Specifying the Pedagogical Aspects of Narrative-Based Digital Learning Games by Using Annotations

In this paper, we present an extension of ATTAC-L, a domain specific modeling language to model the narrative content (“story”) of virtual experience scenarios or digital games. ATTAC-L is specifically designed to allow the involvement of non-technical people in the modeling process. However, as in learning games (i.e. games with an educational purpose) giving due consideration to the learning aspects is as important as to the game aspects, ATTAC-L is extended to also allow the modeling of the pedagogical aspects of the learning game. To realize this, we opted for an annotation mechanism. In this way, the educational or pedagogical aspects are specified on top of the storyline model. This allows (and even gently forces) at the one hand to integrate learning into the storyline, and on the other hand it prevents that the specification of the two aspects (learning and gaming) are entangled in the specification. It allows for a clear separation between the narrative content and the educational aspects in the story flow. This allows stakeholders to concentrate either on the story flow, or on how the story flow will be used to realize the pedagogical objectives of the game.
This paper explains the principles of the annotation technique, and describes and illustrates the newly introduced modeling concepts.
Publication Reference
Van Broeckhoven, F., De Troyer, O.: "Specifying the Pedagogical Aspects of Narrative-Based Digital Learning Games Using Annotations". In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, ISBN: 978-0-9913982-2-5