My major research activities during graduate school have been at Center for Science and the Imagination. My research at CSI draws upon interdisciplinary work in learning sciences, educational technology, digital media, and design methods, this work included NSF-funded projects. In these projects, I collaborated with students, teachers, computer scientists, and community-based organizers to conduct studies across multiple education settings (classrooms, online, museums, local communities). 

Topics: Learning, technologies and digital media, critical STEM and ethics, educational equity and justice, collaborative learning, interactive engagement, design-based methods 



Learners’ Engagement in Transdisciplinary STEAM Activities: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Perceptions, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Determination Within an Out-Of-School Science Program

Major focus: Equity-oriented pedagogy and design in learning environments.

Participation and Engagement in Out of School STEM Hands-On Activities in a Community-based Organization Program 

Committee members:

Dr. Ruth Wylie, Dr. Elisabeth Gee, Dr. Rod Roscoe, Dr. Shirin Vossoughi

For my dissertation work I am partnering with Al-Rowad for Science and Technology community based organization for STEM education to co-design equity-oriented learning environment for no-dominant population in STEM. Leveraging hands-on activities for interdisciplinary STEM that the organization designed, I am studying existing practices in this environment. I also conducted a series of co-design sessions with the organization members to think together about educational possibilities for this learning enviornment, including integration of technology. 

Selected related publications:

Mawasi A., Wylie R., Ganaiem W. & Ganaiem M. (2021). Identifying Research-Practice Tensions and Belief Shifts through Co-Design Processes. 1st International Society of the Learning Sciences Annual Meeting. International Society of the Learning Sciences. [Short paper]

Mawasi A., Wylie R., Nagy P. (2021). Exploring Self-Efficacy Shifts within an Informal STEM Program. 1st International Society of the Learning Sciences Annual Meeting. International Society of the Learning Sciences. [Poster]

Mawasi A., Wylie R., Mishra P. (2021) Expanding Science Learning within Community-Based Hands-on Transdisciplinary STEAM Experiences. 1st International Society of the Learning Sciences Annual Meeting. International Society of the Learning Sciences. [Poster]

Mawasi A., Wylie, R., Gee, E. (2020). Learners’ Perceptions of Participating in STEM Hands-On Activities in an Out-Of-School Community-Based Organization Program. Connected Learning 2020. Full research paper. To appear in CLS2020 Proceedings published by the Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.

Mawasi A. (June, 2020). Co-Design with Community-based Organizations Members to Explore Educational Possibilities as a Pedagogical Approach. Position paper for Teaching the Next Generation of Child-Computer Interaction Researchers and Designers Workshop. Interaction Design for Children Conference (IDC 2020).

Mawasi A., (March, 2020). A Community-Based Organization Efforts for Equity-Oriented STEM Education Practices. 2020 Social Embeddedness Network, Arizona State University. Conference was in an online format due to COVID19.


Mawasi A., Aguilera, E., Wylie R., & Gee, E. (2020). Neutrality, "New" Digital Divide, and Openness Paradox: Equity in Learning Environments Mediated by Educational Technology. In International Conference of the Learning Sciences. ICLS2020.

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NSF #1516684 Increasing Learning and Efficacy about Emerging Technologies through Transmedia Engagement by the Public in Science-in-Society Activities 

Supervisor: Dr. Ruth Wylie 


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, user experience and usability testing of a game, analyzing and coding data of surveys and interviews, conducting literature reviews, and writing and contributing to publications.

Selected publications:

Nagy, P., Mawasi A., Wylie, R. (2020, Accepted). Narrative-based Hands-On Activities for Science and Science Ethics Education: The Frankenstein200 Experience. Connected Learning 2020. Conference canceled, to appear in CLS2020 Proceedings published by the Carnegie Mellon ETC Press.

Mawasi A., Nagy, P., Wylie R. (2020). Systematic Literature Review on Narrative-Based Learning in Learning Environments Mediated by Educational Technology and Digital Media (2007-2017). In International Conference of the Learning Sciences. ICLS2020.

Nagy, P., Mawasi, A., & Wylie, R. (2020). Fostering Science Identity Through Transmedia Storytelling: A Mixed-Methods Approach. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 2 (pp. 873-874). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

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 [Other 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.

[Poster proposal, 3rd place award] Mawasi A. (2018) "Examining Individual and Collaborative Interactive Engagement in Transmedia Storytelling Learning Environment"

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NSF #1736103 Improving Student Help-Giving with Ubiquitous Collaboration Support Technology

Supervisors: Dr. Ruth Wylie and Dr. Erin Walker 

I have collaborated 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 and collaborative learning skills (Fall 2018 to Fall 2019). 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 managed and led multiple activities for the classroom implementation and learning-education related aspects of the project, this includes: pilot studies at school with 7-8th grade students, 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, developing measurement instruments, developing and implementing a strategy for design-based research process and data collection for pilots and at school, user experience and usability pilots, writing reports and field notes of studies, conducting literature reviews on collaborative learning and orchestration, and active contributions to writings and publications.

Selected publications:  

Mawasi, A., Ahmed, I., Walker, E., Wang, S., Marasli, Z., Whitehurst, A., & Wylie, R. (2020). Using Design-Based Research to Improve Peer Help-Giving in a Middle School Math ClassroomIn Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 2 (pp. 1189-1196). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

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).

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Cognitive Engagement in Learning Environments through the Lens of Interactive, Constructive, Active, Passive Engagement: ICAP Framework

The ICAP framework (Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive)  (Chi & Wylie, 2014) 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 and instructions, the more the deeper they will learn (Chi & Wylie, 2014).

a. 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”.

The goal of this work was to identify ways in which ICAP could be used as a coding tool for analyzing cognitive engagement across settings (e.g., classrooms, instructional design). 

b. In Spring 2020, I conducted a co-design session with teachers in a community based organization for STEM education. I introduced to them the framework as a way to reflect on existing practices in the organization and ways the framework could help us think about the classroom and programs activities.

An Exploration of the Educational Philosophy of Khalil al-Sakakini

This project aimed to explore the educational philosphy of Khalil al-Sakakini, a Palestinian educator, writer, and pedagogist. I engaded in exploring his pedagogical approaches, prinicples of education reflected in his visionary work, and the social and political context his work took place. I analyzed and read his diaries: The Diaries of Khalil Sakakin, texts written about him, and textbooks written by him I was able to find in the search process.

Conference Presentation:  

Mawasi, A. (March, 2017). The Diaries of Khalil al-Sakakini: A Constructivist View on Learning. 17th Annual Southwest Graduate Conference in Middle Eastern and North African Studies: Policy, Development, Environment, and Technology. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA