Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Christine Sorensen


Edutainment refers to curriculum and instruction designed with a clear educational purpose, including multi-faceted virtual learning game design. Tools such as the Jacob's Ladder pre-production design tactic have been developed to ensure that voices of both engineers and educators are heard. However, it is unclear how development team members experience and perceive their collaborative work while designing a virtual game using such tactics. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of agile software team members using Jacob's Ladder pre-production design as an interdisciplinary collaboration tool while designing a virtual learning game. Seven design team members (3 educators and 4 engineers) participated in semi-structured interviews and transcripts were analyzed via an inductive coding process that led to the development of key themes. Findings indicated that using Jacob's Ladder design tactic influenced the experience of the team by keeping the team focused on common goals and learner needs, organizing the team work, supporting interdisciplinary collaboration, and promoting shared understandings of the software platform limitations. Individuals played various roles, appreciated diverse views, recognized prior experience and idea sharing, and felt the design tactic supported flexibility for interdisciplinary collaboration. By linking integration strategies to interdisciplinary collaboration, findings from this study may be used by organizational leaders to consider best practices in team building for virtual learning game design, which will further support the development of effective games and growth of the edutainment industry.