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New Director has big plans for ADFI

Professor Mike Keppell is the new Executive Director at ADFI
The University of Southern Queensland is set to become a “lighthouse for digital futures innovation and research” under the leadership of Professor Mike Keppell — the new Executive Director of the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI).

Professor Keppell, who took up his new role this month, has a long professional history in higher education in Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.

He was Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Flexible Learning Institute at Charles Sturt University, and prior to that was Head of the Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Professor Keppell said he chose to take up the position with USQ because ADFI captures the focus of his passion for his career — exploring innovation and future possibilities.

“I I viewed USQ as a regional university integrated into its communities and as a leader in distance education,” he said.

“I particularly like the equity and inclusive approach to other cultures exemplified by the flags of countries at the entrance of the Toowoomba campus.”

An avid rugby union fan and a keen portrait photographer, Professor Keppell has big plans for the future of ADFI and USQ.

“I want to engage the USQ community as well as regional, higher education and global communities in solving real-world issues relevant to our communities,” he said.

“ADFI will explore the literacies for the future (e.g. mobile learning, digital communities, learning spaces, personal learning environments, enabling technologies) relevant to our communities.

“Through design-based research ADFI will engage our communities, tackle real-world issues, and through this process identify mainstream literacies that enable USQ and our communities to enhance what we do.

“Engaging colleagues at USQ and within industry will be key to achieving this vision.”
Professor Keppell has published widely in the field of flexible learning, and with a background in educational technology, extensive community involvement and strength in design-based research, he has a range of valuable skills and experience in Higher Education.

His research focuses on learning spaces, blended learning, learning oriented assessment, authentic learning and transformative learning using design based research.

He has edited two books: Instructional Design: Case Studies in Communities of Practice and Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment.

Professor Keppell is passionate about travelling to other cultures and admits he is “addicted to adventures”.

“Last year it was trekking Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. I’m already planning other adventures for the future.”
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