 2015. Introducing e-research in educational contexts, digital methods and issues arising International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 38 :223-229 DOI

Harrison R, Thomas M. 2009. Identity in online communities: Social networking sites and language learning Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 7 :109-124

Bohanon F, Thomas M. Techno-CLIL in an ESOL Context: Vocabulary learning and student perceptions of the Lifesaver app in a Further Education College TESOL International Journal,

Conference publication

Thomas M, Schneider C, Can T. 2019. Classification of Games to be used in Virtual Learning Environments: Some reflections based on the EU-funded GUINEVERE Project Innovation in Language Learning 2019, PIXEL :127-132

Thomas M. 2018. Digital game-based learning in 3D immersive environments: The GUINEVERE Project Innovation in Language Learning 2018

Editorial/letter to the editor

Thomas M, Gelan A. 2018. Special edition on language learning and learning analytics COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING, 31 :181-184 DOI Author Url

External committees:

Board of Trustees, Stephenson Multi Academy Trust, Liverpool, Trustee. 2021

Research Grants Awarded:

British Council, THEMIS (Evaluating gender equity and equality in the English language teacher curriculum, ICT policies and learning materials in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa), University of Botswana, University of South Africa, University of Ghana, Igbinedion University, Grant value (£): 189320, Duration of research project: 18 months. 2021

British Council, MERLIN (Minimum Academic Standards and the English Language Curriculum in Nigerian Universities: Benchmarking, Implementation and Evaluation), Grant value (£): 20590.60, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2020

Global Challenges Research Fund, ASPIRE (Teacher Resilience and Capabilities Network in Sub-Saharan Africa): Phase 2 in Ghana, Grant value (£): 10,500. 2019

British Council, MERLIN (Minimum Academic Standards and the English Language Curriculum in Nigerian Universities: Benchmarking, Implementation and Evaluation), Grant value (£): 13,270. 2019

Global Challenges Research Fund, ASPIRE (Teacher Resilience and Capabilities Network in Sub-Saharan Africa): Phase 1 in Ivory Coast, Grant value (£): 7,640. 2018

European Commission, GUINEVERE (Games Used IN Engaging Virtual Environments for Real-time language Education), Grant value (£): 177,344. 2017

European Commission, VITAL (Visualising Language Learning Analytics), Grant value (£): 195,351. 2015

European Commission, CAMELOT (Creating Machinima Enhances Online Teaching and Learning)., Grant value (£): 489,785. 2013

ESRC Digital Social Research Fund / Oxford University, DIGIT (Digital Methodologies in Educational Research), Grant value (£): 4,700. 2012

Higher Education Academy, MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses in the Arts & Humanities), Grant value (£): 1,000. 2004

Membership of professional bodies:

Member, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB). 2021

Member, British Educational Research Association (BERA). 2020

Conference organisation:

British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)/Cambridge University Press (CUP) Seminar Programme 2018-19. Applied Linguistics and Transdisciplinary Impact: Critical Perspectives and Opportunities for Researcher Development, Organiser. 2019

Games and Immersive Learning. EU GUINEVERE Project, Florence, Italy. 2019

Global Challenges in Education: Theory, Research and Practice. Global Challenges Research Fund, Organiser. 2019

Symposium on Teacher Training in Development Contexts. Global Challenges Research Fund. Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Organiser. 2019

Learning Analytics in Language Learning, Organiser. 2017

Digital Education and Learning, Organiser. 2016

The Future of Learning, Organiser. 2015

HEA Discipline Workshop/Seminar Series on MOOCs in the Arts and Humanities, Organiser. 2014

ESRC/DSR Digital Methodologies in Educational Research, Organiser. 2012

Editorial boards:

Palgrave Studies on Global Policy and Critical Futures in Education. London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Book series founding editor. 2019

International Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning & Teaching, Co-editor, https://www.igi-global.com/calls-for-papers/international-journal-computer-assisted-language/41023. 2014

Research in Learning Technology, Editorial Board Member, https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt. 2012

The Journal of Teaching English with Technology, Editorial Review Board Member, https://www.tewtjournal.org/editorial-board/. 2012

Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching. London & New York: Bloomsbury, Book series founding editor. 2010

Advances in Virtual and Personal Learning Environments. London, New York, Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, Book series founding editor. 2010

International Journal of Virtual & Personal Learning Environments, Editorial Board, https://www.igi-global.com/journal/international-journal-virtual-personal-learning/1134. 2010

Digital Education and Learning. London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Book series founding editor. 2009

Teaching qualification:

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA). 2018

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