Dr Jon Pearce

  • Room: Level: 09 Room: 9.27
  • Building: Doug McDonell Building
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Education (On-line search/explore, Interactivity, Multimedia, Flow, Engagement)
  • Human Computer Interaction (On-line search/explore, Interactivity, Multimedia, Flow, Engagement)

Personal webpage



Dr Jon Pearce is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne.

Dr Pearce was awarded an MSc at the University of Melbourne in 1973, followed by a DipEd (Melbourne College of Advanced Education, MCAE) and then six years teaching Physics and Mathematics in a Melbourne high school. During this time he also completed a Diploma of Digital Control (Footscray Institute of Technology). In 1981 he joined the lecturing staff at MCAE lecturing in Physics and Science Education. In 1989 he joined the University of Melbourne, half time as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics, and half time as Deputy Director of the newly formed Science Multimedia Teaching Unit. In 1998 he moved to the Department of Information Systems where he currently resides (now called the Department of Computing and Information Systems. He completed a PhD in this department in 2004 entitled An investigation of interactivity and flow: student behaviour during online instruction. Jon was Deputy Head of the Department of Information Systems for several years, followed by a 6-month period as Head of Department while the current head was on leave. Jon has research interests in online interactivity and engagement, as well as issues in education. His current research activities relate to: innovative online environments to support exploration; online systems to support behaviour change in environmental contexts; and development of an online system to support student peer review. Jon has been a joint author on two physics textbooks, as well as authoring journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. 

In 2011, Jon was a leader of the team that was awarded the Australian Learning Teaching Council award for Innovation in Curriculum, Learning and Teaching as well as the university's Norman Curry Award for Innovation and Excellence in Educational Programs. He has also received two teaching awards within the Department of Information Systems.

In 2012, Dr Pearce was awarded with partner Savewater! a Staff Engagement Grant via the University Vice-Chancellor's Engagement Award scheme for his project entitled  'Watering Regional Victoria'.  As Project leader Dr Pearce (Department of Computing and Information Systems) teamed with partner Savewater! for this partnership project.  Being water smart has simply become a way of life for Victorians over the past decade, a lifestyle this innovative project aims to support in regional centres through the development of a web application. Building on the successful Smart Garden Watering (SGW) web and iPhone app which currently only provides information specific to Melbourne and the Geelong area, this project will throw a wider net across the state. The original aim of the SGW project was to research factors affecting water requirements for gardens and communicate this information to the broader community, in a user-friendly form.
While SGW has seen wonderful community participation (since last summer: well over 2000 visitors, 460 gardens modelled and saved online, over 2000 iPhone app downloads) the project team also received significant community feedback, with a large number of requests to extend the coverage to other areas of Australia, in particular, regional Victoria.
A longer-term focus for this project will be to work with regional water companies and develop new partnerships for further funding.

Recent publications

  1. Swift JA, Strathearn L, Morris A, Chi Y, Townsend T, Pearce J. Public health strategies to reduce sugar intake in the UK: An exploration of public perceptions using digital spaces. Nutrition Bulletin. 2018, Vol. 43, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1111/nbu.12346
  2. Lederman R, Constantinidis D, Linden T, Corrin L, Smith M, Pearce J, Bailey J. Using a Traffic Light System to Provide Feedback to IS Masters Students. ICIS 2017: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation. 2018.
  3. Pang C, Chang S, Verspoor C, Pearce J. Designing Health Websites Based on Users' Web-Based Information-Seeking Behaviors: A Mixed-Method Observational Study. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2016, Vol. 18, Issue 6. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.5661
  4. Paay J, Kjeldskov J, Skov MB, Nielsen PM, Pearce J. Discovering activities in your city using transitory search. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, MobileHCI 2016. 2016. DOI: 10.1145/2935334.2935378
  5. Pang C, Verspoor C, Pearce J, Chang S. Finding and Exploring Health Information with a Slider-Based User Interface. 24th Australian National Health Informatics Conference (HIC). IOS Press. 2016, Vol. 227. Editors: Georgiou A, Schaper LK, Whetton S. DOI: 10.3233/978-1-61499-666-8-106
  6. Pang C, Chang S, Verspoor C, Pearce J. Innovation in designing health information websites: Results from a quantitative study. Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2016 - Proceedings. 2016.
  7. Pang C, Harrop M, Verspoor C, Pearce J, Chang S. What Are Health Website Visitors Doing? Insights from Visualisations Towards Exploratory Search. 28th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI). Association for Computing Machinery Inc.. 2016. Editors: Parker C. DOI: 10.1145/3010915.3011843
  8. Ploderer B, Smith M, Pearce J, Borland R. An Object-Centred Approach to Encourage Online Participation in the Context of Behaviour Change. COMPUTER SUPPORTED COOPERATIVE WORK-THE JOURNAL OF COLLABORATIVE COMPUTING. Springer. 2015, Vol. 24, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1007/s10606-014-9212-3
  9. Pang C, Verspoor C, Pearce J, Chang S. Better health explorer: Designing for health information seekers. OzCHI 2015: Being Human - Conference Proceedings. 2015. DOI: 10.1145/2838739.2838772
  10. Pang C, Verspoor C, Chang S, Pearce J. Better health information exploration. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. 2015, Vol. 07-December-2015. DOI: 10.1145/2846439.2846444
  11. Pang C, Verspoor C, Chang S, Pearce J. Conceptualising health information seeking behaviours and exploratory search: result of a qualitative study. HEALTH AND TECHNOLOGY. Dr Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag. 2015, Vol. 5, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1007/s12553-015-0096-0
  12. Taylor S, Ryan M, Pearce J. Enhanced student learning in accounting utilising web-based technology, peer-review feedback and reflective practices: a learning community approach to assessment. HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT. Routledge. 2015, Vol. 34, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1024625
  13. Nielsen PM, Paay J, Pearce J, Kjeldskov J. Exploring urban events with transitory search on mobiles. MobileHCI 2015 - Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct. 2015. DOI: 10.1145/2786567.2793692
  14. Ploderer B, Smith MW, Pearce J, Borland R. A Mobile App Offering Distractions and Tips to Cope With Cigarette Craving: A Qualitative Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. JMIR Publications. 2014, Vol. 2, Issue 2. DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.3209
  15. Pang C, Verspoor C, Chang S, Pearce J. Designing for health exploratory seeking behaviour. CEUR Workshop Proceedings. Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen * Lehrstuhl Informatik V. 2014, Vol. 1276.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile