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Prof. Dr.

Bernadette Spieler

Since February 2021, I have been at the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PHZH, Switzerland) as a professor for “Computing Skills in Education”. I received my PhD in 2018 from the Institute of Software Technology at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz, Austria). At TU Graz, I worked first as a project assistant in the H2020 project “No One Left Behind“, and later as a postdoctoral researcher. I completed my dissertation on the topic “Development and Evaluation of Concepts and Tools to Reinforce Gender Equality by Engaging Female Teenagers in Coding”. For my thesis, I focused on the conception of a framework for a more gender equal classroom setting for inclusive game design activities. This so-called “Playing, Engagement, Creativity, Creating” (PECC) framework suggests inclusive gamified activities during different stages, considers the gender dimension in different intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, and shows how all students can benefit equally from them. It puts an emphasis on how to foster intrinsic motivators especially in girls like their sense of belonging to computing fields, to generate interest for this area, to improve their self-efficiency towards computing, and finally, to bring fun elements to the classroom. Second, I developed different apps to engage girls in game design and creativity, e.g., Pocket Code and Embroidery Designer. I am still part of the product owner board of the Catrobat association ( with the goal to develop apps to support children and young people in learning programming directly on the smarphone. My current research interests include basic CS education, AI didactics, maker education, programming concepts, and game design with a focus on gender and diversity. In my recent research I presented a study on teacher’s beliefs on digital games in schools. Based on these interviews and further evaluations, a new curriculum for digital games in teacher education should be developed to be used in MI or interdisciplinary.


Zurich University of Teacher Education


Education and Digital Transformation