Researchers from SMART will be interacting with stakeholders from South Asian countries as part of their research into the burgeoning internet phenomenon of Webtoons.

Dr Jack Yang has received $138,888 in ARC Discovery project funding to enable a three-year investigation called Mobile Webtoons: Creative Innovation in a New Digital Economy.

“This project is looking at the digital culture in south Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Japan,” Dr Yang said.

“We will be using big data analytics to research the behaviour of both the creators and the followers of Webtoons – which are the rapidly growing digital version of cartoons.

“Because the project will be looking at offline, as well as online behaviours, the University will be flying researchers over to these countries for interviews and surveys.”

He said the money would be funding the interviews, as well as cloud computing technology, in a collaboration with researchers from the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.

In a second grant, announced last week Dr Yang has received $12,466 from the Educational Strategies Development Fund for a project that is looking at improving learning and teaching performance for students across multiple disciplines, such as engineering and creative arts.

“We are looking to build a model to predict results, so we can provide a strategy for students to overcome learning difficulties,” Dr Yang said.

“We can also identify the students who are at risk of failing and catch them before they do.”

The two-year project, in collaboration with Dr Jun Ma, will also combine online and offline behaviours, using devices looking at classroom behaviour and connected to the Internet of Things.