SCU Staff Directory

Raina Mason
Dr Raina Mason
BMM(Hons)(SCU), PhD(SCU)
Current Appointment: Senior Lecturer
Organisational Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering

Location: B5.45
Campus: Gold Coast
Personal Website

The best way to contact Raina is via email or Skype (username: rainascu).
Raina is the IT Discipline Leader, the Course Coordinator of the B. Info. Tech and a researcher, researching in the School area of "Interacting with Technology".
She is passionate about making introductory programming more achievable by students, and encouraging more females into computing - particularly programming. Currently conducting research into the application of Cognitive Load Theory to teaching introductory programming; the programming environments and languages currently being used in Australasian universities; and factors impacting the attraction and retention of females in information technology courses.
Recent and selected publications:
Mason, R., & Cooper, G. (2012). Why the bottom 10% just can’t do it - Mental Effort Measures and Implication for Introductory Programming Courses. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2012) (Vol. 123, pp. 187–196). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Computer Society, Inc. Retrieved from
Mason, R., & Cooper, G. (2013a). Distractions in Programming Environments. In A. Carbone & J. Whalley (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2013) CRPIT (Vol. 136, pp. 23–30). Adelaide Australia: Australian Computer Society, Inc. Retrieved from
Mason, R., & Cooper, G. (2013b). Mindstorms Robots and the application of Cognitive Load Theory in introductory programming. Computer Science Education, 23(4), 296–314.
Mason, R., & Cooper, G. (2014). Introductory Programming Courses in Australia and New Zealand in 2013 - trends and reasons. In J. Whalley & D. D’Souza (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2014) (Vol. 148, pp. 139–147). Auckland, New Zealand: ACS. Retrieved from
Mason, R., Cooper, G., & Comber, T. (2011a). Girls get IT. ACM Inroads, 2(3), 71–77.
Mason, R., Cooper, G., Simon, & Wilks, B. (2015). Using Cognitive Load Theory to select an environment for teaching mobile apps development. In D. D’Souza & K. Falkner (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2015) (Vol. 160, pp. 47–56). Sydney, Australia: ACS. Retrieved from
Mason, R., Seton, C., & Cooper, G. (2016). Applying cognitive load theory to the redesign of a conventional database systems course. Computer Science Education, 1–20.
Mason, R., Simon, Cooper, G., & Wilks, B. (2016). Flipping the Assessment of Cognitive Load: Why and How. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research (pp. 43–52). Melbourne, Australia: ACM Press.
Seton, C., & Mason, R. (2016). Decreasing the digital divide: analysing the UI requirements of older Australians. In Proceedings of the Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2016) (pp. 1–10). Canberra, A.C.T.: ACM Press.
Bower, M., Wood, L. N., Lai, J. W. M., Howe, C., Lister, R., Mason, R., … Veal, J. (2017). Improving the Computational Thinking Pedagogical Capabilities of School Teachers. The Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(3). Retrieved from