Dr Michael Lane
How long have you been at USQ
I have been at USQ for 15 years since 1997. I did my PhD here and then acquired a position as a lecturer. My area of interest is Information Systems, Computer Security, Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. There are many organisations capturing information that don’t use it well - Business Intelligence looks at that. As the university has just built the data warehouse I am using my sabbatical to do some research there – it is a practical application that will benefit myself, the university and my students.
What do you like most about your role?
As Acting Associate Dean it has been an interesting experience as you gain a better understanding as to what is going on and why decisions are being made. It provides an opportunity to try and influence people to do improve teaching and learning skills, particularly as we are moving towards online mode of education, there is a lot of room for improvement and to encourage people to be more mobile savvy. Secondary schools and primary schools are using technology constantly and some are totally paper free - we need to be ready to attract those students.
Of your contributions or achievements at USQ what are you most proud of?
I have rewritten courses trying to make them more practical and skills based in terms of security and business intelligence. Previously the courses were focussing on content and as there is so much easily available content, we should be moving towards focussing on the practical skills of particular disciplines. I have been getting good feedback from students and it is a change that is coming in the sector in the future.
What are you currently working on?
I am completing a project on the use of IPads for staff and students. We have finished the data collection and now starting to write up the results. I believe IPads have their place but are not going to replace the laptop, however, the IPad will increasingly become more powerful. In my opinion the laptop will become ‘the desktop’ and the mobile device ‘the laptop’. It is good for its mobility and increasingly students will want to access course content and lectures – we need to accommodate that more than we are doing now.
What excites you about teaching and learning?
What excites me is learning new things, trying to improve the way that I teach, to be more effective with the students and also the new technologies which are constantly changing. I think change is good and with my work there is never a dull moment. Research students have new ideas and they bring enthusiasm and can challenge you with new ideas.
How do you motivate your students?
I try to make my courses interesting and relevant and they do achieve that when I make them more hands-on activities rather than just lectures. I teach a few post-graduate courses in which some of the individuals are outstanding and you can learn as much from them as they do from you. Often post-graduate students are leaders in their own area of research.
What innovations have you implemented in your teaching?
I record lectures and also making use of software applications (open source), particularly in security and business intelligence. I use more group activities and make use of the Moodle forum. Peer assessment is something I would like to try to implement.
Tell us about the grant/award you won from ALTC (OLT) or USQ?
I have a large research Collaborative Research Network (CRN) grant ($540K) looking at digital futures, the social and economic policy challenges for rural and regional Australia: Australian National University (ANU) and the University of South Australia (Uni SA) are partners. ANU is providing mentoring and with assistance to facilitate the running of the project and Uni SA will provide support in developing research leaders in this area.
What is your favourite place in the world and why?
My wife comes from Chang Mai in Thailand – it is a beautiful place and the people are very friendly. There are a few places in Europe that I love and a favourite place there would be Lake Bled in Slovenia. If you get a chance to go there as it is a beautiful place with a lake and castle overlooking it – just amazing.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Listen; a lot of people don’t listen – you learn a lot more by just listening to others.
What is something about you that your colleagues may not know?
I originally planned to be an accountant.
Contact Dr Michael Lane