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Personal profile

Research interests

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

  • Gamification / Escape Rooms / Location-based Games / Alternate Reality Games
  • Augmented / Virtual Reality
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • User Experience (UX) / Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Internet of Things

Supervisory Interests

My supervisory interests focus on projects exploring the pedagogic potential of virtual/augmented environments, games, social media, and infographics in the context of computing and design education. Additionally, I am interested in projects that combine creative computing with arts, music, and fashion. (e.g., projection mapping, data visualisation, wearable technology, immersive media etc.).

Scholarly biography

I am PrincipalLecturer and course leader for BSc (Hons) Digital Games Development and BSc (Hons) Computer Science for Games at the University of Brighton. In my academic career to date, I have lectured at a number of British and Greek institutions in a broad range of computing, games, and design-related topics at all levels, including posts at 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), Abertay University (Lecturer in Computing), and the University of Macedonia (Associate Lecturer in Multimedia).

I am Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a researcher in the fields of gamification and technology-enhanced learning with 5 research grants and over 25 publications in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings. I am peer-reviewer for several journals (IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Computers & Education, OLC Online Learning Journal, Electronic Journal of e-Learning, International Journal on Advances in Intelligent Systems), and have been a technical committee member for over 25 international conferences.

Before entering academia, I held a variety of roles in the Creative industries, including learning technologist, graphic designer, full-stack developer, radio producer, DJ, mashup artist, video editor, and music/games journalist.

My current research is focused on the pedagogic potential of immersive technology, virtual/augmented environments, escape rooms, and games in the context of computing and design education.

Approach to teaching

As a researcher in the field of technology enhanced learning, I am very passionate about inspiring and engaging students using innovative techniques and technology. This includes gamification, escape rooms, peer learning, live coding, MOOCs, social learning, infographics, AR/VR, and flipped classroom. My teaching style and philosophy are based on putting the student at the heart of the learning experience so as to make the subject interesting and relevant. Students learn best when they have fun, so I tend to use game-based learning activities wherever possible. 

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. I also take students to ‘Escape rooms’, use collaborative games (e.g., 'Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes') as team-building activities, and incorporate '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 I use in-class critiques on a weekly basis to encourage discussion and peer assessment. Additionally, I follow a flipped classroom, use interactive quizzes for formative assessment, and organise student visits to museums, art galleries, and exhibitions for inspiration.

Finally, to improve student employability skills I have established collaborative relationships with industry partners (Hangar 13, Studio Gobo, Blippar, Unity, Capgemini, JustGiving, Cyber-Duck, Endemol, TT Odyssey) who have provided live briefs, given guest talks, and offered student internships.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Macedonia

Master, Hellenic Open University

Master, Heriot-Watt University

Bachelor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

External positions

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

1 Mar 2019 → …

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

1 Sep 2016 → …

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 2016 → …


  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • QA76 Computer software
  • L Education (General)
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR

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Research Output

  • 16 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN
  • 10 Article

Climbing up the leaderboard: an empirical study of applying Gamification techniques to a computer programming class

Fotaris, P., Mastoras, T., Leinfellner, R. & Rosunally, Y., 1 May 2016, In : Electronic Journal of e-Learning. 14, 2, p. 94-110 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Can the flipped classroom model improve students’ academic performance and training satisfaction in Higher Education instructional media design courses?

    Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, University of the Aegean, Fotaris, P. & Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, 11 Sep 2018, In : British Journal of Educational Technology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Escape Room Design as a Game-Based Learning Process for STEAM Education

    Karageorgiou, Z., Mavrommati, I. & Fotaris, P., 3 Oct 2019, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019. Elbaek, L., Majgaard, G., Valente, A. & Khalid, S. (eds.). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, p. 378-385 8 p. (Proceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning; vol. 2019-October).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

    Open Access
  • Activities

    Educational Escape Room Workshop

    Panagiotis Fotaris (Organiser)
    2 Oct 2019

    Activity: EventsEvent

    13th European Conference on Games Based Learning

    Panagiotis Fotaris (Chair)
    3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019

    Activity: EventsConference

    Develop:Brighton 2019: Develop: Research academic track

    Panagiotis Fotaris (Participant)
    9 Jul 2019

    Activity: EventsConference

    18th European Conference on e-Learning

    Panagiotis Fotaris (Member of programme committee)
    7 Nov 20198 Nov 2019

    Activity: EventsConference

    ArtsIT 2019 – 8th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation

    Panagiotis Fotaris (Member of programme committee)
    6 Nov 20198 Nov 2019

    Activity: EventsConference