ITx 2018 Speakers

Keynotes and Speakers for ITx 2018

Check back often - more speakers are being added regularly

Sam Mann

Professor of Information Technology, Otago Polytechnic

Samuel Mann is Professor of Information Technology at Otago Polytechnic where he has worked since 1997, including five years as Head of Department.

Sam has published over 150 conference and journal papers in the fields of augmented experiences; sustainability; and computer education.

Sam co-hosts Sustainable Lens: Resilence on Radio, a radio weekly show on sustainability topics (

Postgraduate Study at Polytechnics in NZ: Where We Are? What are the Challenges? Where do we go?

Friday 11:30am - 12:40pm, CITRENZ Conference (CITRENZ 1 Room)

The panel will discuss the postgraduate programmes at NZ polytechnics from two perspectives: domestic and international.

The discussion for both programmes for domestic and international students will include types of the programmes (PhDs, Masters, Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas) and the research component in these programmes.

We will discuss what we are doing, how well we are doing, our challenges and where do we want to go from here.

In particular, the discussion will cover the needs of students both domestic and international and our challenges to meet them. From the international students’ perspective, the panel will discuss the educational, cultural and technological challenges that these students are faced with.

The research environment and the challenges for the academics involved in the postgraduate study, as well as a possibility to collaborate, will be discussed.

Choosing, Mentoring and Assessing Team Work in Computing Education

Friday 3:20pm - 4:30pm, CITRENZ Conference (CITRENZ 1 Room)

Information Technology industry employers consistently stress the need for graduates to have the ability to work effectively in teams.

However, most computing curricula places emphasis on a student’s own work. Graduate attributes stress the need for students to have good teamwork and communication skills.

Group work/teamwork is one way that academic programmes aim to develop these capabilities. However choosing, mentoring and assessing groups poses challenges in an often artificial academic setting.

This panel presents options and strategies for choosing groups, monitoring their progress to achieve successful outcomes and the complex issue of assessment of not only the group process and outcomes but also the individual student performance.

In industry IT professionals don’t always get the opportunity to choose who is in their team for any given project, the panel will present different options for choosing student teams to achieve the desired results. It is important to keep the groups focussed and cohesive in working towards their outcomes, approaches to conducting mid-project process reviews.

Individual and group assessment will be identified to ensure groups are assessed fairly while also recognising individual achievement.