A Meta-model for Developing Simulation Games in Higher Education and Professional Development Training
Games and simulations can be powerful educational tools for higher education and professional development training. At the same time, the labor and technical costs of development is sufficiently high that simulation games tend to be rather static and course or program specific. The main contribution of this paper is an effort to define a new meta-model for educational simulation games that is transferable to a broad range of disciplines and technical training fields. A meta-model provides a formal structure upon which similar categories of game play components are tied to specific learning objectives and easily updatable knowledge content while offering an infinite combination of playing experiences and maintaining consistent pedagogical standards. To illustrate, this paper draws from the application of our meta-model as used in developing a simulation game for software engineering education. Preliminary validation results are presented, in which the meta-model is used as a foundation in the architecture for a game development platform.