Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 549–573 | Cite as

Linking serious game narratives with pedagogical theories and pedagogical design strategies

  • Olga De Troyer
  • Frederik Van Broeckhoven
  • Joachim Vlieghe


Narrative-based serious games present pedagogical content and interventions through an interactive narrative. To ensure effective learning in such kind of serious games, designers are not only faced with the challenge of creating a compelling narrative, but also with the additional challenge of incorporating suitable pedagogical strategies. Therefore, development teams must consist of a multidisciplinary group including storytellers, technical staff and pedagogical experts to make sure that suitable pedagogical strategies are incorporated into the narrative. In this paper, the authors show how the Domain Specific Modeling Language ATTAC-L, for modeling the narrative of a serious game, allows creating the link between the processes of pedagogical design and narrative modeling by means of an elaborate annotation system. As such, this modeling language enables different experts to concentrate on the aspects related to their field of expertise without losing oversight of the serious game as a whole. More in particular, we will show how the annotation system can be used to document and integrate the use of a well-grounded pedagogical theory, Social Cognitive Theory, for achieving the goals of a serious game, as well as when the serious game is part of a program developed by means of a well-grounded design strategy, Intervention Mapping Protocol.


Serious games Narratives Pedagogical design strategy Pedagogical theory Intervention Mapping Protocol Social Cognitive Theory ATTAC-L Domain Specific Modeling Language Annotations 



This research was funded by IWT (Institute for Science and Technology) ( under the Friendly ATTAC project. We also like to thank our colleagues of the Friendly ATTAC project for the fruitful cooperation resulting in a lot of improvements for ATTAC-L.


This study was funded by IWT-SBO (Grant number 110051).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga De Troyer
    • 1
  • Frederik Van Broeckhoven
    • 1
  • Joachim Vlieghe
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group WISE, Department of Computer Science, WISE - 10F703Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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