Dependency-centered design as an approach to pedagogical authoring

Zachari Swiecki, Morten Misfeldt, Jeremy Stoddard, David Williamson Shaffer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Research


In this chapter, we take the first steps toward a theory of dependency-centered design
that is specifically concerned with how to support teachers in authoring games and other
complex pedagogical simulations. We argue that complex pedagogical simulations such
as virtual internships bring a new challenge: what we call the paradox of pedagogical
simulations. The stronger and more immersive a pedagogical simulation is, the weaker
and more detached the teacher can become. To investigate this phenomenon, we
conducted a case study of one educator using an authoring tool create a new immersive
teaching simulation. We examine this educator’s work to understand how games and
complex pedagogical simulations change the relationship between the planned and the
enacted curriculum. Our results suggest that we need to rethink the relation between
authoring, modifying, and teaching with pedagogical simulations, and that tools informed
by dependency-centered design can addresses the paradox of pedagogical simulations,
supporting the agency of teachers by allowing them author or modify pedagogical
simulations effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGame-Based Learning
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Strategies and Performance Outcomes
EditorsYoungkyun Baek
Place of PublicationNY USA
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781536119206
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEducation In A Competitive and Globalizing World
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc.


  • pedagogical authoring
  • dependency-centered design
  • simulations
  • virtual internships

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