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Is it unethical not to use games in education?

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building

This talk presents the main lines of research undertaken by the presenter over the last twenty years around the efficacy and use of digital games for supporting more engaged learners. The presentation outlines the main research findings from work undertaken around feedback, the four dimensional framework and exploratory learning. The presentation also considers the main research on how the research merits a reordering of how we consider education, educational provision for students and the role of games and feedback in supported more engaged learners, taking into account information science, education science, human-computer interaction and neuroscience. The approach is cross-disciplinary and focuses upon systems and education design as a new paradigm for new and future learning.


I am an eminent educator with twenty-five years in higher education: building extensive national and international networks, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sector and leading on university-wide programmes of student experience, portfolio and curriculum development, organizational transformation, strategic planning and global engagement. My PhD is in information science and I have held Professorships (in Education) for ten years in four universities. As an entrepreneurial leader, I have been an attractor for significant inward and external investment ($40M) supporting infrastructure development and education improvements, business clusters, start-up facilities and student hubs. I have led on ten cross-university initiatives, including: three major curriculum and portfolio development programmes, transnational, blended learning and infrastructural education programmes operating with large capital (< $40,000,000) and revenue budgets (< $5,000,000), built new educational systems (Challenge App) and led on international research programmes (< €5,600,000 FP7 network of excellence). As a passionate advocate for students, I have held responsibility up to Deputy Vice Chancellor level for portfolio areas including education and student support, and as a Director of Research raising over £5,000,000 in applied research, development and innovation funding through 56 projects and programmes, supporting numerous UK businesses, changing policy and delivering regional growth and research advance. Career highlights include: making gains of 8% in student retention and raising $7,300,000 in revenue from targeted learning interventions. My frameworks, case studies, models and academic work are captured in seven books and over 200 conference papers and journal articles, garnering 8,000 citations (44H index). My most recent book: Education in Computer Generated Environments came into paperback in 2017 and was published in the Routledge Research in Education series, outlining a ‘new learning’ paradigm. Currently, I am advising internationally-leading educational institutions and agencies as an Executive Consultant, supporting EdTech start-ups as a Board Advisor and continuing to develop internationally-leading research as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of London (Birkbeck).
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Professor Sara de Freitas BA (Hons), MA, PhD, FRSA, PFHEA
M: +44 (0)7951766866
LinkedIn: Sara de Freitas Twitter: @saradefreitas

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