Research Student: Antri Avraamidou
Mathematics that arises from collaborative gameplay in The Sims 3
Submission Date: December 2016
The aim of my PhD study is to investigate the way 9-12 year-old players’ mathematical thinking emerges and/or is affected while being engaged in the collaborative activity of building virtual houses in “The Sims 3” video game, without teacher’s intervention and in out-of-school settings, in Cyprus. Participants played the “Build/Buy” mode of the game in pairs (four pairs) and they were asked to build three houses; a house with less budget constraints, a house for a specific family with budget constraints and lastly, edit a house of an existing family to accommodate a new family member. Their gameplay and talk were recorded using screen recording software and then analyzed following a socio-cultural framework. Currently, I am in the writing phase of my Ph.D
I graduated from the University of Cyprus holding a BA in Education Sciences – Primary Education in 2007 and then continued my studies at the University of Leeds, where I successfully completed the MA ICT & Education course. As from September 2010 I am continuing my research as a part-time PhD at the University of Leeds. I was upgraded as a Ph.D. student in May 2012 and my Ph.D. study is expected to be completed by August 2017. I currently live in Cyprus and I am working as part-time Lecturer at the University of Nicosia. Previously, I have worked as a research associate at the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and as a substitute primary education teacher in public schools in Cyprus.
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
The inspiration for my Ph.D. research came from my master thesis. Being engaged in the process of conducting a research for my critical study I was fascinated and wanted to explore the subject deeper in the future. So I did.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
As a player myself and as a teacher, I intuitively knew that I was learning something through my interaction with various video games. The fact that my critical study indicated that, indeed, “The Sims” video game for example could foster learning excited me. I do believe that video games can be powerful tools (or even generators) of learning. Thus researching to provide evidence for this makes me passionate about this area of study.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
After completing my Ph.D. I wish to make the most of my Ph.D. research in terms of publishing my results or re-analyzing my data under different research focus. I want to investigate my subject area even further, by participating in relevant projects, or initiating projects myself. Since, I am investigating commercial video games in out-of-school settings, I would like to see how such games can be integrated (if possible) effectively in the classroom. Lastly, I wish to pursue an academic career and therefore, I plan gaining the necessary experience in order to do so.