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Creating Evidence Based Educational Maths Apps: The Importance of Theory and Individual Differences


Project Description

This PhD research is a collaborative project between UCL Institute of Education and Funexpected, a maths app development company. The overall aim of the proposed PhD research is to synthesise existing research on mathematical development and identify specific learning pathways within mathematical development that can be translated into educational maths apps for children aged 3-7 years. This project is supervised by Dr Jo Van Herwegen, Dr Laura Outhwaite and Prof. Andy Tolmie.

This PhD project would include a systematic review of the literature and evaluation of the existing Funexpected maths apps, including mapping the domain-specific mathematical content covered and learning science principles incorporated, onto a newly designed theoretical framework of mathematical development using the Accessible Cause-Outcome Representation and Notation System (ACORNS; Moore & George, 2011), identification of individual learning pathways and evaluation of these pathways using a mixed methods feasibility evaluation study (Green et al., 2019).

The student will be required to complete the MPhil Core course as well as the information and digital literacy course that form part of the required courses to be completed before upgrading from MPhil to PHD status at UCL Institute of Education. In addition, together with Funexpected and the academic partners, a training plan will be developed and the student will be expected to attend a number of courses provided by the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme.

The PhD student will benefit from 3 extended placements within the company Funexpected and a visit to the company’s office in Russia.

Key Requirements

• Essential: MSc degree in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology or related field (Merit or equivalent)
• Essential: Experience working with children in an experimental research setting.
• Essential: strong statistical and data analytic skills including, experience with SPSS or other data statistical packages.
• Essential: strong organizational and time management skills
• Essential: strong oral and written communication skills
• Desirable: Experience with systematic reviews and meta-analysis desirable
• Desirable: Knowledge of Open science framework
• Desirable: Previous experience with mathematical development, technology or intervention studies

How to Apply

• Please send a cover letter that outlines your interest and relevant experience, a CV and two reference letters as one PDF or word document to
• Selected candidates will be invited for an interview at UCL Institute of Education on 28/04/2020.
• After a successful interview, the successful candidate will be required to apply to the UBEL DTP by 30 April 2020 for consideration by the DTP Board.

Funding Notes

£17,009 + Home Fees (£5,210) + research expenses (£1,200)

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