Progress? PO, Finland & Malta

Successes so far?

Continuing in the hope of further study – and to provide additional supporting material for the GTC Professional Recognition application – I have been *real* busy with textual analysis.

I’ve been able to create dispersion plots for the occurrences of ‘I’ and ‘We’in one pupil’s work from the MSc.

What will be of interest will be testing the hypothesis: Student verb usage is more sophisticated when writing socially recounted actions in-game. Or something like that

I have successfully – with the help of others’ code – created files of POS tokens for both one science booklet and the aforementioned pupil’s work: I am pleased with this.

I have then run dispersion plotting – nouns and various verb tenses.

What I need to do now is to look for correlations between

What NN and NNPs from the science booklets need to appear in the pupils’ writing to evince their learning; and what verbs co-occur.



City & Guilds



Where do I find the time?

For CPD, one must make time.

Really enjoying the ‘Master Professional Practitioner Award for Career-Long Professional Learning’. I’ve passed Unit 1-Part 2 and hope to complete the Unit; engaging with HGIOS4 is coming up and forces me to do so.

I’ll see what comes of an application to join the EdD programme at Glasgow University; Plan B is a second Masters – this time the MEd at UWS, and only the dissertation phase.


POS Tagging of the BAS Booklet

POSWThanks to the web, I managed to cobble together R code which identified and sent to a text file the Parts of Speech used in the school’s, ‘Becoming a Scientist’ booklet.

As you can see (for the first 20 words of 1522):


I’m interested in correlations between the science content and verb/personal pronoun gravity. For example, the choice of verbs, ‘you’, ‘I’ and ‘we’ – does this affect retention/recall? And what about during after gameplay?

This code will also benefit deep analysis of pupils’ texts produced: pronoun/verb dispersion; lexical sophistication relating to game narrative recall.

And much more.



Finally managed to track down a reasonably priced copy…

I’m hoping to build a Corpus of MCC-related pupil texts through the BGE; I have one year, and if I can trace S1s that were reassigned midway (chronic staffing issues) I’m in a good position…

Radio Edutalk – ‘Digital for Excellence’

A huge thanks to David Noble for inviting me on to the show.
Digital for Excellence


Yes, a nerve wracking experience but wholly worth it. Just a few additions/clarifications…

Other Games

David asked me about other games – and with workload, nerves (a heady cocktail) I had forgotten about the following:

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring
RollerCoaster Tycoon

Both good for Literacy activities/group discussion stimulation.

The Way Ahead – The EdD and Future Methodologies

David asked me about future investigations and methodologies…Of course, a mixed methods approach shall be employed – quantitative and qualitative methods supporting research into games, literacy and interdisciplinary learning.

Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT)
A paper is currently being reviewed (‘Awaiting Reviewer Scores’) by University of Waikato’s journal, English Teaching: Practice and Critique, which looked at the collaboration of the pupils as they played Mars Colony Challenger.

CHAT allows the study of social learning toward a shared objective/goal; taking cognizance of the rules of the contexts of such teams of activity, what prior learning they bring, and to what extent labour is distributed. Tools like MCC shall be investigated as to their efficacy in supporting interdisciplinary learning of such communities of practice.

English and Literacy
Language use surrounding games is of particular interest – that spoken during collaboration, and also the language read during game play: from the screen (instructions, help files) and the Science and other supporting textbooks used in providing the necessary narrative backdrop that Royle and Lucy Avraamidou suggest.

R‘ and its associated data mining and textual analysis/natural language processing packages will support a deeper analysis of pupils’ Literacy and English development; language richness in personal writing based upon in game activities; correlations between I and We pronoun usage; gender.

I am hoping to join the wonderful EdD programme at Glasgow University through the local authority’s assistance in securing an Attainment Challenge funding bid.

Royle, K. 2008. Game-Based Learning: A different perspective. Innovate 4 (4). Retrieved: 16/07/2013.

STEP – Keynote & Workshop Audios

STEP Conference 2016 Technology to Enhance PL Do Coyle & Catriona MacDonald

STEP Conference 2016 Charlaine Simpson – What You Need To Know About Practitioner Enquiry

STEP Conference 2016 Keynote 1 Janie McManus – Attainment and Improvement