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BMGT, MSc (Edinburgh), PhD (Auckland)

Phone: +64 3 479 7758

About Qian

Photo of Qian Liu for staff profileI provide academic development support to staff and students, teach within the programmes offered by HEDC, and research in the field of higher education. Prior to this role, I was a professional practice fellow (eLearning) in a medical school, postdoc research fellow in a business school, assistant researcher in a policy research institute, and training specialist in an oil and gas company. I completed my doctoral research within three years at the University of Auckland and the thesis received Dean's List award. I gained a Master of Science degree from the University of Edinburgh, and a Bachelor of Management degree from a Chinese university.

Research interests

My research revolves around learning and teaching in higher education. My doctoral study investigated the adoption of learning technologies by academics. Since then, I have conducted research into approaches to academic development, employability development pedagogies, vicarious learning via videoed tutorials, student video production, and more recently non-institutional technologies and learning analytics. However, I don't think previous research experience should define my future research interests: I try to keep an open mind and learn a bit of everything when I can.

Methodologically I am a mixed-methods researcher by training. I use the most appropriate method(s) to answer the research question, be they qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of several. Epistemologically, I find a constructivist stance best explains the reality I perceive. I update my research projects regularly on ResearchGate.


I am available for postgraduate supervision. I have benefited greatly, both personally and professionally, from my doctoral supervision experience. It's only fair that I provide the same experience, if not better, to my students. I view research a journey that extends our capabilities, reshapes how we think, and possibly allows us to create new knowledge. As a supervisor, I cannot control the journey, but I will be an honest and trustworthy travel companion. Please get in touch if you would like to have a chat about your research ideas.

Current PhD students

Anjin Hu - Technology mediated authentic assessment, 2022

Research Projects

2021 Medical Education Research Fund, Otago Medical School
The influence of students' perceived learning autonomy support on approaches to learning (co-investigator, NZD 4,561)
2020 University Teaching Development Grant, University of Otago
Analytics-informed design: Using learning management system recorded data to enhance course development (Principal Investigator, NZD 9,036)
2020 Medical Education Research Fund, Otago Medical School
Capturing the invisible: An investigation of the use of non-institutional eLearning tools and resources by medical students (Principal Investigator, NZD 5,296)
2020 HERDSA NZ Grant Scheme, HERDSA-NZ
Capturing the invisible: The use of non-institutional elearning tools and resources by undergraduate students in New Zealand universities (Principal Investigator, NZD 1,402)
2018 Ako Aotearoa Co-funded Project, Ako Aotearoa and University of Auckland
Embedding Employability in the Curriculum: Strategies for the development of future-ready employability attributes within advanced and research informed programmes (Research Fellow, NZD 300,000)


Liu, Q., Gladman, T., Muir, J., Wang, C., & Grainger, R. (2023). Analytics-informed design: Exploring visualization of learning management systems recorded data for learning design. SAGE Open. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/21582440231193590

Grainger, R., Liu, Q., & Gladman, T. (2023). Learning technology in health professions education: Realising an (un)imagined future. Medical Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/medu.15185

Gladman, T., Liu, Q., Kenwright, D., & Grainger, R. (2023). Student perspectives on the facilitators and inhibitors of learning autonomy supportive teaching practices. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) Festival. 39. Retrieved from

Liu, Q., Wald, N., Daskon, C., & Harland, T. (2023). Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) for higher-order cognition: Perspectives of university teachers. Innovations in Education & Teaching International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2023.2222715

Liu, Q., Gladman, T., Grove, C., Eberhard, S., Geertshuis, S., Ali, A., Blyth, P., & Grainger, R. (2023). Capturing the invisible: Non-institutional technologies in undergraduate learning within three New Zealand universities. Internet & Higher Education, 58, 100910. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2023.100910

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