8 May 2007
To Whom It May Concern: Nisar Keshvani
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am pleased to provide a reference for Nisar Keshvani for his PhD application to the Institute of Education.
I have known Nisar since 2001, as a post-graduate student while I was head of the Journalism department or Course Coordinator at QUT, as a colleague, and as a consistent friend.
He has always done work to do with the use of computers in practicing and teaching Journalism. For instance in 2002 he fulfilled a short-term research contract to construct and maintain a reference website for the use of students going to practice as correspondents overseas as part of the practical aspect of their coursework. This became quite complicated as it marshaled information from many directions. It was well managed at every point.
Nisar has since undertaken many projects, his work always accessible and at an increasing level of sophistication. It has shown initiative, a business-like approach and imagination. In short his work is of a high standard and very dependable.
In terms of development; in the past seven years I have observed that Nisar is continues to make progress, at all times growing in his professional capacities, intellectuality and strength of personality.
He began his career as a print journalist in Singapore, before moving to study in Australia, and then venturing into lecturing and research. Building on strong aptitude and experience he shifted into the digital media field, producing content, managing web enterprises and training others in website development.
As I have seen from his research and teaching, he is able to grasp important concepts quickly and swiftly, and can distill these for students at any level.
Nisar Keshvani is widely published; and works as editor in chief of the international peer-reviewed journal , Leonardo Electronic Almanac, for MIT Press. He has a record of consulting experience in India, Pakistan, Central Asia and East Africa.
In summary, Nisar has a very sound early career track record, bolstered by the fact that with digital media he has been working consistently in new areas, where, in addition to fulfilling ordinary demands for achievement, he has had to be a pathfinder.
This set of credentials should commend him as a researcher and lecturer.
In creative, intellectual and communicative activities Nisar Keshvani has made a significant contribution to the international art, science, technology and academic community.
His PhD research - on use of information communication technology as an instructional interface to develop innovative and user-friendly teaching and learning interactions - stands to do more of the same.
It stands to be at the forefront of moves towards a balanced fulfillment of the possibilities of remote / online learning throughout educational systems as we know them, and will come to know them, perhaps fairly soon.
The work should have a good range of applications due to its focus on developing countries where the infrastructure and availability of equipment is limited. Nisar has significant experience there through having worked in recent years for the Aga Khan Foundation and Development Network.
I am fully supportive of Nisar Keshvani’s doctoral application feeling sure he will pursue his research with the same enthusiasm and dedication as his previous assignments.
He is good to have as a student and colleague, showing a genuinely collegiate outlook; always making careful and considerate requests for the opinions and suggestions of others; always willing to give some of his time and expertise to reciprocate. He is a determined and innovative thinker, while well mannered and very cooperative in any department or group. His cultural sensitivity looks outstanding to me, knowing Nisar as a Singaporean who has managed well in various environments, including his time as a student in Australia, in South Asia, or at Geneva with the Aga Khan Foundation. People like him, take notice of him and are pleased to work with him.
If you require further information or more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.
LR Duffield PhD
Lecturer in Journalism
Queensland University of Technology
Contact details available upon request