Participatory design of learning media: Designing educational computer games with and for teenagers

Karin Danielsson (Department of Informatics, University of Umeü, Umeü, Sweden)
Charlotte Wiberg (Department of Informatics, University of Umeü, Umeü, Sweden)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 1 November 2006


This paper reports on how prospective users may be involved in the design of entertaining educational computer games. The paper illustrates an approach, which combines traditional Participatory Design methods in an applicable way for this type of design. Results illuminate the users’ important contribution during game development, especially when intended for a specific target group. Unless prospective members of the target group are consulted it is difficult to foresee opinions of game content, aesthetics and the overall game experience of the users ‐ aspects very much included or at least related to the theoretical concept of intrinsic motivation. Whereas pedagogical experts can contribute with learning content, the users are the ones who can state what is actually fun or not. Users’ participation during the design process enables development of games that are directed to the learners and their expectations. The researchers collaborated with a multimedia design team in development of an educational web‐based computer game, developed for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation.



Danielsson, K. and Wiberg, C. (2006), "Participatory design of learning media: Designing educational computer games with and for teenagers", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 275-291.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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