Lesley Wilton

Assistant Professor

BA - English - YorkU; BEd - YorkU; MEd - YorkuU; PhD - OISE/University of Toronto

Location(s) / Contact Info:

Keele Campus

Email: lwilton@edu.yorku.ca

Website: Digital Life Institute


Lesley Wilton's research and teaching interests include issues and practices of integrating technology into teaching, issues in literacy, constructivist and CMC perspectives on the design of online learning environments, blended learning, foundational pre-service and research courses, and artificial intelligence in education. Her MEd research (York University) examined pre-service students’ perceptions of the concepts of digital literacy. She completed her PhD research at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto, where she studied social practices and new literacies in online learning. She co-chaired the Best Paper Awards Committee of the Online Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group (OTL SIG) at AERA for many years. She recently contributed to and co-edited the Handbook of Research on Online Discussion-Based Teaching Methods (2020) and has authored a number of peer-reviewed papers such as “Quiet Participation: Investigating non-posting activities in online learning” in the Online Learning Journal (2019). She has served as an invited reviewer for many publications such as a Communication Studies special issue on Understanding Each Other when Communicating in Emerging Technology. Her chapter for a multi-institutional eCampus book on online teaching and learning, Not BusyWork! The Benefits of New Literacies and Social Practices in Online Discussions can be found at https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/designingforonlinediscussion/chapter/chapter-2/. She is a long-time member of the Pepper research group and the Encore Lab. She has often presented at AERA, CSSE, Saltise and the Literacy Research Association (LRA). She is a member of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society and is interested in this area of research. She developed and teaches one of the few courses in this important area. She joins the call for more educators to publish research on issues of AIED. She can be followed @LesleyWilton on Twitter.

Scholarly Interests

 Practices of integrating technology into teaching; issues in literacy, new literacies, digital literacies and online literacies; constructivist and CMC perspectives on the design of online learning environments; blended learning; foundational pre-service and research issues (theory-practice connections); artificial intelligence in education (AIED) and ethics.

Faculty & School/Dept

  • Faculty of Education -

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

  • Wilton, L., Ip, S., Sharma, M., & Fan, F (2022, July). Where is the AI? Educator perspectives. Presented at: 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education
  • Wilton, L., Ip, S., Sharma, M., & Fan, F (2022, June). What AI? Making a case for AI Literacies for Educators. Presented at: 11th Annual SALTISE Conference
  • Wilton, L. & Bernholtz, S (2022, May). Student APProval: Building a dynamic reading comprehension program for struggling middle school readers. Presented at: Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Annual Conference
  • Carvalho, R., Raman, P., Boldyreva, E., Ndubuisi, A., Burron, G., Zhang, X., Ghasempour, E., Wilton, L., & Slotta, J. (2021, June). Designing a Global Community of Critical Action Educators. Presented at: ISLS Annual Meeting, 2021
  • Wilton, L. (2020, June). Online Balancing: Discussion Participation and Practicum Demands. Presented at: Paper accepted for (TATE Symposium Panel) the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Annual Conference
  • Wilton, L., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J (2020, April). Finding Balance: Pre-Service and non-Pre-Service Students' Online Course Participation Patterns. Presented at: American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Wilton, L. (2019, December). Towards an Understanding of New Literacies and Social Practices in Online Learning. Presented at: Literacy Research Association’s (LRA) 69th Annual Conference, Tampa, FL
  • Brett, C. Makos, A., Mann, A. MacKinnon, K. & Wilton, L. (2019, September). Transformative learning in a digital age: Re-imagining learning (Panel Discussion). Presented at: Global Summit and Ed Tech Expo: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age, Toronto, ON
  • Wilton, L. (2017, December). Contextualizing the 3Rs of online learning. Presented at: Literacy Research Association’s (LRA) 67th Annual Conference, Tampa, FL


  • Post Secondary Leader of the Year, MindShare Learning - 2021-2022
  • CTL Sessional Faculty Research Grant , (OISE, UofT) - 2020
  • Doctoral Fellowship Award, SSHRC - 2014-2015 Recommended/Waitlisted
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, OGS - 2013-2017
  • SSHRC, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Award, SSHRC - 2010

Professional Affiliations