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Fred Ingram

Research student

Fred Ingram

Lancaster University

The Management School




Most of my professional life involved Informational Technology, with over thirty years’ experience in Business Analysis, Project Management, Systems Analysis & Design, Data Warehousing, Programming, etc.  However, in the more recent past I spent 14 years teaching Mathematics and ICT at a UK secondary school.  I am currently a full-time, fully-funded, doctoral student.  Once the PhD is completed I intend working on agent-based solutions to problems in any sector of industry, business etc. (although AI applications are of particular interest).

Thesis Outline

The goal of the research was to develop an agent-based model and simulation that adequately represented some of the dynamic and spatial complexities of secondary school classroom lessons, with interactions between autonomous students, their teacher and an optional teaching assistant.  By implementing the conceptual model as a simulation, the aim was to study quantitatively the consequences of common classroom scenarios, to gain behavioural insights into what happens and how this affects overall class productivity, disruption, etc.
Such a simulation model could be a valuable lesson analytics tool, enabling teachers and educators to explore the consequences of interventions prior to implementing the changes in lessons.  Potential scenarios might include providing or withdrawing a teaching assistant, changing seating arrangements, or trying alternative lesson plans.
During a case study, a lesson event recording tool was developed and used to record many types of student and teacher activities during lessons.  These data have been used to calibrate and validate the model, lesson by lesson.  Various metrics have been identified or constructed to characterise lessons, classes, students and teachers in order that empirical results and the results of simulations may be compared and evaluated.  
The simulation software, coded in NetLogo (a popular open-source tool), is fully operational, providing animated lesson play/replay with rich statistical outputs for lesson analytics.


BSc (Hons) Computer Science, MSc Information Systems, Cert. Ed. Post Compulsory, MA Education, BSc (Hons) Mathematics

  • Published

    Simulating classroom lessons: an agent-based attempt

    Ingram, F. & Brooks, R. J., 21/03/2018, Proceedings of the SW18: The OR Society Simulation Workshop. Anagnostou, A., Fakhimi, M., Meskarian, R. & Robertson, D. (eds.). Operational Research Society, p. 230-240 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paper

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