TeachQuest: Rethinking Teacher Recruitment

We’re excited to announce a new research project – TeachQuest – funded by the ESRC.

It’s time to meet your class…

TeachQuest is a casual, easy to play, ‘visual novel’ narrative game that allows players to immerse themselves in being a first year teacher starting in the fictitious Loxley Wood secondary school in Sheffield. With your mentor Jamie checking in, players can explore teaching scenarios ranging from tricky parents and challenging pupils, to planning lessons and keeping that all important work-life balance.

TeachQuest is built on a foundation of research on motivation and engagement, and can provide valuable research data on career-decision making

Players control the game through their decisions


Browser based, this game is playable without an install on both mobile and desktop device.

What our play testers have said…





Recruiting sufficient high-quality applicants for initial teacher training is a chronic problem in the UK and in several countries around the world. At TeachQuest, we are developing and testing cutting-edge technologies with the aim of recruiting more undergraduates into the teaching profession. Our new project will test the efficacy of recruitment messages for various groups (gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status) and build and test a ‘serious game’ that will engage STEM undergraduates with an online teaching simulation. TeachQuest is based at the University of Oxford, with partners from Durham University and the Education University of Hong Kong.



Meet the Team


Robert Klassen is PI on this project. Is the University of Oxford’s Statutory Chair in Education. His work focuses on connecting the areas of motivation, technology, and the teaching workforce, with recent projects on teacher and school leader recruitment, selection, and development. He has led recent projects funded by the ERC, the ESRC, and the World Bank with recent research work in the UK, Australia, Africa, and Europe. He is a Chartered Psychologist in the UK and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the American Psychological Association. In his spare time, he is a top-class crokinole player, and enjoys playing chess and tennis with varying degrees of success!


Joe Cutting

Joe Cutting is providing management and expertise in game development. He is a lecturer in the department of Computer Science, University of York. Joe’s varied career has seen him working at the London Science Museum, starting his own digital agency to create serious games

Sophie Thompson-Lee

Sophie Thompson-Lee is the Post-Doctoral Researcher on this project. Her research has focused on psycholinguistics and second language learning and teaching. Sophie taught English as a foreign language in China, Spain, The Czech Republic, and the UK. Outside of work, she is a keen traveller, foodie, and slow, but persistent, jogger.

Rebecca Snell

Rebecca Snell is the Education Consultant and has 12 years of experience in British Secondary Schools. She has held a range of roles from Head of Department, to Director of Sixth Form. In her spare time she enjoys wild swimming and long walks with her dogs & family.

Michael Saiger

Michael Saiger is the Game Design Researcher on the project. He has previously worked as a games designer and quality assurance consultant on projects involving: Channel 4, BBC, Marie Stopes, 10Today and Mattel. In his spare time, he helps run tabletop and role-playing game events, upcycles furniture, and probably plays too many games.

Daniel Slawson

Dan Slawson is a physicist turned software engineer and lifelong lover of games. Working as a Research Software Engineer in Creative Technologies he leads the software work of Digital Creativity Labs. Dan has worked on evaluating voice recognition in forensic linguistics, developing ‘V2G’ renewable energies and has built tools for Virtual Production and Object Based Media.

Beng Huat See

Beng Huat See is Professor of Education Research at Durham University. Her current research interests focus on improving teacher supply, teacher development and teacher quality as well as identifying ways to enhance students’ learning and wider outcomes. She is also exploring teacher shortages and looking to identify promising approaches to attract and retain teachers.

Hui Wang

Hui Wang is an Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on teachers’ achievement motivation, emotions, emotion regulation, and occupational well-being, as well as the impact of teacher motivation and emotions on their students’ motivational, behavioral, and achievement outcomes. Hui also develops and implements intervention programs that promote better teacher retention and well-being