• Who am I?

    Who am I?

    Nicola's research focuses on digital innovation in learning and teaching and, in particular games, play and learning in the context of Higher Education. Her research interests include interaction design, the impact of motivation and engagement on learning, active learning design, digital games and learning, and the pedagogy of play. 

  • Research Expertise, Publications & Grants

    Research expertise

    I am an active researcher in the field of games and learning, with a particular emphasis on play in the context of higher education. I am also interested in the use of teachnology in learning, and educational innovation in professional and adult education. 

    Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

    Member of the editorial boards for:

    • International Journal of Game-Based Learning
    • Interactive Learning Environments

    Reviewer for:

    • Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
    • Computers & Education
    • European Conference on Games-Based Learning
    • European Conference on E-Learning
    • Learning, Media and Technology
    • Research in Learning Technology
    • Simulation & Gaming


    2015-2017 Engaging the Brain’s Reward System (PI)
    EEF/Wellcome Trust (£324,999)

    2014-2015 Understanding Learner Disengagement (Co-PI)
    CELT, MMU (£6,000)

    2014–2015 Games and Social Change network (Co-I)
    AHRC (£40,210)

    2014 Social Gaming Showcase (Co-I)
    AHRC (£6,840)

    2013–2015 Evaluation of the Faculty of Education iPad initiative (PI)
    MMU Faculty of Education (£13,000)

    2012–2014 Making Games in Collaboration for Learning (MAGICAL) (PI)
    EU Lifelong Learning Programme (€102,000)

    2011–2013 Games-Based Learning for Older Adults (PI)
    EU Lifelong Learning Programme (€20,000)

    2011 Research Review of Programming Curricula and Pedagogy (Co-PI)
    BBC (£5,000)

    2009 Review of Multimedia Revision Materials (PI)
    BBC (£9,000)

    2008–2012 Supporting Responsive Curriculum (Evaluator)
    JISC (£400,000)

    2008–2009 ARGOSI Stakeholder Engagement (PI)
    JISC (£38,500)

    2008–2009 ARGOSI Benefits Realisation (PI)
    JISC (£14,000)

    2008–2009 Alternate Reality Games for Orientation, Socialisation and Induction (ARGOSI) (PI)
    JISC (£50,000)

    2008–2009 Researching Emerging Admin Channels (REACh) (Evaluator)
    JISC (£50,000)

    2007–2008 Models of Innovation in Learning Online (MILO) (Co-PI)
    Becta (£140,000)

  • Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
  • Awards, Honours & Distinctions

    Prizes and awards

    National Teaching Fellow (2013)

    Other distinctions

    Member of the ESRC Peer Review College.