Below you can find details and slides from the past presentations and workshops given by iRead project members.


Tablet-based Reading Games for Dyslexia in the Primary Classroom – a workshop for primary teachers

Learnus Workshop 2


  • Laura Benton (UCL Knowledge Lab)
  • Mina Vasalou (UCL Knowledge Lab)
  • Emma Sumner (UCL Psychology and Human Development)
  • Liz Herbert (UCL Psychology and Human Development)
  • Manolis Mavrikis (UCL)
  • Caroline Shott (Learnus)

Abstract: Recent years have seen a huge growth in the educational games market and the inclusion of games within formal education is becoming commonplace. Consequentially teachers looking to integrate these games into their classrooms are faced with a vast number of options often with little guidance or support to help them decide which games will be the best fit with their own teaching practices.

This workshop, led by Dr Mina Vasalou and Dr Laura Benton (UCL Knowledge Lab), presented a critical evidence-based approach to evaluating reading games developed as part of a research study undertaken by the iRead Project. During the workshops participants had the opportunity to share their own experiences using games with pupils with dyslexia as well as trial, evaluate and discuss several commercial reading games for themselves using the iRead analytic framework. They also heard about the findings from the iRead study and the upcoming school pilot.

The workshop was primarily aimed at primary teachers but we also welcomed academics and others working in this area as well as educational game designers or developers.

Verktyg för individuellt lärande av engelska på läsplattan: testa iRead!

Presenters:popupdig18 1

  • Ylva Hård af Segerstad (University of Gothenburg)
  • Leona Johansson Bunting (University of Gothenburg)
  • Wolmet Barendregt (University of Gothenburg)

#PopUpDig – Conference on the Digitalisation of Schools, 19th June 2018

Designing an engaging, multi-lingual, personalised and adaptive reading game for children


  • Laura Benton (UCL)
  • Drew Wilkins (Fish in a Bottle)

Abstract: Recent years have seen a growth in the learning games market, projected to reach $4.8M within the next two years. The inclusion of games within formal education is becoming commonplace, with many games prioritising the teaching of curriculum subjects such as literacy and numeracy.

However, many existing learning games reflect the challenges designers face in effectively marrying both good game design and pedagogy. This talk presents an approach to the design of a reading game (Navi Go) aimed at primary school pupils.

The Navi Go game forms part of the iRead Project which is focused on developing personalised learning technologies for young novice readers across four languages as well as older readers with dyslexia or learning English as a foreign language.

Dr Laura Benton (UCL Knowledge Lab) and Drew Wilkins (Fish in a Bottle) discuss the different pedagogical, interaction and technical design challenges faced in developing such a large-scale complex learning game, sharing the strategies that were devised to address each of these challenges.

UCL Knowledge Lab Seminar Series, London, UK, 12 June 2018

Watch the seminar recording here:

The effect of syntactic complexity on sentence processing by children with reading difficulties and beginning readers


  • Maria Mastropavlou (University of Ioannina)
  • Michaela Nerantzini (University of Ioannina)
  • Theophany Christou (University of Ioannina)
  • Marika Lekakou (University of Ioannina)

Language Disorders in Greek 7, Athens, 2-3 June 2018

Spel för att lära sig engelska

Presenters:UGOT Science Festival 3

  • Wolmet Barendregt (University of Gothenburg)
  • Ylva Hård af Segerstad (University of Gothenburg)
  • Leona Bunting (University of Gothenburg)

The International Science Festival Gothenburg – School Program, 18th and 27th April 2018

A Critical Examination of Feedback in Early Reading Games


  • Laura Benton (UCL)
  • Mina Vasalou (UCL)
  • Kay Berkling (DHBW)
  • Wolmet Barendregt (University of Gothenburg)
  • Manolis Mavrikis (UCL)

Abstract: Learning games now play a role in both formal and informal learning, including foundational skills such as literacy. Mina Lincoln.png
While feedback is recognised as a key pedagogical dimension of these games, particularly in early learning, there has been no research on how commercial games available to schools and parents reify learning theory into feedback.
Using a systematic content analysis, we examine how evidence-based feedback principles manifest in five widely-used learning games designed to foster young children’s reading skills. Our findings highlight strengths in how games deliver feedback when players succeed. Many of the games, however, were inconsistent and not proactive when providing error feedback, often promoting trial and error strategies. Furthermore, there was a lack of support for learning the game mechanics and a preference for task-oriented rewards less deeply embedded in the gameplay. Our research provides a design and research agenda for the inclusion of feedback in early learning games.

University of Lincoln Games Research Network, 23rd May 2018

2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Montreal, Canada, 24th April 2018


“Yay, you got it right” : Challenging the reliance on verification feedback on games-based learning


Leeds Presentation

  • Mina Vasalou (UCL)
  • Laura Benton (UCL)

University of Birmingham HCI Seminar Series, 27 September 2017

University of Leeds School of Education Research Seminar, 15 November 2017

Abstract: Games-based learning (GBL) is often endorsed for the ability to deliver in-the-moment pedagogical feedback. Feedback is one of the most powerful pedagogical interventions for raising student achievement. Yet, the literature shows that its impact highly depends on how it is delivered, an observation that extends to GBL and how games are designed.

In this talk we will focus on games for early literacy learning targeted at young or struggling learners. We will report on a recent empirical study of a literacy game developed as part of the iLearnRW project, that employed verification feedback informing the player about whether they succeeded or failed. We focus on the social interaction around the game to show how children drew on different forms of support and which support was most effective. Building on this we will also present initial findings from our current work on the iRead project, in which we have undertaken an analysis of the approach to feedback design taken by existing popular commercial literacy games, and through which we identify new opportunities for design and research.

Gamification in the Classroom


  • Mina Vasalou (UCL)
  • Laura Benton (UCL)

UCL Centre for Inclusive Education Professional Learning Network in Specific Learning Difficulties, 4 July 2017 

iRead: individualiserade och intelligenta teknologier för lästräning


  • Wolmet Barendregt (University of Gothenburg)
  • Ylva Hård af Segerstad (University of Gothenburg)
  • Leona Bunting (University of Gothenburg)

PopUpDig 2017

Introduction to iRead


  • Mina Vasalou (UCL)

H2020 Networking Event on Learning, Multilingualism and Accessibility, Luxembourg, 27th March 2017

COST Action Meeting for Literacy, Zagreb, Croatia, 30th March 2017