Dr Michael Cowling Information and Communication Technology / School of Engineering and Technology

Senior Lecturer

Educational Technology

Contact Details

Email: m.cowling@cqu.edu.au

Phone: (07) 3295 1196 - Ext: 51196

Office Location

About Me

Dr Michael Cowling is an information technologist with a keen interest in educational technology and technology ubiquity in the digital age, especially as it relates to the use of mixed reality in skills training, the changing technology culture in education, and the specific needs of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering & Technology at CQUniversity Australia.

Dr Cowling is currently a partner in an OLT Innovation and Development grant and is the recipient of 3 CQUniversity Learning and Teaching grants related to teaching technology. He is a recipient of an Australian Government Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, is a three time recipient of a CQUniversity Learning & Teaching Award, and gained a CQUniversity Student Voice Commendation for his teaching practice in 2014. He is a regular contributor to media outlet The Conversation and is also a regular contributor in Australian radio and print media on the topics of Educational Technology and Technology Ubiquity.

Dr Cowling has a passion for the practical application of technology in the classroom, with a focus specifically on not just bolting technology onto a classroom setting, but instead investigating how technology can be weaved into the pedagogy of a classroom setting. Living by the mantra “pedagogy before technology”, Michael works to help teachers and academics to innovate with technology to improve their students motivation and learning outcomes, leveraging technology as a tool to improve the overall education process, not a another resource that will gather dust in the corner of a classroom.

Media Citations

Tweeting the Teacher in Higher Education

§  CQUniversity Media Release: http://uninews.cqu.edu.au/UniNews/viewStory.do?story=10123

§  Daily Mercury, Mackay, QLD – 26/11/12

§  ABC Capricornia, Rockhampton – 27/11/12 - 9:05 AM Mornings – Kallee Buchanan

§  Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton QLD  - 27/11/12

§  The Observer, Gladstone QLD – 27/11/12

§  ABC Mackay 27 Nov 2012 12:33 PM 12:30 News

§  ABC Capricornia 27 Nov 2012 12:33 PM 12:30 News

§  ABC Capricornia 27 Nov 2012 5:33 PM 17:30 News

§  ABC TV + ABC News 24 01 Dec 2012 7:17 PM ABC News (Weekend)

§  Rockhampton Mirror – 28/11/12

§  The Community Advocate, Gladstone – 10/12/12

Spelling and the Digital Native Student

§  CQUniversity Media Release: http://uninews.cqu.edu.au/UniNews/viewStory.do?story=9525

§  Daily Mercury, Mackay QLD – 02/06/12

§  Central Queensland News, Emerald QLD - 13/06/12

§  ABC Wide Bay, Bundaberg – 13/06/12 - 9:06 AM Mornings David Dowsett

§  MX (Sydney), Sydney  - 14/06/12 - Cathy Morris

§  MX (Melbourne), Melbourne- 14/06/12 - Cathy Morris

§  The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton QLD  - 18/06/12

§  ABC Tropical North, Mackay – 18/06/12 - 7:12 AM Breakfast Meecham Philpott

§  Rockhampton Mirror, Rockhampton - 20/06/12

§  Gladstone News Weekly, Gladstone – 30/06/12

Ubiquitous Computing

§  CQUniversity Media Release: http://uninews.cqu.edu.au/viewStory.do?story=6823

§ ABC Local Wide Bay Online – 12/04/2012

Technology Competency of Academics & Teachers

§  CQUniversity Media Release: http://uninews.cqu.edu.au/viewStory.do?story=8990

§  2MCE (National Australia) 08:00 News - 27/01/2012 - 08:01 AM Newsreader

§  HEART FM (Hobart) 08:00 News - 27/01/2012 - 08:01 AM Newsreader

§  2MCE (National Australia) 10:00 News - 27/01/2012 - 10:01 AM Newsreader

§  ABC North Queensland (Townsville) Regional Afternoons - 30/01/2012 - 02:19 PM Georgia Stynes

§  ABC Darwin (Darwin) Afternoon - 31/01/2012 - 02:24 PM Annie Gastin


Twitter in Schools

§  Southern Cross University Media Release: http://www.scu.edu.au/news/media.php?item_id=3521&action=show_item

§  Sunrise Morning Television (Channel 7) – 16/01/2012.

§  Courier Mail Newspaper – 16/01/2012.

§  ABC 612 Brisbane (Brisbane) Breakfast - 16/01/2012 - 07:19 AM Spencer Howson

§  4BC Mornings - 16/01/2012

§  ABC 612 Brisbane Evenings - 16/01/2012

§  ABC Coffs Coast (Coffs Harbour) Morning Show - 17/01/2012 - 10:51 AM Katya Quigley

§  2LM (Lismore) 12:00 News - 17/01/2012 - 12:10 PM Newsreader

§  Bellingen Courier Sun - 01/02/2012

§  CQUniversity BE Magazine – Issue 14, May 2012

Previous teaching


  • Conceptual Foundations of Mathematics
  • Foundations of Business Computing
  • Information System Management
  • Marketing Fundamentals
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Principles of Economics
  • Principles of Human Resource Management
  • Professional & Technical Communication
  • Systems Management Overview
  • University Learning
  • Web Applications for Business

Information Systems/Technology & Multimedia

  • Analysis & Specification
  • Computer Hardware Fundamentals
  • Computing Systems
  • Conceptual Foundations of Computing
  • Data Communications
  • Database Development and Management
  • Database Use and Design
  • Digital Telecommunications and Networks
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems Management with e-Commerce Applications
  • Information Systems Project Management
  • Innovation in Interactivity and Social Networks
  • Internet Application Development
  • Management & Design of Advanced Systems
  • Network Security
  • Programming Principles
  • Security, Ethics & E-Commerce Systems
  • Software Fundamentals
  • Systems Administration
  • Systems Analysis & Design
  • Systems Development Overview    
Professional Experience

§  Panel Member (appointed by President of Academic Board), CQUniversity Awards for Learning and Teaching Review Panel  (Mar 2012 – Current)

§  CMS Representative, Higher Education Coursework Committee, CQUniversity (Jan 2013 – Jun 2013)

§  Chair, CMS Academic Management Group, CQUniversity (Mar 2012 – Jun 2013)

§  Member, CMS Academic Management Group, CQUniversity (Dec 2010 – Jun 2013)

§  CMS Representative, Faculty Education Committee, Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics & Education, CQUniversity (Nov 2009 – Dec 2012)

§  CMS Representative, Faculty Education Committee, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Health, CQUniversity (Nov 2009 – Dec 2012)

§  CMS Representative, Technology Innovations in Learning & Teaching (TILT) Committee, CQUniversity (Mar     2010 – Sept 2012)

§  CMS Representative, Academic Systems Support Project – Academic Reference Group, CQUniversity (Mar       2010 – Jan 2012)

§  Panel Member, Course Accreditation Panel (non-self-accrediting institutions), QLD Office of Higher Education, Department of Training & the Arts (May 2009 – Dec 2010)

§  Postgraduate Student Representative, Academic Committee, Griffith University (Feb 2003 – Feb 2004)

§  Office Bearer, Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (Jan 2001 – Dec 2002)

Professional Memberships

§  Member, Australasian Research Management Society (Apr 2012 – present)

§  Member, International Education Association of Australia (Feb 2012 – present)

§  Member, Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (Jan 1999 – Dec 2004)

Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing - Neural, Evolutionary and Fuzzy Computation
Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing - Pattern Recognition and Data Mining
Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing - Simulation and Modelling
Education Systems - Higher Education
Specialist Studies in Education - Educational Technology and Computing
Curriculum and Pedagogy - Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Conference paper

Cowling, M. (2017). Developing a Cloud robotics infrastructure for a humanoid robotic teaching assistant. In The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA 2017) (pp. 1-9). Online: Council of Australasian University Directors of Information technology CAUDIT. Retrieved from https://www.caudit.edu.au/


Birt, J., Moore, E., & Cowling, M. A. (2017). Piloting mobile mixed reality simulation in paramedic distance education. In N. Dias, S. de Freitas, D. Duque, N. Rodrigues, K. Wong, & J. L. Vilaca (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE 5th International Conference on Serious Games & Applications for Health (SeGAH) (pp. 1-8). Piscataway, NJ.: IEEE. doi:10.1109/SeGAH.2017.7939270


John Luan, R., & Cowling, M. A. (2016). Designing a working model for authentic assessment in a digital media program. In M. Baguley (Ed.), AARE Conference Proceedings (pp. 1). Online: AARE. Retrieved from https://www.aare.edu.au/

Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (2016). Piloting mixed reality in ICT networking to visualize complex theoretical multi-step problems. In Conference Proceedings (pp. 163-168). Online: ASCILITE 2016.

Munoz, J., Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (2016). Using gamification and mixed reality visualization to improve conceptual understanding in ICT system analysis and design. In Conference Proceedings (pp. 455-460). Online: ASCILITE 2016.

Cowling, M., Gray, M., & Sturgess, P. (2016). Studying the digital competencies of enabling education students at a regional Australian university. In Proceedings from FABENZ conference 2016 (pp. 1-14). Hamilton, New Zealand: FABENZ. Retrieved from http://fabenz.org.nz/proceeding-from-fabenz-conference-2016/


Sturgess, P., Cowling, M., & Gray, M. (2016). Unpacking 'digital competency': Exploring the pre-existing skills of enabling education students. In T. Gedeon (Ed.), ACSW '16 Proceedings of the Australasian Computer Science Week Multiconference (pp. 1-4). New York, NY.: ACM. doi:10.1145/2843043.2843349


Cowling, M. A., & John Luan, R. (2015). Piloting authentic assessment in a digital media course. In Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) (pp. 1-11). Online: AARE.

Cowling, M., Moore, E., & Birt, J. (2015). Augmenting distance education skills development in paramedic science through mixed media visualisation. In EUROMEDIA 2015 : Proceedings of Euromedia, 27-29 April 2015, Lisbon, Portugal (pp. 113-117). Ostend, Belgium: EUROSIS-ETI.


Cowling, M., & Birt, J. (2015). Teaching complex theoretical multi-step problems in ICT networking through 3D printing and augmented reality. In ASCILITE 2015, : conference proceedings : Globally Connected, Digitally Enabled, 30 November-3 December, 2015 (pp. 414-428). Perth, WA.: Curtin University. Retrieved from http://www.2015conference.ascilite.org/


Cowling, M. (2012). Higher education student attendance as a measure of academic success : how much does it matter?. In Proceedings of the tenth annual Hawaii international conference on education, 5-8 January 2012, Honolulu, Hawaii. (pp. 1-8). Honolulu, HI: Hawaii International Conference on Education. Retrieved from http://www.hiceducation.org/proceedings_edu.php


Cowling, M., & Novak, J. (2012). The integration of technology into the pedagogy of the 21st Century : an implementation case study. In INTED2012 Proceedings. (pp. 1). Valencia, Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED).


Cowling, M., & Novak, J. (2012). Tweet the teacher : using Twitter as a mechanism to increase classroom engagement. In 23rd ISANA International Education Association Conference Proceedings. (pp. 1-12). Hobart, Tas.: ISANA International Education Association Inc.. Retrieved from http://www.proceedings.com.au/isana/2012.html


Novak, J., & Cowling, M. (2011). The implementation of social networking as a tool for improving student participation in the classroom. In 22nd ISANA International Education Association Conference Proceedings, held at Wrest Point Conference Centre, Hobart, 29 Nov-2nd Dec 2011. (pp. 1-10). Hobart: ISANA International Education Association Inc..

Journal article

Cowling, M., Tanenbaum, J., Birt, J., & Tanenbaum, K. (2017). Augmenting reality for augmented reality. Interactions, 24(1), 42-45. doi:10.1145/3019008


Cowling, M. (2015). Models for the successful integration of social networking into the studies of digital native students. Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association., 45, 20-30. Retrieved from http://anzssa.squarespace.com/complete-editions/


Nnass, I., Cowling, M. A., & Hadgraft, R. (2016). Exploring the difficulties of teaching programming to non-native English speakers at an Australian regional university. Poster session presented at the meeting of Post Graduate Student Experience National Symposium. Bond University. Retrieved from http://epublications.bond.edu.au/

Munoz, J., Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (n.d.). Effectiveness of Augmented Reality instruction in teaching ICT Systems Design. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australian Higher Education Conference. Conberra, ACT.

Moore, E., Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (n.d.). Exploring Possibilities for 3D Printing in Paramedic Science. Poster session presented at the meeting of ACU Simulation in Health Education Showcase (QLD). Banyo, QLD.

Moore, E., Birt, J., & Cowling, M. A. (n.d.). Improving Skill Development for Paramedics through Mixed Media Visualisation via 3D Printing and an Augmented Reality App. Poster session presented at the meeting of Paramedics Australasia International Conference. Adelaide, SA.

Munoz, J., Cowling, M. A., Verma, B., & Birt, J. (n.d.). Pedagogy Enabled Through Technology: Using Augmented Reality Effectively Through Mobile Devices in ICT Learning Environments. Poster session presented at the meeting of IEEE QLD Section 30 Years Celebration. Brisbane, QLD.

Moore, E., Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (n.d.). Using 3D Printed Tools and an Augmented Reality Smartphone App to Enhance Paramedic Skill Development. Poster session presented at the meeting of Council of Ambulance Authorities Conference. Melbourne, Victoria.

Book chapter

Cowling, M. A. (2016). Navigating the path between positivism and interpretivism for the technology academic completing education research. In R. Harreveld, M. Danaher, C. Lawson, B. A. Knight, & G. Busch (Eds.), Constructing methodology for qualitative researching education and social practices (pp. 45-58). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-59943-8


Cowling, M. A. (2014). Models for the successful integration of social networking into the studies of digital native students. Adelaide, SA.