School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

Firmin, Sally - Research

Current research project/students


Title: Unravelling pedagogy: The role of technology in shaping IT academics’ perceptions and application of teaching philosophy


Overview: This research explores ways in which Information Technology (IT) educators develop their pedagogy, in particular the identification of reflective pedagogical practices, and pedagogical attributes common to IT academics. Also the identification of IT academics technology experiences potentially influencing pedagogy. This work identifies the relationships between underpinning pedagogy, teaching practice and technology adoption, and theorises that all three are required for identification of techno-pedagogue p leading to the development of recommendations for promoting the adoption of technology enriched teaching techniques likely to improve IT teaching, and inform the potential transformation to a digital learning environment.

PhD students

  • Thesis Title: The Visual Representation of a Patient’s Pathway for Multi Disciplinary Meetings
    Supervisors: A/Prof Andrew Stranieri (Co), Prof Frada Burstein (Co), and Sally Firmin (Associate)
  • Thesis Title: An Investigation into Intercultural Couples’ Decision Making Processes
    Supervisors: A/Prof Andrew Stranieri (Main), Prof John McDonald (Associate) and Sally Firmin (Associate)
  • Thesis Title: The Effectiveness of Infographics Conveying Health Information Amongst Low Health Literacy Patients
    Supervisors: A/Prof Andrew Stranieri (Main), Dr Sid Kulkarni (Associate) and Sally Firmin (Associate)

Completed students

  • Student: Stephanie Sharp
    Program of study: (Honours)
    Thesis Title: an investigation into how mobile technology can engage young museum visitors Supervisors: Dr Charlynn Miller (Main), Sally Firmin (Associate)
  • Student: Linh Ngyuen
    Program of study: (Honours)
    Thesis Title: Case based web system for diabetes management using traditional Chinese medicine Supervisors: Dr Zhaohao Sun, A/Prof Andrew Stranieri (Associate), Sally Firmin (Associate)

Consulting and Other Activities

Journal reviewer

Research groups



  1. Sun, Z., Stang, K., & Firmin, S . (2016). Business analytics-based enterprise information systems. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 2-17.
  2. Meredith, G., Firmin, S ., & McAllister, L. (2013). Digital possibilities and ethical considerations: Speech-language pathologists and the web. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 15(1), 43-46.
  3. Sun, Z., & Firmin, S . (2012). A strategic perspective on management intelligent systems. Management Intelligent Systems, 171, 3-14.

Peer reviewed conferences

  1. Sun, Z., Yearwood, J., & Firmin, S ., (2013). A technique for ranking friendship closeness in social networking services. In J. Lamp (Ed.). Proceedings of the 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) (pp. 1-11).Melbourne: RMIT University.
  2. Nguyen, L., Sun, Z., Stranieri, A., & Firmin, S . (2013). CWDM: A case-based diabetes management web system. In H.Deng & C. Standing (Ed.). Proceedings of the 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) (pp. 1-11).Melbourne: RMIT University.
  3. Sun, Z., Firmin, S ., & Yearwood, J. (2012). Integrating online social networks with e-commerce: a CBR approach. In J. Lamp (Ed.). Proceedings of the 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Systems, (pp 1-11). Geelong, Vic.: Deakin.
  4. Firmin, S ., Sheard, J., Carbone, A., & Hurst, J. (2012). An exploration of factors influencing tertiary IT educators' pedagogies. In M. de Raadt & A. Carbone (Ed.). Fourteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference, (pp.157-166). Melbourne, Vic.: ACS.
  5. Turville, K., Firmin, S ., Yearwood, J., & Miller, C. (2010). Understanding Victims of Identity Theft: A Grounded Theory Approach. In 5th Conference on Qualitative Research in IT. Brisbane, QLD.
  6. Firmin, S ., Sheard, J., Carbone, A., & Hurst, J. (2010). An approach to unravelling techno-pedagogy. Paper presented at Addressing Research Challenges, Emerging Research Conference. Caulfield, Vic: Monash University.
  7. Firmin, S ., & Miller, C. (2005). Facilitating the development of lifelong learners through e-communication tools. In H. Gross (Ed.). Proceedings of the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Conference: Balance, Fidelity, Mobility: Maintaining the Momentum, (pp 215-219). Brisbane, QLD.

Book chapters

  1. Rogers, L., Miller, M., & Firmin, S . (2011). Evaluating the impact of a virtual emergency room simulation for learning. In D. Holt, S. Segrave, & J. Cybulski (Eds.). Professional Education Using E-Simulations: Benefits of Blended Learning Design. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Professional memberships and associations

Internal/external web links

Research Interests

My main research interest is in the area of computing education. I specialise in qualitative research, in particular grounded theory.

Other areas include: educational technology, digital pedagogy, web services, social networks, and health informatics.