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Personal profile

Overview

I am a Lecturer in Games Development in the School of Engineering and Computing at University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Paisley, Scotland. My teaching subject areas are associated with the domain of computer games design relating to aspects of the games development lifecycle (GDLC), the dynamics of developing games from the pre-production, production, testing and post-production stages of development. Throughout the duration of my module deliveries within my School I have been able to forge strong links with organisations affiliated with the Creative Industries sector. In addition, having completed a PgCert in Teaching Learning and Higher Education (THLE) I have achieved Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Based on this pedagogical foundation, I strive to ensure that my educational practice is informed via my research and current industry requirements specific to the games industry.

My teaching primarily evolves around the area of Computer Games Development where I deliver various modules associated with the concepts of Computer Games Design. In addition to teaching subjects related to the Creative Industries I also supervise Honours Project Dissertations related to Games Development addressing such topics as games immersion, level design, serious games and games-based learning. 

Area of academic expertise - outline

I have been involved in various EU funded projects, namely, Ed2.0Work: European network for the integration of Web2.0 in education and work; Continuing/Higher Education in Research Methods Using Games (CHERMUG) and Web2.0ERC: Simplifying Web2.0 Education. 

In addition, my research also focuses on reviewing the current state of the art of social media use in higher education - i.e. games-based learning. Though research into the area of social media use in higher education appears to be quite prevalent further empirical research could however be undertaken into the potential compatibility and effectiveness of blending social media use into the classroom. In addition, my research aims to investigates social media use in course curriculum to illustrate whether these tools can aid in supporting constructive alignment by way of accomplishing a course’s intended learning outcomes. Empirical research into the use of social media tools in higher education will continue to progress due to the evolving nature of these types of technologies.

I have undertaken several guest editorial duties acting as Guest Editor for two special issues in the academic journals The Learning Organization and the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. I have also acted as reviewer for the International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals (IJHCITP), Learning, Media and Technology and Learning Inquiry. 

Current research activities

Currently I am researching in the following research areas: 

  • Impact and adoption of social media tools in Higher Education in addition to investigating their effectiveness in longitudinal studies or when compared to more traditional methods of teaching (e.g. for computer programming).
  • Empirical evidence associated with the application of computer games technology (e.g. Serious Games) for pedagogical purposes.
  • Application of Games-Based Construction Learning (GBCL) in upper primary education for the purposes of teaching programming concepts.
  • Adoption of Serious Games and their application towards teaching students computer programming skills.

Desired research direction

My desired research direction would be to build upon the foundations of my HEA Fellowship and PgCert TLHE to investigate and explore from an empirical perspective the potential pedegogical impact and adoption of social media within Higher Education (predominatley computer games related). I would also like to undertake empirical research associated with the potential for Serious Games to support teaching and learning purposes - for example, aiding students in a blended learning approach towards delivering complex subject areas such as computer programming. 

In addition to focusing more on the subject areas of Games-Based Learning (GBL) and Serious Games and contrasting them against more traditional methods of curriculum delivery - I would like to utilise the students within my classes to aid me to perform empirical research in this area. Furthermore, students could become involved in some of these project (e.g. game implementation) to aid research designed to enhance the student learning experience within the university. 

In the foreseeable future I would like to start researching the area of virtual and augmented reality in relation to computer games and the potential for this area in higher education. I would also like to publish another special issue associated with this particular topic which appears set to evolve and expand from a technical, teaching and learning perspective.

Keywords

  • L Education (General)
  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • LB2361 Curriculum

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Research Output 2009 2017

development planning
self-efficacy
learning environment
student
quantitative method
development planning
staff
student
education
university teacher

Guest editorial

Baxter, G., Hainey, T. & Mckenna, G., 6 Feb 2017, In : Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. 9, 1, p. 2-4

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

social media
learning
evidence
student
educator