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What can we learn from games and gamification to enhance the learner's engagement in universities?

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building

The presentation will consider the main scope and findings emerging from ‘game science’ in relation to learning and learning design to aid greater engagement in online and face-to-face learning contexts. The talk will mainly focus upon key elements such as feedback, learner motivation and learning efficacy and will build upon a series of learning efficacy studies I have been involved with over the last twenty years in games and learning research The presentation will be of interest to researchers, learning practitioners and senior managers looking to engage their students more deeply with their learning experiences.


Sara de Freitas is an educator, author, researcher and public speaker with twenty years’ experience in higher education. She has worked in four universities in Australia and the United Kingdom in various roles from Research Fellow to Pro Vice Chancellor, with experience in education and research portfolios. She is a passionate advocate for high quality learning and teaching and applied, translational and discovery research that creates social and economic benefits for local, regional and international growth and renewal. She has published seven books and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and technical reports. Her cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral influence upon the academic domains of educational technology and higher education policy and leadership development has been fostered by sitting on over 60 programme committees and advisory groups, and undertaking over 120 international keynotes, presentations and public lectures in four continents.

Sara is a passionate advocate of pedagogy-led blended learning, accelerated learning and active learning. Her current research focuses upon learning analytics, online and blended learning and higher education policy. She has experience of working with manufacturing, ICT, education, health and risk and resilience sectors.

Sara is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before going to Australia, Sara was Director of Research at Coventry University, UK, where she founded and developed the Serious Games Institute.

Her most recent book, Education in Computer Generated Environments (2014) has been published by Routledge, in their Research in Education Series, outlining a vision for future learning in higher education which aligns policy and practice whilst focusing upon designing engaging learning experiences. Her book series, Digital Games and Learning includes three titles that explore the design, policy and trends of game-based learning.

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LinkedIn: saraisabelladefreitas
Twitter: SaradeFreitas

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