University of East Anglia Featured PhD Programmes
University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes

Happy Maths: Designing Intelligent and Adaptable Educational Games to Reduce Maths Anxiety and Increase Maths Performance in Primary Schools Students

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, April 30, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Project Description
Happy Maths seeks to investigate if the introduction of adaptation and personalization in digital games for Primary School Maths can improve students’ performance and engagement, especially students with significant levels of Maths anxiety. Maths Anxiety is a recognized condition affecting more than 2 million people in UK only. Our core hypothesis is that by adding intelligent systems techniques to Maths games, such as adaptation and personalization, students’ engagement and performance will increase. In particular, the adaptive system will help weaker or more anxious students to feel more confident in playing the game.
The project will:
* Design and build autonomous digital games (linked to the mathematics curriculum) which adapt to learners of different ability and knowledge levels. The project builds on previous work, and in particular two award-winning games developed by our research centre that will be modified and enhanced during this project.
* Adopt state of the art algorithms in machine learning, predictive analytics and adaptation to develop intelligent games able to adapt their difficulty, rewards system, feedback and game content to increase student engagement and performance
* Adopt best practice in gameplay, gamification and game design.
* Collect data from 40 participating primary schools and then mine the resultant datasets in order to investigate correlations and causality between game performance, patterns of game moves and children’s academic and anxiety indicators.
The project includes 3 experimentation cycles. At each cycle, our games will be deployed and tested in schools. Measurements about students’ levels of engagement, maths anxiety and performance will be collected via surveys, focus groups, pre/post tests, and an analysis of game performance and game log data.
The result of each phase will feed the successive cycle where, based on the lesson learned, new game features will be designed.
Currently, 40 primary schools has signed-up to the project.

Student requirements for this project
Degree in Computer Science
Good Coding ability (preferably javascript and python)
Previous work on multidisciplinary projects will be a plus
Candidates with a degree in Education but with demonstrated technical skills will be also considered.

If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest available at and email it to .

Funding Notes

Student Stipend €16000 € p.a. for 4 years
Materials/ Travel etc € 2000 € p.a. for 4 years
Fees fully covered for 4 years

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