Dr Lai is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Southern Cross University. Before joining SCU, she was a Lecturer in Learning and Teaching Development at QUT. Before that, she also worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Learning and Cognition Lab led by Regents Professor Michelene Chi at Arizona State University.
She has obtained significant research achievements and made significant contributions to learning sciences research in connecting the design of technology-enhanced learning environments with learning outcomes. For example,the embodied cognition based approaches involving the use of computational models and visualisations to help university students learn challenging concepts in nanoscience.Her research interests include seeking optimal pedagogical approaches and understand why they work in an online learning environment for professional development. These include approaches such as Analogical Comparison, Productive Failure, and Team-Based Learning. She has published in high-rank journals in STEM education, Cognition and Instruction and Technology-enhanced Learning.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and received her PhD and Master of Learning Sciences and Technology from the University of Sydney. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.