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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Panagiotis Fotaris is Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Digital Games Development and BSc (Hons) Computer Science for Games at the University of Brighton. He obtained his BSc in Informatics and Telecommunications from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He then completed an MSc in Distributed and Multimedia Systems (Heriot-Watt University), an MA in Graphic Arts & Multimedia (Hellenic Open University), a PhD in Applied Informatics (Univesity of Macedonia), and a PgCert in Academic Practice (University of West London).

Prior to joining the University of Brighton, Dr Fotaris held posts at several British and Greek academic institutions, including the University of East London (Course leader for BSc Digital Media Design), University of West London (Lecturer in Computing), King’s College London (Learning Technologist), Hellenic Open University (Visiting Lecturer in MA Graphic Arts and Multimedia), and Abertay University (Lecturer in Computing).

Dr Fotaris is an active researcher in the area of Game-based Learning and User Experience. He chaired the 14th and 15th European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL 2020, ECGBL2021) and will chair the 21st European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2022).

Dr Fotaris has been a technical committee member for more than 30 international conferences. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings (Google Scholar Citations: 627). He is also Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

On a personal level, Dr Fotaris is immersed in underground culture and is able to speak with authority on underground music, fashion, art and film. Before entering academia, he held a variety of roles in the Creative Industries, including mashup artist (soundcloud.com/bynar, 38 tracks, 600,000+plays), radio producer/podcaster (mixcloud.com/bynar, 400+ music podcasts), DJ, club promoter, blogger, video editor, graphic designer, web developer, and music/videogames journalist. 

 

Invited talks & keynotes

  • “Escape from the classroom – the potential of educational escape rooms in a post-pandemic world”, Keynote Talk at the “Game it Now!” remote seminar, 12 December 2021, Innokas Network, Finland.
  • "A Conceptual Framework for Developing Educational Escape Rooms". Invited speaker at Develop:Brighton, 9 July 2019, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK.
  • "Escaping traditional learning: An escape room experience to raise awareness of cybersecurity". Invited speaker at the Resilience Games Workshop, University of Bristol, 19 February 2019, Bristol, UK.
  • "Escape room design for learning". Invited speaker at the 2019 HE Pedagogic Research Conference, University of Brighton, 1 February 2019, Brighton, UK.
  • "The stories we tell. Exploring how technology helps or hinders us telling stories and how we learn". Invited speaker at the Digital Jam Sessions podcast, Develop:Brighton, 11 July 2018, MakeRealVR, Brighton, UK.
  • "A Conceptual Framework for Developing Cyber-Security Serious Games". Invited speaker at Develop:Brighton, 10 July 2018, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK.
  • "Game-based learning in the classroom: tips, techniques, and tools". Invited speaker at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Brighton, 13 July 2018, Brighton, UK.
  • "An introduction to careers in the Digital Industries". Invited speaker at The Future of Employment for Graduates in STEM Conference, University of West London, 6 December 2017, London, UK.
  • "Using tablets for teaching and learning – gamification with Kahoot!" Invited speaker at the CELT Learning and Teaching Festival, UEL Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, 10 June 2016, London, UK.
  • "Visual storytelling and current trends in digital design". Invited speaker at the CMA Digital Breakfasts, Content Marketing Association, 10 June 2015, London, UK.
  • "Informing design of feedback, assessment and learning through Moodle Analytics". Invited speaker at the MOOT Conference, 18-21 February 2013, Dublin, Ireland.

 

Peer reviewing

  • Computers & Education (Elsevier)
  • Virtual Reality (Springer)
  • IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (TLT) (IEEE Education Society)
  • Education Inquiry (Taylor & Francis)
  • Higher Education Quarterly (Wiley)
  • Psychology Research and Behavior Management (Dove Medical Press)
  • Telecom (MDPI)
  • Informatics (MDPI)
  • OLC Online Learning Journal (Online Learning Consortium)
  • Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL) (Academic Publishing International)

Research interests

Dr Fotaris's research interests focus on the integration of technology in teaching and learning, particularly in the use and pedagogic potential of games, escape rooms, and virtual/augmented environments in educational settings. A representative list of research interests is the following:

  • Educational Escape Rooms
  • Game-Based Learning / Gamification / Location-based Games / Alternate Reality Games
  • Augmented / Virtual Reality
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Design Thinking
  • Cybersecurity

Supervisory Interests

Dr Fotaris's supervisory interests focus on projects exploring the pedagogic potential of games, escape roomsvirtual/augmented environments, and social media in the context of computing and design education. Additionally, he is interested in projects that combine creative computing with arts, music, and fashion. (e.g., projection mapping, data visualisation, wearable technology, immersive media etc.).

Approach to teaching

Dr Fotaris teaches in the area of Human Computer Interaction and Games Design and Development at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. He has supervised more than 100 UG and PG dissertations and degree projects, at BSc, BA, MA, and MSc levels. Currently, he is leading the following PG and UG Modules at the School of Architecture, Technology, and Engineering:

  • MSc Module - IDM04 Design Thinking
  • MSc Module - IDM05 Independent Portfolio Project
  • MSc Module - IDM12 Independent Research Project
  • BSc Module – CI540 Interactive Media Development
  • BSc Module - CI518 Narrative and Game Asset Design
  • BSc Module - CI410 Introduction to Games Design and Development 

Also co-teaching BSc CI465 - Working in the Digital and Games Industries

As a researcher in the field of game-based learning, Dr Fotaris is very passionate about inspiring and engaging students using innovative techniques and technology, such as gamification, escape rooms, peer learning, live coding, MOOCs, social learning, infographics, AR/VR, and flipped classroom. 

Some examples of this approach include 'gamifying' the delivery and assessment of programming modules to strengthen students' programming skills using tools such as Codecademy, Kahoot, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Codingame, Hacknet, and HackerRank. He also takes students to ‘Escape rooms’, uses collaborative games (e.g., 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes') as team-building activities, and incorporates 'choose-your-own-adventure'-style games addressing business problems in employability modules. To help students develop critical skills and keep in line with design industry practices, Dr Fotaris uses in-class critiques on a weekly basis to encourage discussion and peer assessment.

To improve student employability skills, Dr Fotaris haa established collaborative relationships with industry partners (Creative Assembly, Unity Technologies, Hangar 13, Mediatonic Games, Studio Gobo, Electric Square, Blippar, Capgemini, JustGiving, Cyber-Duck, Endemol, TT Odyssey, nDreams, CCP, Frontier Developments, Splash Damage) who have provided live briefs, given guest talks, and offered student internships.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Macedonia

Award Date: 5 Apr 2011

Master, Hellenic Open University

Award Date: 10 Nov 2010

Master, Heriot-Watt University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2000

Bachelor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Award Date: 1 Dec 1999

External positions

External Examiner for BSc (Hons) Interactive Digital Immersion, University of Plymouth

1 Sep 20201 Sep 2024

External Examiner for MA Digital Design and Interactive Applications, Middlesex University

1 Sep 20191 Sep 2023

External Examiner for BA (Hons) Game Design, Brunel University London

1 Mar 20191 Sep 2023

External Examiner for BSc (Hons) Games Technology and BSc (Hons) Multimedia Computing, Coventry University

1 Sep 20161 Sep 2020

Visiting Lecturer for MA Graphic Arts and Multimedia, Hellenic Open University

1 Sep 2016 → …

External Examiner for BA (Hons) Creative Media Design, University of the West of England

1 Sep 20161 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • QA76 Computer software
  • Games
  • L Education (General)
  • Gamification
  • Game based learning
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • graphic design

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