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Māori customs and protocols go virtual

7 November 2014

Pikihuia Reihana.

Pikihuia Reihana is researching a virtual iwi of Māori spread across the globe

New research from the School of Information Management is showing the extent to which information technology is becoming culturally important for Māori.

For her Master of Information Management degree, Pikihuia Reihana investigated what she calls 'Ngāti Pukamata', or the 'Facebook Tribe', a virtual iwi of Māori spread across the globe, who maintain contact with their cultural roots through social media.

Pikihuia says whakapapa is a central component of Māori identity.

"With Māori making fewer trips back to the marae for a variety of reasons, I wanted to find out whether social networks enhance or undermine the authority of traditional whakapapa," Pikihuia says.

She set about her research by becoming actively involved in whānau and whakapapa groups on Facebook.

"Many marae, hapū and iwi have set up dedicated pages where people can communicate and find out how they’re connected – be that through kaupapa or whānau.

"Social networks help Māori to maintain links with their heritage, while also creating an alternative to the oral tradition of Māori whakapapa that usually takes place on the marae. It’s another way to maintain relationships when everyone's lives are so busy.

Pikihuia says as Ngati Pukumata and virtual iwi on social media grow, some important questions arise.

"For instance, will Facebook provide a new kind of authority in the origin and recording of whakapapa? What effect might this have on Māori cultural practices that have traditionally taken place on the marae?

"We are absolutely evolving – our customs and protocols are moving into virtual space. I was at a marae recently and whanau overseas were able to be Skyped in – technology can create a kind of physical presence, proving that location is irrelevant.”

Pikihuia hopes her research will shed light on how Māori identity could evolve in the future, as younger Māori embrace new technologies.

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Library storytellers shown to contribute to early literacy

30 October 2014

New research shows that taking preschoolers to story-time sessions at the local library could help them with the early stages of learning to read.

Professor Anne Goulding, from the School of Information Management, together with Dr Mary Jane Shuker and Dr John Dickie from the Faculty of Education, has been observing story-time sessions run by public libraries and talking to librarians about their experiences, to see what kind of impact the sessions are having.

According to Professor Goulding, children begin to develop literacy skills from an early age, with preschoolers as young as 18 months old learning to sit and listen, turn pages and engage with books.

She says there are six key skills of literacy development in children that help determine a child's readiness to learn to read and write.

These are print motivation (being interested in and enjoying books), print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, phonological awareness (developing understanding of how words are structured and being able to play with sounds) and narrative skills.

"We found that the librarians were especially good at print motivation – that is, encouraging a love of books and reading for pleasure. They did this by choosing exciting or interactive stories with good visuals, and telling the stories in an engaging way," says Professor Goulding. "

Many got the children involved in the story, by asking them questions about what was happening, which develops their narrative skills."

She says the only skill that librarians didn’t cover extensively was letter knowledge.

"When asked about this, some said they used ABC books at times, but it depended on the age of the children who turned up to the open sessions.

"There were really only two key areas where we identified room for improvement – that was in offering formal training to the storytellers, who tended to learn informally from other, more experienced librarians, and considering how story time and other activities aimed at preschoolers might be aligned with the national early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki."

The following video includes Professor Goulding talking about her research.

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Thesis Boot Camp a success for SIM PhD students

24 October 2014

SIM PhD students, Edgar Pacheco and Nishanie Pereira with PhD bootcamp organisers

Edgar Pacheco, Boot Camp organisers Dr Lizzie Towl from the Faculty of Graduate Research and Dr Inger Mewburn from Australian National University, and Nishanie Pereira.

On the weekend of Friday, 10 October to Sunday, 12 October 2014, School of Information Management PhD students Edgar Pacheco and Nishanie Pereira attended Victoria University's inaugural Thesis Boot Camp, organised by the Faculty of Graduate Research.

29 hours of writing time was packed into one weekend. Every time students wrote 5,000 words they were given a building block (one more step towards a completed PhD). Edgar wrote over 8,000 words and finished his conclusion while Nishanie managed an amazing 15,000 words and finished her discussion chapter.

The Thesis Boot Camp initiative was developed by the University of Melbourne, and has since run successfully at Australian National University and RMIT University.  Find out more about the idea here.


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Senior Tutor receives professional recognition award

20 October 2014

Kathryn Oxborrow, Senior Tutor for Information Studies, has been awarded an Associateship of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA).

Kathryn Oxborrow with fellow students

Kathryn Oxborrow (centre) with Auckland-based Information Studies students (L-R) Veronica Collins, Miyuki Hosoya-Neale, Alexis McCullough and Sonia Munro.

Associateship is awarded to LIANZA members who have “demonstrated the knowledge, skills, judgement, attitude and commitment of a professional librarian or information manager” (LIANZA, n.d.).

Kathryn’s citation from the LIANZA Credentials Committee reads as follows:

“Kathryn Oxborrow is a new librarian who has made a positive impact in a short time. She arrived in New Zealand soon after graduating and worked briefly for National Library before joining Hutt City Libraries. She is currently a senior tutor and doctoral student at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Information Management, where her topic for investigation is the impact of Body of Knowledge 11 on professional practice in New Zealand Aotearoa.

She successfully chaired Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui region for two years, during which she took part in and organised many events, including opportunities for students of librarianship to share their research with the wider community. She remains on the committee, where colleagues appreciate her diligence, professional skills and effective but unobtrusive leadership. She is an active conference participant who has written a number of articles and reviews.

Kathryn has shown an uncommon willingness to learn about, and a commitment to, professional development in the area of Matauranga Maori, and to biculturalism and library services.”

The awards ceremony took place as part of LIANZA's annual conference held at the SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland from 12-15 October 2014.

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Intergen Young Achievers Award honours top INFO101 students

15 October 2014

Intergen Young Achiever Award winners.

Intergen NZ CEO Simon Bright with Intergen Young Achievers Susanna Lees, Glen Leonard, and Roshan Patel

Intergen is the sponsor of a new academic award for top students in a first year Information Systems course at Victoria Business School.

Established this year and awarded at the end of each university semester, the Intergen Young Achiever Awards recognise the success of the three best performing students in INFO101: Foundations of Information Systems.

With 1300 students enrolled each year, this paper was singled out in particular for the award as the mandatory first-year course for undergraduate students across a wide variety of disciplines, including commerce, information technology and law.

Top students are selected based on strong academic performance and active engagement with the programme.

First place in the 2014 Intergen Young Achiever awards went to Roshan Patel, who received a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Second and third place prize winners, Susanna Lees and Glen Leonard, received Nokia Lumia Windows Phones.

Roshan, Susanna and Glen have also been invited to join Intergen's 2015 graduate intake at Intergen’s annual bootcamp.

Intergen New Zealand CEO Simon Bright says his company is delighted to be sponsoring the Young Achiever awards.

"It is important for us to reward the future stars of the New Zealand IT industry as they start thinking about what a career in technology might look like, and to play a role in showing newcomers to IT what a career in the industry might look like."

As a company enthusiastic about promoting opportunities for professional development in ICT, Intergen believes it is important to start with the students who will shape the future of the industry.

In sponsoring these awards, Intergen hopes to further its reputation for introducing promising young professionals to the growing New Zealand market. The past decade has seen Intergen bring more than 100 graduates into the ICT industry.

Professor of Information Systems Benoit Aubert says the IT industry is growing quickly, and the careers available for students are diverse and fascinating.

"It is a pleasure to see a company like Intergen take interest in our students when they are at the beginning of their programme.

"Direct exchange with members of the industry enables students to see how the elements they learn in the classroom are applied in the outside world, and students really enjoy learning more about IT applications and innovation."

CEO Simon Bright commented that Intergen and Victoria University have a long history together.

"We're really excited about this new aspect of our partnership, celebrating the talents of their best students, and strengthening the connection between industry and academia,"

About Intergen

Intergen is one of Australasia’s leading dedicated Microsoft solutions providers and a leading member of the Microsoft Partner Network, with staff delivering information technology solutions across Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Its key offerings include portals, content and collaboration solutions, web and digital strategy and delivery, user experience design, Microsoft Dynamics financial and relationship management, custom software development, management consulting, infrastructure consulting and hosting services.

Source: Intergen - Latest News

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Ethical issues of our time: Computers, climate and conception

1 October 2014

Contemporary technologies often raise unexpected ethical dilemmas. This is not a new phenomenon. Most of humankind’s technological innovations raise options and problems that cannot be foreseen.

Building on courses offered in the Master of Information Management and Bachelor of Business Information Systems, a new course is now being offered as a Continuing Education course. With some outstanding lecturers from the Science Faculty, the course looks at a range of contemporary situations across several disciplines – from ecology to reproductive biology and from phone hacking to whistle-blowing.

The course will appeal to intelligent citizens who enjoy intellectual discovery and challenging their mind. It will also give students an insight into why we should all become more ethically aware.

Course learning objectives include:

  • Thinking creatively and critically about biology, climate change, information ownership and other contemporary issues.
  • Critically exploring scientific issues to assess their possible ethical impact on organizations and society.
  • Discussing some of the important ethical principles that regulate our relationships and how those influence society’s response to information and communications technological developments.
  • Understanding a range of issues in science and information management, why they are important, and what the consequences are for managers in business and government.
  • Evaluating the opportunities and limitations that science and technology place upon managers both within New Zealand and elsewhere.

The lecturers in the course are:

The course runs every Wednesday night, 6pm-8pm, 1 to 29 October. For more information and to enrol visit the Victoria Continuing Education Website. Door sales will be available

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3 Minute Thesis final

26 September 2014

PhD student Fahimi Md Ali presenting at three minute thesis competition final

Fahimi Md Ali presenting his 3 minute thesis at the competition final.

School of Information Management PhD student, Fahimi Md Ali, was one of six award winners at the final of the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition held on 26 September 2014.

Fahimi won the $250 International Award, having made the finals after winning the Commerce & Law faculty round of the competition earlier in September.

The 3MT is an exercise in developing academic and research communication skills. Masters by Thesis and Doctoral students have three minutes to give an engaging and dynamic talk on their thesis topic and its significance in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

Organised by the Postgraduate Student Association, the event challenged master’s and PhD candidates to boil down years of work into a three-minute presentation, which would be understood by a lay audience.

There were 96 entrants in the event this year, a record high for Victoria since the competition began in 2010. The contestants, from across faculties, presented talks on everything from collaborative teaching styles to trying to pin down the causes of autism.

Michele Fontana, from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS), took top honours and first prize money of $3,000. Second prize of $1,000 was awarded to another FHSS student Melanie Revis, who also won the People’s Choice trophy.

Third place was shared, with a cash prize of $250 each, between science PhD students Wilfred Kittler and Ryan Kyle. Chemical and Physical Sciences student Ruth Corkill won the Honours Award presented during the faculty rounds.

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Dr Janet Toland to present oral histories of Wellington IT pioneers at conference next month

12 August 2014

Dr Janet Toland of Victoria University’s School of Information Management.

Dr Janet Toland, School of Information Management

Dr Janet Toland from the School of Information Management will present oral histories of eight Wellington pioneers of computing at the Gift of Memory conference to be held in the capital next month.

With co-researcher Jim Whitman, she has been struck by the enthusiasm of the pioneers from the early days of computing, which began in the 1960s.

"They really were leaders – not only outstanding in one area but involved in multiple roles across the Wellington region," says Dr Toland.

"They were all innovators at the cutting edge of something new. There were no rules or barriers – if someone said they couldn’t do something, they did it anyway.

"They demonstrated the ability New Zealand has to be a world-leader. For example, they developed a local government IT system and went to the US where they found that what they had developed was in advance of the US."

The eight pioneers interviewed are Frank March, Nat Torkington, Professor John Hine, Liz Eastwood, Marg McLeod, Jim Higgins, Andy Linton and Don Christie.

Dr Toland's research stems from her PhD investigations, part of which was a history of computing in New Zealand that used oral histories produced for the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Computing Society in 1985.

Twenty-five years later, in 2010, the society published Return to Tomorrow, a book marking its 50th anniversary.

Dr Toland did some research for this book and decided to continue her investigations with further oral history interviews. She received training from the National Library to record the oral histories, which run from one to three hours.

"I've included interviews with two women. Women are traditionally under-represented in the IT industry. Both had high-flying careers, even though they found it difficult to juggle the demands of careers and family.

"The oral histories encompass a range of people across the public and private sectors."

The Gift of Memory conference, organised by the National Oral History Association of New Zealand, will be held in Wellington at the CQ Hotel in Cuba Street from 19-21 September 2014.

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Study shows consumers willing to pay for online news

5 August 2014

Alex Clark, a Master of Advanced Technology Enterprise student.

Master of Advanced Technology Enterprise student Alex Clark

A Victoria University of Wellington student is exploring ways to fund quality journalism online, including developing a tool that allows people to purchase an online package of news from several publishers.

In a project led by Master of Advanced Technology Enterprise student Alex Clark and supervised by Dr Brenda Chawner from the School of Information Management, the 'News, Renewed' team surveyed 457 newsreaders to explore their willingness to pay for news online.

"We found that consumers' are willing to pay, but only if the news is presented in a format that they want. It’s all about the convenience," says Alex.

The survey asked respondents about their news reading and media consumption habits, and their willingness to pay for news in different ways – ranging from donations, crowd funding, buying a mobile app or purchasing individual articles. Packaging was by far the most preferred purchase method.

"People have multiple trusted online sources, so hate the thought of paying for each site or news item individually. If news from several publishers is bundled together, then the proportion of people willing to pay increases dramatically," says Alex.

An interesting finding, says Alex, is that 18 to 30 year olds, who are the most difficult to get to pay for news, are the demographic most likely to purchase a global package of news – "twice as likely as the average". He compares that to young peoples' willingness to purchase 'all-you-can-eat' digital music subscriptions.

"There’s a perception that young people want to pirate everything and free load, but it’s not actually true, they’re just fed up with paying for every unit of content individually."

Alex says compared to other types of media such as music, books and television, the journalism industry is struggling to adapt online.

Based on his findings, Alex developed a prototype that provides paywall technology which easily integrates into existing news websites, allowing paying subscribers to unlock premium content across all partner websites.

The prototype is based on a revenue-share model, where a pool of subscription fees is equally distributed based on consumption of content. Alex is in the process of showing the tool to publishers, bloggers and journalists.

There are a lot of variables within the system, explains Alex. “One model that works well overseas is having general news available free, with exclusive stories behind a paywall. Other publishers prefer putting all news behind a paywall, with readers getting a number of free views each month.

"The reaction has been that this is the model of the future, but that it’ll be extremely difficult to implement. Publishers fear losing control, but the key with this prototype is that it allows publishers to maintain control and independence while also collaborating," says Alex.

For more information visit or contact Alex at

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Is the internet making us stupid?

11 July 2014

A/Prof Val Hooper

Associate Professor Val Hooper, from the School of Information Management

People are reading more text than ever, but recalling less of it, a Victoria Business School study on reading behaviour has found.

The study Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Impact of the Internet on Reading Behaviour, by Associate Professor Val Hooper (School of Information Management) and Master’s student Channa Herath, explored the online and offline reading behaviour of individuals.

[Update] This study was recently cited in a New York Times article: Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind.

In general, online reading was found to have a negative impact on people’s cognition, with concentration, comprehension, absorption and recall rates when engaging with online material all much lower.

"Multitasking when reading online was common, with activities such as reading emails, checking news, exploring hyperlinks and viewing video clips providing distractions, which could have something to do with it," says Dr Hooper.

"People almost expect to be interrupted when they’re on their computers."

Skim reading and scanning was the most common online reading behaviour of respondents, and as a result people were getting through more material.

"Many respondents said they had learnt to read faster and more selectively, which is positive, but also said they were more likely to remember material they had read offline.

"It was still common practice for many people to print out material they considered most important."

The three main reasons for reading that were mentioned included information seeking, commitments either for work or study, and pleasure, with people preferring to read books, magazines or e-readers for pleasure.

"The research indicates that we still read in a linear, print-based fashion. However, the structure of much of what we are reading is inappropriate for the way in which we’re receiving information now.

"We need to learn how to read and write 'digitally', as well as how to effectively interpret and retain information we read online," adds Dr Hooper.

"If you think about how we're training our children to read, they're being trained by those who were trained in the linear fashion. So it will take at least a generation for significant change to happen.

"As educators, I think it makes sense to look at getting messages across in ways in which readers expect to receive it now, rather than how it was given in the past – long chunks of text aren't exactly going to appeal to today's students." 

Link to Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Impact of the Internet on Reading Behaviour

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Simon Park meets South Korean President

7 July 2014

Simon Park, Undergraduate Programme Manager in the School of Information Management had the opportunity to meet South Korean President Geun-Hye Park at a conference in South Korea recently.

Last year, the President appointed Mr Park as an advisor for her National Unification Advisory Council. This two-year appointment requires Mr Park to work with other advisers to provide advice to the President when she sets up policies regarding unification matters.


South Korean President Geun-Hye Park, the first female president in Korean history, seated in the centre of her National Unification Advisory Council. Simon Park, from the School of Information Management, is standing in the middle row (second from left).

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Enterprising concept seeks to eradicate outlawed tradition

27 May 2014

Adam Smith, Steven Joyce, Michael Wills.

BCom student Adam Smith with Hon Steven Joyce and ANZ Relationship Manager Michael Wills

A business proposal to make low cost sanitary pads to eradicate the rural Nepal social practice of banishing menstruating women from family life has won the top award in a global business competition.

Victoria Business School student Adam Smith accepted the 2014 Global Enterprise Experience ANZ Champion Team Award at a function at Parliament on behalf of his seven team members from Argentina, Nepal, Malaysia and Australia. Adam is majoring in Information Systems and Management.

Adam's team was one of 114 teams competing in the contest. Participants came from 62 countries and were all led by New Zealand students, mainly from Victoria and Otago universities.

They had three weeks to communicate in cyberspace and develop a business concept proposal on a profitable product or service that addresses the needs of youth and/or children.

"Chhaupadi is a social tradition, which is now illegal but prevalent in nearly all of rural Nepal, where women are prohibited from participating in normal family activities during menstruation and cast out of the house. Due to their low income, these women cannot afford expensive, but necessary, sanitary items, and use old rags, leaves and ash instead, leaving them embarrassed and susceptible to numerous health issues," says Adam.

"My team proposed providing affordable sanitary pads to promote adaptation of healthy hygiene habits, which would hopefully reduce the stigma of menstruation and enable higher school attendance rates among girls."

Adam says participating in the Global Enterprise Experience competition was a "revelatory journey".

"Having the opportunity to talk frankly with others my age who face a very different reality was humbling and inspirational. I realised I took for granted many of the things in my life which others only dream of, such as education and even electricity.

"I learnt a lot, not only about managing people and the challenges involved, but also about myself and how lucky we are."

Deb Gilbertson, the director of the programme from Te Kaihau Ltd, said that many of the students faced hardships in contributing to their global teams.

"The Baha’i group in Iran are banned from study and communicating with foreigners, but still contributed fully to their team. Nepalis faced 12 hour power cuts each day, Nigerians used cell phones rather than computers to write the reports, and Rwandans begged security guards to open the university computer rooms that were closed for a week during commemorations of the 1994 genocide."

The judges were His Excellency Dr the Right Honourable Lockwood Smith, New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Nigeria; Ghazali bin Dato' Mohamed Yusoff, Malaysian entrepreneur, philanthropist, business and social leader; Michael Wills, Relationship Manager at ANZ; and Berlinda Chin, Director, New Zealand Office of Ethnic Affairs.

The Global Enterprise Experience is sponsored by ANZ, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago Business School, Dynamix Teamwear, and Te Kaihau education consultancy.

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Research assistant wins Loman Friedlander Award

21 May 2014

Alex Clark, who works with Dr Brenda Chawner as a research assistant, has won the Loman Friedlander Award for his paper 'Enclosing the public domain: exploring the restriction of public domain books in a digital environment'.

The paper is based on the Victoria University Summer Scholarship project Alex worked on in 2011/2012, with Brenda as the primary supervisor. Alex is currently completing a Master in Advanced Technology Enterprise at Victoria.

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Professor Sid Huff awarded status of Emeritus Professor

16 April 2014

Professor Sid Huff has been awarded the status of Emeritus Professor. Sid joined Victoria as Professor in Information Systems in 2001. He was immediately appointed as the Ericsson Professor of Information Systems, a chair he occupied till 2004. From 2002 to mid-2010 Sid was Head of School of the School of Information Management (SIM – initially SCIM), during which time he was instrumental in establishing the Bachelor of Information Technology, with Computer Science; and then its successor, the Bachelor of Business Information Systems, which resided entirely under SIM.

Emeritus Professor Sid Huff

Always a dedicated and very highly regarded teacher, Sid supervised 13 PhDs to completion while at SIM, and 10 more before that. Sid’s own research focuses on ways in which information technology and systems can provide organizations with strategic and competitive advantages. In particular, he is interested in the role of the CIO and behaviour of senior executives in bringing about such advantages.

Apart from his performance in VUW, Sid maintained his international profile. Most notably he was a founding member of the Association of Information Systems in 1996, the preeminent information systems association worldwide.  In 2002 he was a founding member of ISAHI – IS Academic Heads International. This group of heads of IS units in universities worldwide addresses issues of interest and concern to IS units internationally. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Council of Professors and Heads of Information Systems (ACPHIS), and in 2008 he became a founding member of Professors and Heads of Information Systems in New Zealand (PHIS–NZ), a similar organization to ACPHIS. PHIS-NZ promotes IS research and education in New Zealand and provides an expert perspective on matters of national and international importance that impact the IS academic discipline in New Zealand.

In addition, he was appointed as Associate Editor of Management Information Systems Quarterly, argued by many to be the premier IS journal; Senior Editor of the Journal of Information Technology, he was founding Senior Editor of the Journal of Information Technology – Teaching Cases, Associate Editor of the Pacific-Asia Journal of Information Systems, and Senior Editor Information Systems Management.

The pinnacle of Sid’s international achievements, however, was his lifetime achievement award as a Fellow of the AIS in 2009. “The AIS Fellow award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Information Systems discipline in terms of research, teaching and service. An AIS Fellow is expected to be a role model and an inspiration to colleagues and students within the discipline.”

By any measure, Sid is an outstanding academic, one that VUW is proud to have as an Emeritus Professor.

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Many home computer users "too lazy" to protect online security

14 April 2014

Nicole Braun

Nicole Braun's PhD research explores home user cybersecurity behaviours

Around 80 percent of home computer users who admit that they don’t take measures to protect their online security cite laziness as the reason, a PhD study from Victoria Business School has found.

Nicole Braun, who will be graduating in May with a PhD in Information Systems, set out to understand why many home users do not adequately protect themselves online, despite extensive media coverage about the risks.

"At home there’s no punishment for not taking measures to protect yourself so it really comes down to individual initiative," she says.

"I was surprised that so many people said they were too lazy to deal with the issue, although I suspect sometimes this was to conceal a lack of knowledge, as people prefer to be seen as lazy rather than incompetent. But others simply weren’t concerned about their own cybersecurity."

Nicole found that people's confidence levels determine how they act.

"Some people are blindly trusting of every website they come across, without considering that legitimate websites can get hacked, so don't feel the need to take preventative measures.

"Then there are the people who think they will be safe from all harm as long as they use anti-virus software. However, we’re seeing more and more that just using anti-virus software isn’t enough."

People's previous experience was found to impact on how confident they felt in their ability to protect themselves. For instance, people who had experienced a virus on their computer that had either made them lose data or money from credit card fraud were more confident if they had managed to solve the problem.

"On the other hand, people who'd never experienced any issues often had the attitude that if it hadn’t happened to them there was nothing to worry about."

Reliance on others was also found to be common, particularly women who relied on their husbands to protect them, or older users who were reliant on their children.

"It takes time to find out what steps can be taken to protect yourself, so many of these people were happy to leave the problem in someone else’s hands."

In her research, Nicole identified five animals that characterise the most typical security users, and suggests the best way of reaching each group.

They are the: mouse (timid, low confidence), ostrich (low awareness, ignores the risks), coyote (knowledgeable but willing to take risks if the payoff is there), dark horse (good at protecting their security but lack confidence) and cockerel (proud of their security knowledge).

"My research made it clear that creating a 'one size fits all' security message isn't effective, as you are dealing with such a range of personality types. I'd like to see more tailored messages getting out there."

Nicole's research was supervised by Dr Val Hooper and Dr Dan Dorner, both in the School of Information Management.

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Best Paper Award to Dr Gillian Oliver

10 April 2014

Gillian Oliver

Dr Gillian Oliver has won the Records Management Journal Award for the Outstanding Paper of 2013 for her paper "Recordkeeping informatics: re-figuring a discipline in crisis with a single minded approach".

The paper highlights the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and proposes recordkeeping informatics, a single minded disciplinary approach, as a way forward.

The paper was co-authored by Frank Upward (Monash University), Barbara Reed (Recordkeeping Innovation Pty Ltd) and Joanne Evans (Monash University).

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Dr Sydney Shep Awarded National Teaching and Learning Initiative Grant

31 March 2014

Dr Sydney Shep has been awarded one of the eight national Teaching and Learning Research Initiative grants for her project:

Moving beyond the threshold: Investigating digital literacies and historical thinking in New Zealand universities

Principal Investigator: Dr Sydney Shep
Partnerships: Victoria University of Wellington and established, as well as new and early, career teacher-researchers across a range of history-informed disciplines

The aim of this project is to understand how university students and teachers use digital media to support the acquisition and retention of disciplinary threshold concepts for transformative learning and improved student outcomes in history-informed subjects. A New Zealand-wide environmental survey, a massive online open course (MOOC)-enabled workshop series, and the development, implementation and evaluation of digitally-mediated coursework will provide research evidence to enhance teaching practice and benefit future-oriented student learning. Innovative features include the creation of a digital history portal for communication, project management, and dissemination, plus the use of self-reflective e-portfolios. Mentoring junior teacher-researchers who are at the forefront of digital adoption and e-pedagogy is a priority.

Funding allocation: $200,000 over two years.

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Simon Park Awarded Queen's Service Medal

24 March 2014

We are very proud to announce that Simon Park, Undergraduate Programme Manager, has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for Services to the Korean community and education. The Queen's Service Medal recognises voluntary service to the community and elected or appointed public office. Simon received the Medal at the investiture which took place on 18 March 2014.

Simon Park Receiving Queen's Service Medal

Simon Park receiving the Queen's Service Medal from Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand.

Simon was appointed the inaugural Chairman of the New Zealand Korean School Trust in 2012 which he helped to establish.

He played an integral role in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between Keimyung University, South Korea and Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) for cooperation and cross-accreditation, which was finalised in May 2012.

He has been the Undergraduate Programme Manager at the School of Information Management, VUW since 2006 and is the School’s Maori and Pacifica Student Liaison Officer.

Simon has been a Justice of the Peace (JP) for the last six years; he is one of the youngest JPs in NZ and the only Korean JP in Wellington. He has provided JP services to more than 600 people in the VUW staff/student community and offers his services at the Johnsonville CAB on Saturdays. He also led an initiative to establish the JP Service Centre at Pipitea Campus, VUW, allowing students easier access to various JP services.

In 2012 Simon was appointed an advisor to South Korea’s President, Park Geun-hye, as a member of the National Unification Advisory Council in Korea.

Simon was appointed as a future leader to represent the Korean community in NZ and attended the 16th Future Leaders Conference in Seoul, Korea, in October 2013. He made a plenary speech on behalf of attendees from all over the world. He had interviews with TV, radio and printed media and used these opportunities to actively promote NZ as a destination for safe and effective education.

Simon has helped Korean immigrants adapt and integrate into NZ culture and society. He has provided interpreting services to the Korean community as a professional interpreter and has been a mentor for the Kimchi Club whose members are Korean immigrants.

In November 2013 Simon received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award and was a semi-finalist under this category for the 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

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Announcing Two Books

11 March 2014

The School of Information Mangement is very proud to announce the publication of two books by two of our staff members, Gillian Oliver and Tony Hooper.

A book launch was hosted by the School in Gillian and Tony's honour on 28 February 2014 and was attended by academics and professionals from the Information sector.

A very big congratulations to both Gillian and Tony.

Gillian Oliver & Tony Hooper

Records Management and Information Culture: Tackling the people problem

Gillian Oliver and Fiorella Foscarini
London: Facet, 2014

This book explores organisational information culture, the values and attitudes that people bring to information management, and how this impacts on recordkeeping practice. It provides details of an innovative framework for analysing information culture, including guidelines for assessment together with suggestions for next steps, the strategies and actions to influence behavioural change. For more information, click here.

Using MIS, 2nd Edition

David Kroenke and Tony Hooper
Auckland: Pearson, 2013

Using MIS is used in several New Zealand universities as a prescribed text for INFO 101 courses. It contains new and updated case studies reflective of the New Zealand business and management environment. These include studies of The Hobbit: an unexpected journey, New Zealand Post and Novopay. New personality profiles of New Zealand IT professionals including Victoria Ransom of Google and Kathy Gruzas of Weta Digital bring a greater emphasis on career opportunities in the New Zealand work environment. A new series of ethical studies has been included that relates to contemporary New Zealand situations such as the Novopay controversy, Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload, and Cyberbullying. The global perspective on management information systems is emphasised in modules entitled “Global: the new normal”. The chapter on software development and project management has been completely revised in response to requests from academics who use the book as a teaching base. Additional supplementary resources to assist educators have been developed by the School of Information Management Undergraduate Programme Manager, Simon Park and are available to registered and validated lecturers. The book is available from Vic Books.

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New iConferencing Platform: Saba

10 March 2014

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new iConferencing platform for Information Studies classes. From the start of Trimester 1, 2014 we will begin using a new system (Saba). This is good news because Saba is compatible with a wider range of devices than the previous software, such as Macs.

The mode of access for this new technology is a little different to the previous system. A URL will be posted to Blackboard each week which will take you to your classroom. If you need help using Blackboard please contact Kathryn Oxborrow (Senior Tutor). 

If you are having problems running Saba, please get in touch:

Freephone: 0800 11 62 99 (Choose iConferencing support or enter extension 5050)


Queries will be received by IT Services, who will resolve your query immediately if possible, and if not, will pass the issue on to our specialist support staff who will get in touch with you to resolve it. 

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Young Adults Shown to Behave Differently on Facebook

24 February 2014

Many young adults show more cruelty on Facebook than they do in everyday life, a Victoria Business School study has found.

Dr Val Hooper, an associate professor at the School of Information Management, guided student research, in which young people aged between 18 and 20 were interviewed to determine what behaviour they regarded as acceptable and unacceptable in social networking.

A large number of respondents admitted that they gauge what is acceptable behaviour online by watching and copying others.

"They will try something and then watch to see to what extent their Facebook friends sanction their behaviour -- the reaction they receive determines how they develop their norms of interaction," says Dr Hooper.

Most respondents believed there were differences between the way people behaved offline and on Facebook. The protection of the computer screen and the ability to talk to someone without seeing their facial expressions meant that people felt freer to say what they wanted without worrying about the immediate consequences.

"If you post something hurtful you don’t see the hurt in the recipient’s eyes," says Dr Hooper.

"You also have time to think about how to word your post to have the most powerful impact."

Dr Hooper is concerned about the implications of an online world that does not have strong guidelines in terms of behavioural norms.

"There is potential for what happens online to spin off into the offline environment -- in fact we have seen evidence that it is happening. If young people become accustomed to bullying people online, what is to stop them becoming more violent offline as well?"

The study also showed Facebook to offer many benefits, especially for young people who are striving to establish their identity as young adults.

Positive experiences respondents mentioned included being able to catch up with old friends, getting to know people better, and meeting new people.

Most of the respondents’ negative experiences were associated with security, privacy and undesirable postings. For instance, the majority of respondents indicated that they didn’t want to see information that was too personal, particularly problems and private information such as explicit romantic and sexual details.

People also felt an obligation to befriend people they would normally avoid offline, with many confessing that they had Facebook friends they actually didn’t like.

"This has raised some interesting questions that would be worthwhile to explore further," says Dr Hooper.

"For instance, if we are supposedly freer online, why is there an obligation to accept unappealing friendship invitations?"

Dr Hooper's research also featured in a Fairfax Media story on Stuff 'Blood-pack' warning over Facebook, and a Bay of Plenty Times feature: New law sets a net for cyberbullies.

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Another Award for PhD Student, Van Le

18 February 2014

Van Le, PhD Student

Congratulations to Van Le for receiving the Best Student Paper award at the Tenth Asia-Pacific Conference on Conceptual Modelling (APCCM 2014), held in Auckland 20 - 23 January 2014.

The title of Van's paper was "Effective Recognition and Visualisation of Semantic Requirements by Perfect SQL Samples".

This is the second Best Student Paper award Van has won at a major conference in the last 3 months.


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