Areas of research interests and experience:

  • Digital media and educational technology for learning;
  • Designing interactive learning environments in-and-out-school;
  • Equity in design and pedagogy;
  • Digital media, digital storytelling, and technology for youth;
  • Mixed methods and design research in education research;
  • Finally, using digital media and technology as socio-technical systems to better understand ways: (1) we learn and interact across place and space with each other and with technology; (2) we balance between pedagogy, literacies, and technology; and (3) we think about ethics in future, present, and past in relation to innovations  (i.e., history and future of technology, innovation, and science).

As a PhD student in Learning, Literacies, and Technologies, my research interests are at the intersection between Learning Sciences and Educational Technology. Drawing upon research from the Learning Sciences, Digital Media and Communication, and Education Studies, I study and design learning environments mediated by educational technology and digital media to improve learners engagement and participation in STEM-related domains with focus on -Science, Technology, and Society-.

I am a research assistant at the Center for Science and the Imagination since 2016, where I have been working on interdisciplinary projects that combine educational technology, digital media, transmedia, public participation in science, and learning sciences.

The projects I have been involved in enabled me to work with diverse teams  and explore different learning settings and spaces (virtual, in-school and out-school), contexts (e.g., informal education such as museums, K12 classrooms, higher ed), technologies (e.g., games, intelligent tutoring systems, online platforms, and social media), and methodologies (e.g., design-based research, mixed methods, qualitative inquiry, quantitative analysis, user experience methods). In my studies and work at ASU I have had an experience with multiple design research methods such as: interviews, user experience testing, observations, affinity diagramming, think-a-aloud, personas, scenarios design, Business Origami, eye-tracking, and co-design. Finally, areas of research I have been developing knowledge and expertise around also include: imagination, digital literacies, transmedia storytelling, collaborative learning and interactive engagement, science and math identities, and math peer interaction, help giving and explanation.

Most recently, I’ve been involved in the following NSF research projects under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Wylie:


Increasing Learning and Efficacy about Emerging Technologies through Transmedia Engagement by the Public in Science-in-Society Activities / # 1 5 1 6 6 8 4

This NSF project uses the narrative of Frankenstein to engage the public with activities that aims at increasing the efficacy of learners towards STEM topic. These activities were diverse and included an online game with 10 episode videos, hands-one activities, and series of events around the theme of Frankenstein.

In this project, I have been engaged in several research activities around science ethics, public participation in science, transmedia storytelling, game-based learning, and learning in and out of school. I have been engaged in data collection in schools and museums, usability testing of a game, analyzing and coding data of surveys and interviews, conducting literature reviews, and writing and contributing to publications.

Selected publications from this project:
[Poster proposal, 3rd place award]
"Examining Individual and Collaborative Interactive Engagement in Transmedia Storytelling Learning Environment"

[Chapter co-author]
Aguilera, E., Stewart, O. G., Mawasi, A., & Cortés, L. E. (2020). Seeing Beyond the Screen: A Multidimensional Framework for Understanding Digital-Age Literacies. In P. Sullivan, J. Lantz, & B. Sullivan (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Integrating Digital Technology With Literacy Pedagogies (pp. 1-31). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-0246-4.ch00 1

[Conference Proposals]
Mawasi, A., Nagy, P., & Wylie, R. (April, 2019). What does Ethics Mean? Middle School Students Perceptions of Science Ethics. American Education Research Association for the 2019 Annual Conference. 

Aguilera, E., Olivia S., Mawasi, A., & Cortes, L. (November, 2018). Expanding Analytical Perspectives on Digital-Age Literacies. Literacy Research Association, Indian Wells, CA.


Improving Student Help-Giving with Ubiquitous Collaboration Support Technology  / #1 7 3 6 1 0 3

I have collaborted with an interdisciplinary team of teachers, computer scientists, and learning scientists to design and study a set of curriculum materials and educational technology aimed at improving students’ help-giving skills. The learning experience includes several opportunities for students to collaborate and help each other through face-to-face and online interactions. The objectives of the project are to examine students’ patterns of collaboration and help-giving behaviors across the different activities to provide adaptive support to students using educational technology. In this work I engaged in multiple activities including conducting the study and implementing the technology in classrooms across multiple iterations and design cycles, interviewing students across three studies, analyzing and coding quantitative and qualitative data, measures development, developing strategy for design-based research process and data collection, writing reports and field notes of studies, conducting literature reviews, and contribution to writings and publications.

Selected publications from this project:
[Conference proposals]
Ahmed, I., Mawasi, A., Wang, S., Wylie, R., Bergner, Y., Whitehurst, A., & Walker, E. (2019, June). Investigating Help-Giving Behavior in a Cross-Platform Learning Environment. In International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (pp. 14-25). Springer, Cham.
Ahmed, I., Girotto, V., Mawasi, A., Whitehurst, A., Wylie, R., & Walker, E. (2019, January). Co-Design for Learner Help-Giving Across Physical and Digital Contexts. In International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (p. 545-548; Vol. 2).


ICAP Framework (Chi & Wylie, 2014):
The ICAP framework (Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive) provides a taxonomy to understand students interactive and constructive engagement in learning environments (both face to face and using technology). The core argument of the framework is that the more engaged the learner is with the learning materials, the more they will have learning gains (Chi & Wylie, 2014).

My work on ICAP began at the Center for Science and the Imagination, where I conducted a literature review on the uses of ICAP of work published between (2015-2018) and I proposed a study that aims to examine learners engagement with hands-on activities and digital media tools based on the taxonomy of ICAP. The poster won a third-place Poster award from the Institute for Social Science Research at ASU in Spring 2018: “Examining Individual and Collaborative Interactive Engagement in Transmedia Storytelling Learning Environment”.

In Fall 2018, I worked as a part-time graduate research assistant at Learning and Cognition Lab. Under supervision of the lab postdocs, I did data collection in  a school where teachers used instructions that were developed based on ICAP framework for middle school biology classrooms. I also engaged in the coding of classroom videos based on the framework taxonomy.