Dr Pamela Cowan


In general Dr Cowan's research interests encompass all aspects of using modern information technologies in educational contexts, assessment in education, structural equations modelling and issues in mathematics and computing education.

She is particularly interested in the use of computerised assessment processes in schools and in the assessment of higher order thinking skills, such as writing code and mathematical problem-solving using computer-based techniques. She is also interested in assessment issues in higher education and has been involved in evaluation projects as an external consultant.

Her more recent work has involved handheld devices for mobile learning, multimodal literacies, pedagogically effective games and simulations, computational thinking, MinecraftEdu and CoderDojos. She has presented her work at numerous international conferences in Europe and the USA. She is currently encouraging her doctoral students to disseminate their work more widely too.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • E-learning or Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Computer Science including Programming, Coding or Computational thinking
  • Teacher Education particularly post-primary and/or STEM
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  • Dr Cowan's recent work has led to new ways of teaching (and learning) how to code and supporting teacher
    professional development in the field. Previous research has considered teacher educators’ use of technology
    in Pre-service courses, effective online course design and the use of location aware technology in handheld/
    mobile devices to support pupils’ learning.


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Social Sciences, Education And Social Work


Alumni: where are they now?

Judith Riddell

PhD title: Challenges to Teenagers’ Literacy Development from the Digital Culture in which they Live and Learn

Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland
Current position: Teacher in Hunterhouse College


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