IT Research Group Places Whitecliffe Lecturers at the Vanguard

Whitecliffe’s fully online IT programme facilitator Asra Khalid's research is being heralded as a win-win, both for tertiary institutions and their students.

In the rapidly evolving world of IT, it’s critical to stay abreast of the latest literature and innovations. But at Whitecliffe, information technology lecturers go one step further with many undertaking pioneering research that positions them at the forefront of their fields.

Currently ten Whitecliffe PhD staff members are actively engaged in research through the School of IT’s Technology Innovation Research Group (TIRG). Launched in 2021 “to promote and highlight vibrant research culture and achievements in the field of technology and innovation”, this interdisciplinary group focuses on everything from artificial intelligence and cyber security through to data analytics and agile software development.

“Engaging in research keeps our team current and enables them to contribute cutting edge ideas and discoveries to the field,” says Muhammad Azam, Whitecliffe’s Head of School, Information Technology.

“Not only that, but actively engaging in research is vital in order for our students to graduate with the advanced knowledge and skills they need to blaze a trail in the IT sector. It also fuels our lecturers’ passion for their subject areas and enables them to better bring them to life in the classroom, by enriching course content with real life examples.”

Through TIRG, Whitecliffe’s IT lecturers contribute to the development of novel solutions, techniques, theories, scientific understanding and knowledge exchange - and they undertake research that will have a lasting impact on the betterment of society.

Whitecliffe’s fully online IT programme facilitator Asra Khalid has recently published a paper about an online learning path recommender system that will help boost student success. Asra’s PhD hones in on ‘Recommender Systems for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from Victoria University’, and her research analysed behavioural data from MOOCs logs data in order to design better learning pathways for students.

“In the existing literature, learning path recommender systems are designed using neural networks and deep learning,” Asra explains in her paper. “These recommender systems are complex and focus on designing accurate systems to recommend learning pathways to learners. In this work, we have designed a simple and fast online learning path recommender system that identifies similar learners (whether they’re successful or struggling) by utilising demographic and behavioural data. The system then recommends pathways to help students complete the MOOC.”

Asra’s research is being heralded as a win-win, both for tertiary institutions and their students.

“This research strives to contribute to the advancement of scalable and practical recommender systems for MOOCs, enriching the learning experiences of users and promoting the effective utilisation of MOOCs platforms.”

To learn more about Asra’s research go to:

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