A Design Case: Developing an Enhanced Version of the Diffusion Simulation Game

Miguel Lara, Rodney Myers, Theodore W. Frick, Sinem Aslan, Theodora Michaelidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present a design case describing the creation of a new online version of the Diffusion Simulation Game (DSG). The DSG is a serious game that teaches change management strategies aligned with Rogers’ (2003) diffusion of innovations theory. The goal of the game is to promote the understanding of strategies that result in the adoption of an instructional innovation by the staff members of a fictional junior high school. The original board version of the game was created in the 1970s (Molenda and Rice, 1979) and was played as part of a course in the School of Education of a large Midwestern university. With the opening of a distance master’s program, the first online version of the game was developed in 2002 (Frick, Ludwig, Kim, & Huang, 2003). In order to overcome some of the limitations of the first online version, a new online version of the DSG was developed. This new version was rapidly prototyped first on paper and then in Flex Builder, ActionScript, PHP and MySQL. A rapid prototype approach (Tripp & Bichelmeyer, 1990) was utilized to iteratively design the user interface. In addition to describing the design process and rationale for design decisions, we also report results of play-tests and usability evaluations of seven recruited participants and how the information collected from these evaluations will help us to improve the current design.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Designs for Learning
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer Sciences

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