Dr Angela Colvert

BA (hons) MA, PGCE, PhD

School of Education

Lecturer in Education

Deputy Director of Innovation in School of Education

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Full contact details

Dr Angela Colvert
School of Education
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Angela is Lecturer in Education, and Deputy Director of Innovation within the School with particular expertise in co-designing digital games to support learning (with teachers, children, game-creators and artists). Her award-winning research into the co-production of Alternate Reality Games in schools has had significant impact on product design, immersive theatre practices and on policy development, both nationally and globally.

She has been involved in the development of highly successful educational games, including the Bafta-nominated 'Teach your Monster to Read', which was awarded a quality mark by the UK Government. She also works with immersive theatre companies to research the impact of integrating new technologies in arts in education practices.

She is currently a resident researcher with Punchdrunk Enrichment co-developing their Immersive Learning Collective with London schools and so co-directed and designed the immersive game, 'Join the DOTS' with KIT theatre.

Angela is committed to shaping socially just policies and practices in relation to children's education and is a founder member of the UK Literacy Association's Digital Literacies Task Group. She has presented at APPG meetings focusing on Media Education and has engaged in numerous governmental consultations.

She is currently working with the Digital Futures Commission to support them in their mission to ensure that digital world is designed in line with children's rights, interests and needs and created the Playful by Design Tool to support this work. More information about this work can be found at www.argle.net.

Research interests

Games and Learning

Immersive Theatre

Popular Culture in Classroom Contexts

Media Education

Theories of Play

Co-Design and Participatory Methods

Multimodality and Socio-Semiotics



  • Colvert A (2023) Playful Possibilities, The Routledge Companion to Children's Literature and Culture (pp. 214-226). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Colvert A (2023) Playful Possibilities, The Routledge Companion to Children's Literature and Culture (pp. 214-226). Taylor & Francis RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Colvert A, Pothong K, Livingstone S & Larissa P () Applying Children’s Rights to Digital Products: Exploring Competing Priorities in Design. Kruakae Pothong, Sonia Livingstone, Angela Colvert, and Larissa Pschetz. 2024. Applying Children’s Rights to Digital Products: Exploring Competing Priorities in Design. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’24), June 17– 20, 2024, Delft, Netherlands. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages. https: //doi.org/10.1145/3628516.3655789 RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Member of the Literacies and Language research cluster.


2022 The Act of Noticing: Playful Approaches to Participatory Research with Children Research England (5k PI - Internal Funding)

2021-2022 Co-Designing a ‘Playful by Design’ Tool with Industry Partners Digital Futures Commission (20k PI– including 10k match-funding from Roehampton)

2019-2022 Co-Designing Immersive Play: Developing Affective and Effective Pedagogies with the Punchdrunk Learning Collective. Punchdrunk Enrichment (29k PI)

2019 -2021 Playful Pedagogies: Developing Literacies through the co-design of Alternate Reality Games. British Academy (9K PI)

2018-2020 Developing the Literacies of Children and Young People in the 21st Century: A Framework. UK Literacy Association (3K Co-I)

2017-2018 Mapping the Affect and Effects of Immersive Play in KS2. Punchdrunk Enrichment (5K PI)

2014-2015 Evaluation of Prospero’s Island: Immersive Approach to Literacy in KS3. Punchdrunk Enrichment (15K Co-I)

Teaching interests

Angela has taught for over 13 years across undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Education. She is currently teaching on the MA in Digital Literacies, Culture and Education at and on undergraduate courses related to digital cultures.

Prior to joining the Univeristy of Sheffield, she created and taught courses on educational Alternate Reality Game design for trainee teachers at the University of Roehampton, and has ran Alternate Reality Game design workshops for artists, publishers and educators both in the UK and the US. Prior to working in academia, she worked in primary schools (and non-formal educational settings) for over 13 years.

Professional activities and memberships

Angela regularly collaborates with academics, artists, teachers, students, children, charities, industry partners and policy makers. She has fostered impactful, longterm, international knowledge exchange partnerships, as well as holding leadership and advisory roles for impact and engagement.

She has also been an active member of a range of professional groups: (2020- 2023) Digital Futures Commission www.digitalfuturescommission.org.uk (2021 -2022) Aurora (Advance HE) (2019 – to date) UK Literacy Association Digital Literacies Task Group (2016 – to date) Fellow of the HEA (2010) Core Participant in ESRC seminar Group ‘Children's and young people's digital literacies in virtual online spaces.’ (2009-2019) Trustee and on the Executive Committee of the UK Literacy Association