Panel Session: Technology for access to learning – help or hindrance?

Time: 10.30am – midday (AEST), November 26, 2019

Location: Y103 [Toowoomba Campus Television Studio], and online

Follow, or contribute to, the conversation via Twitter using the #WAHED2019 hashtag

Technology is often touted as a tool for reaching a broader range of learners and enabling innovative pedagogical approaches.  However, in 2019 we still have a digital divide in Australia.  Internet speeds, affordability of personal devices, and digital literacy are all potential barriers to equitable participation in technology-rich higher education experiences.  Our panel will address the question of whether technology is an enabler for inclusive and equitable access to higher education, whether it is a barrier, and what higher education institutions in Australia can and are doing in this space.

The 2019 Panel Session will provide a diverse range of perspectives on this topic, and respond to the potential to increase inequality, rather than broaden participation.

Missed the event? You can view a recording of the panel session below.



Meet our panel members

Professor Shelley Kinash is the Director of Advancement of Learning and Teaching at the University of Southern Queensland. Her previous position was as Director of Learning and Teaching at Bond University. Professor Kinash has been an academic for more than 25 years and completed her PhD in Education Technology through the University of Calgary, Canada in 2004. Professor Kinash led/co-led three high-impact, National research projects, competitively awarded through the Australian Government, Office for Learning and Teaching – on graduate employability, postgraduate student experience and closing-the-loop on student evaluation of courses and teaching. She is the Convenor of the International Employability Network – TENSTARS – through  She has published 387 works, which have been downloaded more than 51,000 times from 177 countries, and cited 1254 times (h-index 17).

Dr Amber Marshall is a Research Fellow at QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre where she is researching digital inclusion, particularly in the areas of assessing digital capability, evaluating digital interventions, and the role of mentors in digital participation. As a former resident of remote Australia (Central Australia and Far North Queensland), Amber has a passion for digital inclusion – and its impacts on education, health, business and social cohesion – in regional, rural and remote communities. She is currently Chief Investigator on a project funded by the Collaborative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia researching digital connectivity, affordability and ability across Northern Queensland, Northern Territory, and Northern Western Australia. Amber recently partnered with The Cairns Institute (James Cook University), where she is an Adjunct Research Fellow, to undertake ACCAN-funded research on digital connectivity on remote cattle stations in Far North Queensland.

Mr Timothy Randall is a Student Ambassador, Meet-Up Leader and Assistant Library Officer at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. He is currently studying full time and is in his fourth year of the Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Relations and the Bachelor of Laws with the intent to complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours). Timothy has been the Past-President of the University of Southern Queensland International Relations Student Association and is the incoming Vice-President (Toowoomba) for the USQ Law Society. Timothy grew up in rural Childers, 50 kms south of Bundaberg, and completed both primary and high school by distance education and home schooling. In 2016, Timothy began studying at USQ full time as an external online student. Timothy moved to Toowoomba in 2017 to finish the dual degree on-campus.

Sylvia Wilson-Kuhbauch has been employed with Queensland Correctional Services for the past seventeen years.  Prior to this, Sylvia  worked for seven years as District Manager with Roma Community Corrections.  Over the past six years, she has been employed  as a Senior Adviser for Education.


Meet our panel chair

Dr Christie White is the Director of Student Success and Wellbeing at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Her role is focused on achieving strategic outcomes for the University, enabling students from diverse backgrounds to not only access and participate in higher education but succeed as well. Christie’s portfolio oversees a range of support services including counselling, health and health promotion, disability support, career development, welfare support, multi-faith, and scholarships. Included in her role is responsibility for the allocation and acquittal of the University’s allocation of Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP) funding. Her doctoral research developed a theoretical framework for higher education services to understand success factors for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and assist students from such backgrounds to access support during their studies. Christie also holds the role of President for the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association (ANZSSA).