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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Panagiotis Fotaris is Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton. He is the module leader for CI465 Working in the Digital and Games Industry, CI520 Narrative Game Design, and IDM04 Design Thinking. He was Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Digital Games Development and BSc (Hons) Computer Science for Games from 2018 to 2022. 

Dr Fotaris 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, 2014-2017), 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).

Beyond his educational role, Dr. Fotaris ardently fosters collaboration and innovation. With a global reach, he has delivered keynote addresses on game-based learning and chaired international conferences like the European Conference on Game-Based Learning (ECGBL 2020 & ECGBL 2021), the European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2022), and the European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2024). He has also organised several workshops on educational escape room design, providing participants with hands-on learning experiences that stimulate creativity and critical thinking.

As an active researcher in the area of Game-based Learning, Dr Fotaris has been a technical committee member for more than 30 international conferences. He has authored or co-authored 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings (Google Scholar Citations: 1280, h-index: 10). He is also Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr Fotaris boasts a multifaceted background in the Creative Industries. His diverse roles span from being a mashup artist (soundcloud.com/bynar), radio producer, podcaster (mixcloud.com/bynar), and DJ to club promoter, blogger, video editor, graphic designer, web developer, and music journalist.

Invited talks, keynotes, and webinars

  1. "Room2Educ8: A Framework for creating Educational Escape Rooms", Keynote talk at Escape Rooms in Education Showcase and Celebration, 9 June 2023, Heriot-Watt University, UK.
  2. "Game-Based Learning and Educational Escape rooms", webinar presenter, 22 February 2023, online.
  3. "Game-Based Learning and Educational Escape rooms", webinar presenter, 7 December 2022, online. 
  4. “The potential of educational escape rooms”, Keynote Talk at Education Day 2022, 6 September 2022, Brunel University London, London, UK.
  5. "Educational Escape Rooms: design frameworks, techniques, and tools". Invited speaker at the Education and Student Experience Conference, University of Brighton, 8 July 2022, Brighton, UK.
  6. “The potential of educational escape rooms in a post-pandemic world”, Keynote Talk at the 3rd Symposium on Games in Learning, 1 June 2022, Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT), Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.
  7. “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.
  8. "A Conceptual Framework for Developing Educational Escape Rooms". Invited speaker at Develop:Brighton, 9 July 2019, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK.
  9. "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.
  10. "Escape room design for learning". Invited speaker at the 2019 HE Pedagogic Research Conference, University of Brighton, 1 February 2019, Brighton, UK.
  11. "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.
  12. "A Conceptual Framework for Developing Cyber-Security Serious Games". Invited speaker at Develop:Brighton, 10 July 2018, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK.
  13. "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.
  14. "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.
  15. "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.
  16. "Visual storytelling and current trends in digital design". Invited speaker at the CMA Digital Breakfasts, Content Marketing Association, 10 June 2015, London, UK.
  17. "Informing design of feedback, assessment and learning through Moodle Analytics". Invited speaker at the MOOT Conference, 18-21 February 2013, Dublin, Ireland.

Workshops

  1. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 4 October 2023, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands.
  2. Educational Escape Room and Generative Artificial Intelligence Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator for eTeach-Netzwerk Thüringen, 26-27 January 2023, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar, Germany.
  3. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 16th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 8 October 2022, Lusofona University, Lisbon, Portugal.
  4. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator for eTeach-Netzwerk Thüringen, 25 March 2022, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar, Germany.
  5. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 15th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 22 September 2021, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK.
  6. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 14th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 23 September 2020, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK.
  7. Educational Escape Room Workshop. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 13th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 2 October 2019, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  8. A Picture is worth 1000 words: Teaching with infographics. Workshop organiser and facilitator at the 2014 University of West London Teaching and Learning Conference, 24 June 2014, London, UK.

Guest Editor

  1. Chahal, H. & Fotaris, P. (eds.) (2024). Special Issue on "Evolving Gaming in E-Learning and Business Intelligence", Entertainment Computing, Elsevier (In press).
  2. Fotaris, P., Mastoras, T., Michaelides, M. & Grundy, C. (eds.) (2023). Special Issue on "Game Based Learning", Education
    Sciences, 13, 3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12110768.
  3. Fotaris, P. (ed.) (2023). Special Issue on "Educational Escape Rooms", Electronic Journal of e-Learning, Academic Publishing
    International (In press).
  4. Fotaris, P. & Blake, A. (eds.) (2022). Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on e-Learning ECEL 2022, Reading, UK, Academic Conferences International Limited.
  5. Fotaris, P. (ed.) (2021). Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2021, Reading, UK, Academic Conferences International Limited.
  6. Fotaris, P. (ed.) (2020). Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2020, Reading, UK, Academic Conferences International Limited.

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, generative artificial intelligence, 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
  • Generative Artificial Intelligence
  • 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 rooms, generative artificial intelligence, virtual/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:

  • IDM04 Design Thinking
  • CI520 Narrative Game Design
  • CI465 Working in the Digital and Games Industries

Previously taught modules include:

  • IDM05 Independent Portfolio Project
  • IDM12 Independent Research Project
  • CI540 Interactive Media Development
  • CI518 Narrative and Game Asset Design
  • CI536 Integrated Group Project
  • CI435 Introduction to Web Development
  • CI410 Introduction to Games Design and Development
  • CI407 Design for Web and Mobile Interaction

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, generative Artificial Intelligence, 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 uses educational escape rooms for raising awareness on information security, 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 has 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, Make Real Ltd.) who have provided live briefs, given guest talks, and offered student internships.

Dr Fotaris organised Brighton’s first GAY(M) JAM in 2019, a collaborative competition celebrating inclusion and diversity within gaming for the next generation of game creators. This was a great opportunity for our students to demonstrate how socially aware and inclusive they were, as well as develop a games hub for people who directly or indirectly identified with the LGBTQ+ community. The event was a big success and helped our institution and students build close ties with local AAA developers Hangar 13, Studio Gobo, and Electric Square who proudly sponsored GAY(M) JAM.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia

Award Date: 5 Apr 2011

Master, MA in Graphic Arts and Multimedia, Hellenic Open University

Award Date: 10 Nov 2010

Master, MSc in Distributed and Multimedia Information Systems, Heriot-Watt University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2000

Bachelor, Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Award Date: 1 Dec 1999

External positions

External Examiner for BSc (Hons) Computer Games with 3D Modelling and Animation, University of East Anglia

1 Sept 202031 Aug 2024

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

1 Sept 20201 Sept 2024

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

1 Sept 20191 Sept 2024

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

1 Mar 20191 Sept 2023

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

1 Sept 20161 Sept 2020

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

1 Sept 2016 → …

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

1 Sept 20161 Sept 2020

Keywords

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

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