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Aroutis N. Foster, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
One Drexel Plaza
3001 Market Street
Room 041

Program Affiliation:

M.S., Learning Technologies
Ph.D., Educational Leadership Development and Learning Technologies


Ph.D., Michigan State University
B.A., City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn

Areas of Expertise:

    • Knowledge Building and Cognition
    • Identity Exploration and Change, Motivation to Learn
    • Media Design, Teachers and Technology, Technology Integration, Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPCK/TPACK))
    • Play and Game-Based Learning 
    • Digital Media and Learning: Immersive Interactive Digital Environments (e.g. Simulations, Games, Virtual Environments)
    • Technology Design and Development
    • STEM Learning and Identity Exploration
    • Design-Based Research Methods, Mixed-Methods

Research Interests:

    • The Human Aspects of Technology and Knowledge: Exploring the cognitive, pedagogical, and experiential affordances of technologies for epistemological advancement and identity exploration in formal and informal learning spaces.
    • Information Technology Education: Designing, implementing, integrating, and combining technologies for knowledge construction and the exploration of identities.
    • Designing Media for learning: Designing and developing games to support identity exploration, motivation to learning, interest, behavior, and cognition.
    • Model Development:  Creating and testing epistemological and pedagogical models for learning and teaching with games and interactive digital environments to engage learners in formal and informal settings for 21st century learning and civic engagement.
    • STEM Learning: Using games and virtual world to explore metacognitive processes, knowledge building, and identity exploration in STEM disciplines.

Professional Experience:

    • Drexel University - Provost Fellow In the Office of Research (Present)
    • Drexel University, School of Education, Associate Professor, Learning Technologies/Creativity & Innovation (Present) Advisory Board – Entrepreneurial Game Studio, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
    • Courtesy Faculty – Digital Media Department  (Interactive Digital Media program, Game Art & Production graduate program), Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.   (Present)
    • Advisory Board – Entrepreneurial Game Studio, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. (Present)
    • Affiliate Faculty for Replay Lab in Digital Media Program & Computer Science Department (Present)
    •  Michigan State University, College of Education, Center for Curriculum Materials in Science, — Research and Teaching Assistant (2003–09) 
    •  ACB Architects & Planners, P.C. (New York, NY), Architectural Design (1999–2003) 


    2014-2019 -  CAREER: Projective Reflection: Learning as Identity Exploration within Games for Science - PI Aroutis Foster. NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program - $764,941.00 – DRL-1350707 

    2013-2016 EAGER: US Ignite: A Cloud Enabled Virtual Reality Based Pedagogical Ecosystem for Green Energy and Environmental Engineering Education– PI Pramod Abichandani, Co-PIs Aroutis Foster, Kapil Dandekar. NSF EAGER Grant - $270,584.48 - Award# CNS-1354572   

    2013 - 2015 EAGER - TAEMILE: Towards Automating Experience Management in Interactive Learning Environments. PI. Jichen Zhu, CoPIs Aroutis Foster and Glen Muschio. NSF EAGER Grant - $149,999.00 – Award # IIS-1349082       

    2013 -2014  Playing to See: A Research and Development Digital Game Based Learning Project with the Barnes Foundation – PIs Aroutis Foster & Jen Katz-Buonincontro. The Barnes Foundation—$245,000.00—(3/13–3/14) 

    2012 -2013 EAGER Proposal for Research in STEM Learning: Research and Development of a Digital Play-Based Platform to Achieve Projective Reflection for 21st Century Learning. PI Aroutis Foster. NSF EAGER Grant—$50,000.00—Award #1250243


**graduate student

 Foster, A.  & Shah, M.** (2016). Knew me and new me: Facilitating student identity exploration and learning through game integration. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulation, 8(3).

Duvall, M.**, Matranga, A.**, Foster, A. & Silverman, J. (2016). Mobile learning: technology as mediator of personal and school experiences. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 6(1).

 Shah, M.,** & Foster, A. (2015). Developing and assessing teachers’ knowledge of game-based learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 23(2), 241-267.

Foster, A. & Shah, M.** (2015). The ICCE framework: Framing learning experiences afforded by games. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 51(4). (12% acceptance rate)

Foster, A. & Shah, M.** (2015). The Play Curricular activity Reflection Discussion model for game-based learning. Journal of Research in Technology Education, 47(2). 

 Shah, M.,** & Foster, A (2014). Undertaking an ecological approach to advance game-based learning: A case study. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(1), 29-41.

 Shah, M.**, & Foster, A. (2014). The inquiry, communication, construction, and expression (ICCE) framework for understanding learning experience in games. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 5(2).

 Katz-Buonincontro, J. & Foster, A. (2013). Integrating the visual arts back into the classroom with mobile applications: Teaching beyond the ‘click and view’ approach. Journal of Digital Learning and Teacher Education, 30(2), 52-59. (Acceptance rate 18%, 75% authorship)

Foster, A. N. (2011).* The process of learning in a simulation strategy game: Disciplinary knowledge construction. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(1), 1-27

Foster, A. N. (2008). Games and motivation to learn science: Personal identity, applicability, relevance and meaningfulness. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(4), 597-614.