Early Career Researcher Award

Distinguished Researcher and Early Career Researcher Awards

APSCE conducts the schemes of Distinguished Researcher Award (DRA) and Early Career Research Award (ECRA) every year. DRA recognizes an active APSCE Member who has showed distinguished academic accomplishments and contributions in the field of Computers in Education. The awardee of DRA must be under 50 at the time of nomination. ECRA recognizes an active APSCE Member in the early stages of his/her career no later than 10 years after receipt of the doctoral degree who has produced international quality research outputs, and be able to demonstrate aspirations and potentials to achieve world-leading status. These awards also recognize contributions to APSCE (e.g. related activities to ICCE or SIGs) or APSCE appointments (e.g. Executive Committee member of APSCE). These awards were launched in 2009 for provision every two years. Starting from 2014, the awards are provided every year. Each awardee is required to contribute a paper to RPTEL, the journal of APSCE, within two years of receiving his/her award.

In 2017, APSCE received nil nomination for DRA and two nominations for ECRA. After the qualification check by the Award Subcommittee, the two ECRA nominees were accepted as candidates for the award. The first voting phase for selecting the ECRA finalist was subsequently carried out, and one candidate was accepted to proceed to the final selection phase. The ECRA winner was decided in the final selection phase through a competitive winner-voting exercise: the ECRA finalist has to receive at least “2/3” votes of agreement from all APSCE EC members for the award-winning.

We are now pleased to announce the award winner of 2017 APSCE ECRA: Dr. Jon Mason.

Below you will find a record of Dr. Mason’s scholarship and his services to APSCE. The ECRA award winn er will receive an APSCE ECRA Certificate, monetary reward, and will have his name publicized on APSCE web site and on the ICCE proceedings. He will also receive nomination for the Theme-based Invited Speaker for ICCE in a future year.

APSCE Award Subcommittee:
Siu Cheung KONG (Chair),
Su Luan WONG,
Fu-Yun YU

2017 APSCE Early Career Researcher Award Winner


Dr Jon Mason, Charles Darwin University, Australia

Dr Jon Mason is a senior lecturer within the School of Education at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Australia where he leads research into digital education futures. He also holds adjunct positions as a Professor within the Department of e-Learning at Korea National Open University, a Professor of Educational Technology at East China Normal University, and as a Project Consultant for the Advanced Innovation Center for Future Education at Beijing Normal University.

Jon joined CDU in 2012 initially as the Director of e-Learning for the Centre for School Leadership, Learning and Development. At this time, he was still completing his PhD with Queensland University of Technology under the supervision of Professor Hitendra Pillay (Education) and Professor Christine Br uce (Information Systems). Jon had attempted PhD studies earlier while working at the University of Melbourne but found the demands of full-time work too much at the time.

Jon's PhD dissertation was titled The Why Dimension - Opening Frontiers for Digital Learning . Set against a background narrative of the evolution of the application of digital technologies in education, this study identified that technology-based scaffolding for questioning is a field ready for innovation. The role of computers in education has come a long way from the days of processing 'if-then' queries and is now enabled by countless innovations that support knowledge sharing, openness, flexibility, and independent inquiry. Given the diversity of inputs into the field of technology enhanced learning the investigation was necessarily interdisciplinary – drawing from information science, educational theory, developmental psychology, educational technology, and knowledge management. A pivotal construct in the thesis identifies five activities associated with the word 'why'. Together, these activities are defined as the ‘why dimension’ – asking, learning, understanding, knowing, and explaining why. Findings highlight deficiencies and biases in mainstream search-based approaches to inquiry, which default to privilege the retrieval of information as distinct from explanation. Despite their power, search engine technologies abbreviate questioning and decompose inquiry. Instrumental to human sense-making, the ‘why dimension’ provides a conceptual framework for addressing this shortcoming through the development of ‘sense-making technologies’.

Jon's recent entrance into academia followed over a decade of working at the nexus of government services, education, and international standardization. Prior to this, he worked in IT management at the University of Melbourne and before that as a private music teacher.

Jon has an extensive publication record and has served in numerous editorial roles for international projects, journals and books. These include serving as Editor for the International e-Framework for Education and Research, a collaboration involving government agencies from the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. He is currently the Lead Editor of a thematic series for Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning (RPTEL) focused on ‘Positioning for Digital Learning Futures’. Jon has been an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Society for Computers in Education since 2012. His current research agenda spans the learning sciences, digital learning futures, sense-making, question technologies, student questioning skills, and wisdom in education.