Working with business

Nicola, Ruby and Sihan were invited to participate in a lunchtime seminar for the University of Edinburgh, to share experiences of projects involving academics collaborating with business partners. The seminar outline:

Hosted by Jen Ross, Deputy Director (KE) for Research and Knowledge Exchange
“The research funding landscape is changing, and industry links look likely to be increasingly important for some funding streams in the coming years. Our College is keen to support academics to make more links with industry, including small businesses and social enterprises, in ways that are productive, creative and help our research have impact. This event is an opportunity for you to hear from colleagues at Moray House who have had experience of working with businesses, to get some insights from Edinburgh Innovations about how they can help support you to make business links, and to consider what opportunities might exist in your area of research. All are welcome, and lunch will be provided. Please sign up by emailing
12:00 – Lunch & Networking
12:25 – Welcome & Introduction (Jen)
12:30 – Beth Christie – “Generating support for ‘Antarctica 2018’ expedition”
12:50 – Tony Turner – “A Motorsport mix of consultancy, research & knowledge exchange”
1:10 – Ruby Rennie & Nicola Galloway – “Developing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership”
1:30 – Michaela Turner, Edinburgh Innovations – “Consulting as an academic at the
University of Edinburgh”
1:50 – Discussion
2:00 – Close

Valencia INTED conference

Nicola presented at the 12th annual International Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference in Valencia, 5th, 6th and 7th of March, 2018. The title of her presentation was
University/Industry collaboration: Digital Game-Mediated Second Language Education in China

With technological advancements, digital game-mediated teaching is becoming popular in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). This presentation reports on a collaborative project between The University of Edinburgh and Nosebleed Interactive Ltd. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is funded by Innovate UK for the development of a novel web based entertainment platform for teaching English to Chinese children. We begin with an overview of the partnership before moving onto the innovative nature of the product design. Research expertise in the fields of TESOL, online language learning, English Medium Instruction (EMI) (Galloway et al, 2017), learner attitudes (Galloway, 2013, 2017a) and the pedagogical implications of the globalization of English (Galloway and Rose, 2015; Galloway, 2017a, 2017b) have informed the product design. The global spread of English has seen an increase in importance placed, not only on English language education throughout the world, but also on education through English. As such, the products have been designed around content-based topics. They are also innovative with their recognition of the need for materials that do not focus solely on the ‘native’ English speaker model, but recognize the use of English as a global lingua franca. We outline the multilingual focus of the products designed to introduce students to the linguistic and cultural diversity of English. We also provide an overview research conducted by MSc TESOL students at The University of Edinburgh showcasing how we have embedded the project into our curriculum and facilitated links with industry. This presentation will be of interest to those interested in the field of digital game-mediated learning, TESOL curriculum innovation, and university/industry collaboration. We also examine various contextual constraints to curriculum innovation in the Chinese context, offering insights for those developing materials for use in countries across the globe.

iCERi conference 2017

Nicola Galloway and Ruby Rennie presented at the iCERI conference in November 2017. ICERI is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. After 10 years, it has become a reference event where more than 700 experts from 80 countries will get together to present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies and educational innovations.

Conference presentation:

Paper abstract:
With the development of information and computer technology (ICT), digital game-mediated teaching is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). The interactive design of digital games has been reported to have a positive effect learner motivation and many games have been developed in recent years with an educational purpose. This presentation reports on a project being conducted with The University of Edinburgh and Nosebleed Interactive Ltd, which forms part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funded by Innovate UK. The grant was awarded to fund the development of a novel web based entertainment platform as an innovative method for teaching English to Chinese children. KTPs are a three-way partnership between supervising academic(s), a recent graduate and a company. The graduate, Sihan Zhou, will provide an overview of the materials that have been designed to date and the academics, Dr. Nicola Galloway and Ruby Rennie, will outline how the game development is informed by academic expertise. The presenters will also provide a brief summary of the main research findings from various research projects conducted by MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) students at The University of Edinburgh. These research projects, which mainly focused on teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards game-mediated second language education, form part of a large-scale needs analysis to inform the game development. This presentation will be of interest to those interested in the field of digital game-mediated learning, TESOL, and also curriculum innovation. The presentation will explore the various contextual constraints to incorporating the materials into the Chinese primary school context, offering insights for those working in similar contexts.

More information about iCERi is on the website:

Interweaving conference

interweaving conference

Moray House School of Education runs an annual “Interweaving” conference, this year taking place on 6th September.

The KTP associate Sihan gave a presentation for a study on primary teachers’ attitudes to digital game-based learning. The study was carried out in May 2017 as part of the analysis of stake holders’ needs for developing Tornado English platform.

Abstract: The development of information and computer technology (ICT) in recent decades has rendered digital game-mediated teaching a natural tendency in second language (L2) education. Sykes, Reinhardt and Thorne (2010) pointed out that the interactive design of digital games could greatly enhance learner motivation. So far, learning through digital games has quite rightly focused on the learners. When the games are intended to be used as part of the L2 curriculum, though, the attitudes of the teachers can also be examined. Where this requires acceptance of technologies, it can be intimidating (Neville, 2009). As an attempt to gain insight into teachers’ views of incorporating game-based learning into L2 curriculum, a research was conducted in 6 primary schools in Harbin, China. The research is part of a larger project of Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funded by Innovate UK. Liaised with the University of Edinburgh, the project aims to design a digital platform of animated games to enhance English teaching in Chinese primary schools. 13 year-three English teachers were interviewed about their perceptions of using game-based learning in English curriculum. Five general themes emerge from the interview data, namely, feasibility of use, ease of learning, possibility of becoming skillful, pedagogical effectiveness and productivity.

Video of the presentation (coming soon)



Student presentations

Dissertations were submitted yesterday (14th August 2017), and today we met as a team for a final group meeting. Unfortunately, Wenqing was not able to be with us. However, other team members gave presentations about their studies, and highlighted the results. It was great to see how many different ways of researching the topics could be done!

The presentations were really interesting, and were a great way to finish the dissertation projects.

Welcome to the project!

The project for Digital Game-based Learning for Young Learners in China is part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership; this is a research and business joint project funded by Innovate UK.

Our partners are the University of Edinburgh and Nosebleed Interactive. Colleagues working on the project:

  • UoE: Nicola Galloway; Ruby Rennie; Sihan Zhou
  • Nosebleed Interactive: Jon Karlsen; Andreas Firnigl

For more information about the project, please see the presentation: