Research

My overarching research interest is in exploring how end-users can be involved in the design and programming of novel technologies. My PhD research investigated computer game creation as a writing development activity for young people aged 11-15, and involved the participatory design of software tools to support multimodal and interactive narrative creation. 

I was the Principal Investigator on Plugin Narratives, which explored the potential for alternate reality games to support local community engagement and reflection through fictional narratives rooted in alternate community futures. The project was a collaboration with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and was funded by the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+.

I was a Co-Investigator on the Face 2 Face project, which examined everyday childhoods in a digital age. We developed and evaluated a range of methods for exploring the movement between face-to-face and online interactions. The project was funded by the National Centre for Research Methods.

I was a Co-Investigator on Trajectories to Community Engagement (TRACE), which investigated older people’s experiences of engagement with online and offline communities through interview and survey methods. The project was a collaboration with the University of Brighton and was funded by the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+.

As Research Fellow on the EPSRC funded Flip project I contributed to the design and evaluation of a new programming environment which aims to support young people in developing an understanding of computational concepts and skills, whilst empowering them to create complex behaviours in their own 3D computer games.

I am also interested in innovative learning spaces in higher education; both physical and virtual. I explored these in my past role as Technology Facilitator at InQbate, the CETL in Creativity.

Keywords: young people and technology, online virtual worlds, game creation for learning, interactive storytelling, participatory design, external representations in educational software, visual programming languages, design-based research, computational thinking, technology augmented learning spaces.