My Ph.D page

Take a look at what I'm doing in my research

My research proposal is:

Analysis of the Application of Immersive Technologies and Gamification to Computer Science Education

In our rapidly evolving digital age, traditional education methods are constantly being challenged. My research dives deep into the merging of immersive technologies and gamification in computer science education. Leveraging the immersion of virtual reality (VR) and the engagement of game-based learning, I’ve undertaken research into the topic, and developed and evaluated several immersive experiences, including 'MoonBase VR' - a tool designed to make programming concepts tangible and engaging. Through this innovative blend,  my findings aim to enhance teachers’ and learner motivations, improve understanding, and pave the way for a new era of interactive and personalised education. Let's explore the future of learning, where the boundaries between the virtual and real blur, and offer students a rich, immersive, and dynamic educational experience.

New programming students often struggle to write code, partly because it requires them to change their use of the written word from linear communication to the creation of sequences of operations that are often nested within more complex functional structures. This written barrier can hinder the conceptual acquisition of basic programming concepts (e.g. data structures, functions, events) and thus visual aids are often employed to help when teaching programming. Existing work has looked at the use of gamification to teach coding, helping learners to develop metacognitive strategies for learning that are built around low stakes competition as a means of attaining basic conceptual knowledge and skills. Crosswords, missing word games and jigsaw puzzles can assist in closing the linguistic gap, but the conceptual linkages between coding processes are less suited to these methods.

This project seeks to investigate the use of immersive visual and audio stimuli with simple gamification techniques, to better convey basic programming concepts prior to their translation into written instructions. Functional elements will be represented using visual communication concepts (e.g. procedure/concepts/facts) whilst feedback will be provided using a combination of speech and sonification alerts. In so doing, a self-directed learning path will be constructed based on a simple game narrative (inventory and progression) wherein the mechanics will be mapped to standard game controllers to reduce the impact of the interface on the learning tasks involved.

Thesis submitted June 2023

Viva Passed in August2023

Publications:

Virtual Reality vs Pancake Environments: A Comparison of Interaction on Immersive and Traditional Screens

MoonBase VR: Learning to program in a virtual reality game

 

Twitter

UWS Creative Computing Technology

Link to UWS Creative Computer Technologies

UWS Creative Computing Technologies Research Group

The UWS CCT Research Group aims to advance understanding and applications of creative computing technologies to address societal and industrial challenges

 

3 minute thesis presentation

Welcome to the Oasis - Three minutes thesis presentation

My 3MT presentation for the Vitae Three Minutes Thesis competition 2022. Collecting the Judges winner at my university and going on to the semi finals of the national competition.

MY PhD condenced down to 3 minutes for my entry to 3MT competition and part of the UWS Research festival 2022 which was chosen as the Judges choice award and will be sumbitted to the National competition.

Student Showcase VR

Student Showcase VR ver3

UWS Student showcase VR -version 3. Update include added architectural elements, environmental sounds (ambisonic) & ai butterflies and dynamic signs that always face the player, ability to pick up models using the 'laser' beam and teleport buttons with preview screens allowing the viewer to teleport from the gallery to the student's environment and back, world-scale slider just in case you want to be a giant or a mouse.

Mobile VR

myVRapp

update of the mobile VR experience I'm making to 'learn' game making in VR

AR Poster

Ray Holder on X (formerly Twitter): "Updating an old poster with #AR taking my old honors year project poster and bringing it to life with Augmented Reality - next step is to work out how to get MASH animation from Maya to Unity in the gIFT without crashing! #AugmentedReality #augmented_reality #animation #unity pic.twitter.com/Dx6vBVh5rG / X"

Updating an old poster with #AR taking my old honors year project poster and bringing it to life with Augmented Reality - next step is to work out how to get MASH animation from Maya to Unity in the gIFT without crashing! #AugmentedReality #augmented_reality #animation #unity pic.twitter.com/Dx6vBVh5rG

AR 3D Painting

Ray Holder on X (formerly Twitter): "Always wanted a Van Gogh painting on my wall. Thanks to augmented reality, now I can! Made in Unity with ARcore - Van Gogh Room 3D model provided by ruslan3d via #sketchfab @sketchfab #AR #ARcore #AugmentedReality #augmented_reality #vangogh #painting #unity #unity3d pic.twitter.com/1cyhdmBjL4 / X"

Always wanted a Van Gogh painting on my wall. Thanks to augmented reality, now I can! Made in Unity with ARcore - Van Gogh Room 3D model provided by ruslan3d via #sketchfab @sketchfab #AR #ARcore #AugmentedReality #augmented_reality #vangogh #painting #unity #unity3d pic.twitter.com/1cyhdmBjL4

UWS Moon base VR

UWS Moon Base VR

We are looking for participant to join our study looking at virtual reality in computer science education. The player will be transported on to the UWS moon base where they will take control of a humanoid robot using the VR equipment, the player must then undertake several tasks to avoid a disaster on the moon base.

UWS Pong VR

Ray Holder on X (formerly Twitter): "Adding to more this VR Pong project with procedural animation to the walls and floor that react to the ball - also made the AI not so hard! Now I need to work out how to get this to relate computer science teaching for a case study! pic.twitter.com/CJh4wpGTZW / X"

Adding to more this VR Pong project with procedural animation to the walls and floor that react to the ball - also made the AI not so hard! Now I need to work out how to get this to relate computer science teaching for a case study! pic.twitter.com/CJh4wpGTZW

Immersive Spark

Immersive Spark

Another play around with the UWS Immersive logo and a bunch of VR headset models to create a motion graphic logo animation.

Logo Animation

UWS Immersive Logo Animation

Quick motion graphic animation using the UWS Immersive logo and a load of VR headsets

AR Tic Tac Toe

Ray Holder on X (formerly Twitter): "Building #AugmentedReality Tic Tac Toe game to teach computer science ( basics coding - if/or/else/then) to kids using a multiplayer app. #AR #ARcore #games #tictactoe #noughts&crosses @uniwestscotland #immersive #phd #uws #teaching #vfx pic.twitter.com/GnQcNlHJX5 / X"

Building #AugmentedReality Tic Tac Toe game to teach computer science ( basics coding - if/or/else/then) to kids using a multiplayer app. #AR #ARcore #games #tictactoe #noughts&crosses @uniwestscotland #immersive #phd #uws #teaching #vfx pic.twitter.com/GnQcNlHJX5