University Of Glasgow News

By | 7th June 2017

University Of Glasgow News

Anton Muscatelli portrait 2015



Issued: Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:32:00 BST

The University of Glasgow has been nominated in 10 categories at the Herald Higher Education Awards.
The awards, organised by the Herald newspaper and now in their third year, recognise extraordinary achievements in education, innovation, and research at universities across Scotland.‌‌ ‌

The University has been nominated for a clutch of awards in previous years, winning six in 2016 and three in 2015 – including the top prize, the prestigious Higher Educational Institution of the Year, in both years.

This year, the University’s nominations are in the following categories:

Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community:

  • Chasing the Waves – Zara Gladman
  • Zombie Science – Kevin O’Dell

Enhancing Student Learning Award:    

  • Closing the Feedback Loop – Leah Marks, Maria Jackson, Edward Tobias

Widening Access Award:  

  • Early Secondary Programme – Neil Croll

Research Project of the Year:

  • UK Biobank Team – Jason Gill

Innovation Technology Excellence Award:    

  • ViRES – JP Leach/Matthew Walters
  • Clinical Genomics Apps – Edward Tobias and Adam Tobias

Campaign of the Year:

  • The Simpsons Campaign – Stella Heath

University Of Glasgow News

Partnership Award:    

  • East Project – Bill Guariento

Academic Support Team of the Year  

  • English for Academic Study – Anneli Williams

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “We’re pleased to have been nominated once again for a wide range of categories at the Herald Higher Education Awards.

“Learning, teaching, research, innovation and widening access to higher education are all key priorities for the University and it’s fantastic to see each of them represented in the award nominations.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who has been nominated and to wish them the best of luck at the awards ceremony.”

The awards ceremony will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday July 6.

University Of Glasgow News



Issued: Mon, 05 Jun 2017 09:22:00 BST

Playing video games could help young people develop the communications and mental adaptability skills required to succeed at university.‌

Video gaming 450

A trial, by the University of Glasgow, to assess the effects of playing video games on young people concludes gaming can help young people develop the desired higher education skills sometimes referred to as ‘graduate attributes’.

Research by Matthew Barr, a lecturer in Information Studies, shows that playing video games actually improved student communication skills, resourcefulness and adaptability and may have a role to play in higher education.

Over an eight-week period, undergraduate students in the Arts and Humanities were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. Previously validated, self-report instruments to measure adaptability, resourcefulness and communication skills were administered to both groups.

The intervention group played specified video games under controlled conditions over an eight-week period and they showed improvements in communication, adaptability, and resourcefulness scales compared to the control group. This supported the hypothesis that playing video games can improve self-reported graduate skills.

Commenting on his research Mr Barr said: “The findings suggest that such game-based learning interventions have a role to play in higher education. Graduate attributes are those generic skills such as problem solving, communication, resourcefulness or adaptability which are considered desirable in graduates, particularly where employability is concerned.

“Modern video games often require players to be adaptable and resourceful, and finding multiple ways of accomplishing a task. The way games are designed often encourages critical thinking and reflective learning, commonly cited as desirable attributes in graduates. “

This research was intended to measure the effects of playing commercial video games on the attainment of certain graduate attributes, testing the hypothesis that playing selected games can improve student scores on measures of graduate skills.

University Of Glasgow News“My research is perhaps what every parent may or, in the case of some, may not like to hear,” added Matt Barr. “This work demonstrates that playing commercial video games can have a positive effect on communication ability, adaptability and resourcefulness in adult learners, suggesting that video games may have a role to play in higher education.

“The study also suggests that graduate skills may be improved in a relatively short amount of time, with the gains reported here achieved over a period of eight weeks and representing just 14 h of game play. Certainly, the results of the randomised controlled trial described here suggest that the popular discourse around games’ alleged ill effects should be tempered by considerations of the potential positive outcomes of playing video games. “

The games used in the study were all commercial titles, designed for entertainment purposes rather than with the intention of developing particular skills in players. They included Borderlands 2; Minecraft; Portal 2; Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light; Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos; Team Fortress 2; Gone Home and Papers, Please.

The game labs operated on a drop-in basis, open for students to come and play the specified games between the hours of 9am-5pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Participants were asked to log 120 min of play on most games. Time management was the students’ responsibility.