Rudy McDaniel

Rudy McDaniel, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Director, School of Visual Arts & Design
  • Email:
  • Phone: 407-823-3145
  • Office Hours: By Appointment
  • Campus Location: VAB117
  • View CV


Dr. Rudy McDaniel is Professor of English and Director of the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD). His research focuses on digital ethics, technical communication, and game-based learning. Rudy is co-author of Understanding Digital Ethics: Cases and Contexts (2020), Designing Effective Digital Badges: Applications for Learning (2019), and The Rhetorical Nature of XML: Constructing Knowledge in Networked Environments (2009). He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, proceedings papers, and book chapters on his research and presented his work at more than 100 conferences and workshops. He is a member of the UCF Scroll and Quill Society and was named Distinguished Senior Research Fellow by the Ministry of Culture in China in 2016. From 2012 through 2014, he was co-principal investigator on the Charles Brockden Brown Electronic Archive and Scholarly Edition, an interdisciplinary project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


  • Ph.D. in Texts and Technology from University of Central Florida (2004)

Research Interests

  • Technical Communication
  • Digital Ethics
  • Video Games

Recent Research Activities

Dr. McDaniel co-directed the China-US Ethnic Cultural Exchange and Joint Research Initiative and co-organized a film festival with Shanghai University in 2013-14. He was appointed distinguished researcher and senior fellow by the Chinese Ministry of Culture for this work. In 2014-15, he served on program committees for the International Workshops on Open Badges in Education and collaborated on a project with Digital Media and Modern Languages faculty and the Grot School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Russia that enabled UCF students to design a cross-cultural video game for Russian peers. Most recently, in 2016, he co-chaired the 4th IEEE International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH '16) and was a keynote speaker for IEEE SeGAH 2017 in Perth, Western Australia.

Selected Publications


  • Beever, J., McDaniel, R., & Stanlick, N.A. (2020). Understanding digital ethics: Cases and Contexts. Routledge.
  • Fanfarelli, J. R., & McDaniel, R. (2019). Designing effective digital badges: Applications for learning. Routledge.
  • Applen, J. D., & McDaniel, R. (2009). The rhetorical nature of XML: Constructing knowledge in networked environments. New York: Routledge.


  • Fanfarelli, J. R., McDaniel, R., & Crossley, C. (2018). Adapting UX to the design of healthcare games and applications. Entertainment Computing, 28, 21-31.
  • Fanfarelli, J. R. & McDaniel, R. (2017). Exploring digital badges in university courses: Relationships between quantity, engagement, and performance. Online Learning Journal 21(2).
  • McDaniel, R., Fanfarelli, J. R., & Lindgren, R. (2017). Creative content management: Importance, novelty, and affect as design heuristics for learning management systems. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 60(2), 183-200.
  • McDaniel, R., & Daer, A. (2016). The discourse of developers: Exploring technical communication practices within video game development. Technical Communication Quarterly, 25(3), 155-166.
  • Fanfarelli, J. R., & McDaniel, R. (2016). Using platform adventure mechanics for gamification research. Journal of Digital Media Arts and Practice. Available:
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J. R. (2016). Building better digital badges: Pairing completion logic with psychological factors. Simulation & Gaming, 47(1), 73-102.
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J.R. (2015). Rhythm and cues: Project management tactics for UX in game design.  International Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development, (7)3, 20-37. Special Issue on UX and Project Management. 
  • McDaniel, R., & Kuang, L. (2015). Cross-cultural cinematic communication: Learning from the information design process for a Sino-American film competition. Communication Design Quarterly, 4(1), 49-60.  Special Issue: Internationalizing information and communication design.
  • McDaniel, R. (2015). Programming perspectives: Teaching computer programming to graduate students in a humanities doctoral program. Programmatic Perspectives (7)2, 213-229.
  • Fanfarelli, J.R., & McDaniel, R. (2015). Digital badges for deliberate practice: Designing effective badging systems for interactive communication scenarios. Published in the Proceedings of the 33rd Annual International Conference on the Design of Communication. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. July, 2015.
  • Fanfarelli, J. & McDaniel, R. (2015). Individual differences in digital badging: Do learner characteristics matter? Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 43(4), 403-428.
  • Fanfarelli, J., Vie, S., & McDaniel, R. (2015). Understanding digital badges through feedback, reward, and narrative: A multidisciplinary approach to building better badges in social environments. Communication Design Quarterly, 3(3), 56-60.
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J.  (2015). A digital badging dataset focused on performance, engagement, and behavior-related variables from observations in web-based university courses.  British Journal of Educational Technology. DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12272.
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J. (2015). How to design experimental research studies around digital badges. In D.  Hickey,  J.  Jovanovic,  S.  Lonn,  & J.E. Willis III (eds.): Proceedings of the Open Badges in Education (OBIE 2015) Workshop. Poughkeepsie, New York.  March 16, 2015. Available:
  • McDaniel, R. (2015). Understanding microinteractions as applied research opportunities for information designers. Communication Design Quarterly, 3(2), 55-62.
  • Fanfarelli, J. and McDaniel, R. (2014). Use Digital Badges to Promote Positive Student Behaviors. In K. Thompson and B. Chen (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. Published December 19, 2014.  Available:
  • Kamrath, M. L., Barnard, P., McDaniel, R., Dorner, W., Jardaneh, K., Carlton, P., & Rodriguez, J. (2014). The Charles Brockden Brown electronic archive: Mapping archival access and metadata. Archive Journal (Special Issue on Archives Remixed: Critical Perspectives and Pathways, Publishing the Archive), Spring 2014(4).
  • McDaniel, R., & Fiore, S. M. (2013). Best practices for the design and development of ethical learning video games. International Journal of Cyber Ethics in Education, 2(4), 1-23.
  • McDaniel, R., & Kenny, R. (2013). Evaluating the relationship between cognitive style and pre-service
    teachers' preconceived notions about adopting console video games for use in future classrooms.
    International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 3(2), 55-76.
  • Lindgren, R., & McDaniel, R. (2012). Transforming Online Learning through Narrative and Student Agency. Educational Technology & Society, 15(4), 344–355.
  • Kenny, R., & McDaniel, R.  (2011). The role teachers’ expectations and value assessments play in their adopting and integrating video games into the curriculum.  British Journal of Educational Technology. 42(2), 197-213.
  • McDaniel, R., & Vick, E.H. (2010). Games for good as cognitive technologies. Special Double Issue of Cognitive Technology, 14(2)-15(1).
  • McDaniel, R. (2009). Making the most of interactivity online version 2.0: Technical communication as procedural architecture. Technical Communication 56(4), 370-386.
  • McDaniel, R., & Telep, P. (2009). Best practices for integrating game-based learning into online teaching. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 5(2), 424-438.
  • Fiore, S. M., McDaniel, R., & Jentsch, F. (2009). Narrative-based collaboration systems for distributed teams: Nine research questions for information managers. Information Systems Management, 26(1), 28-38.
  • Chertoff, D. B., Schatz, S. L., McDaniel, R., & Bowers, C. A. (2008). Improving presence theory through experiential design. PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 17(4), 405-413.
  • McDaniel, R. & Underberg, N. (2007). Exembellishment: Using the eXtensible markup language as a tool for storytelling researchers. The Journal of the International Digital Media and Arts Association 4(2), 56-69.
  • McDaniel, R., Fiore, S. M., Greenwood-Erickson, A., Scielzo, S., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (2006). Video games as learning tools for project management. The Journal of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, 3(1), 78-91.

Book Sections/Chapters

  • McDaniel, R., & McDaniel, C. (2017). Making as learning: Mozilla and curriculum design. In L. Potts & M. J. Salvo (Eds.), Rhetoric and Experience Architecture (pp. 258-273). Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press.
  • Vie, S., McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J. R. (2017). Badges as architectures of experience: From signaling to communication. In L. Potts & M. J. Salvo (Eds.), Rhetoric and Experience Architecture (pp. 304-322). Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press.
  • McDaniel, R. (2017). Portal. In R. Mejia, J. Banks, & A. Adams (Eds.), 100 Greatest Video Game Franchises (pp. 144-145). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • McDaniel, R. (2016). What we can learn about badges from video games. In D. Ifenthaler, D. Mah, & N. Bellin-Mularski (Eds.), Foundations of digital badges and micro-credentials: Demonstrating and recognizing knowledge and competencies (pp. 325-342). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J. R. (2016). Rhythm and Cues: Project Management Tactics for UX in Game Design. In D. Walker & D. Garrett (Eds.), Project Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 514-531). Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference.
  • McDaniel, R. & Fanfarelli, J.R. (2016). Fully configurable vs. modular design frameworks for badges: A case study and comparison analysis of two types of digital badging systems. In Muilenburg, L. & Berge, Z. (Eds.) Digital Badges in Education: Trends, Issues, and Cases (pp. 176-188). New York: Routledge.
  • Underberg, N., & McDaniel, R. (2013). Using the extensible markup language in cultural analysis and
    presentation. In N. Underberg (Ed.), Digital ethnography: Anthropology, narrative, and new media (pp. 48-65).
    Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • McDaniel, R. & Steward, S. (2011). Technical communication pedagogy and the broadband divide: Academic and industrial perspectives. In A. P. Lamberti & A. R. Richards (Eds.), Complex Worlds: Digital Culture, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (pp. 195-212). Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.
  • McDaniel, R. & Schatz, S. (2010) From cyberspaces to cyberplaces: Image, narrative, and the psychology of place. In B. Dilger & J. Rice (Eds.), From A to A: Keywords of Markup (pp. 186-212). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • McDaniel, R. & Fiore, S. M. (2010). Applied ethics game design: Some practical guidelines. In K. Schrier & D. Gibson (Eds.), Ethics and Game Design: Teaching Values through Play (pp. 236-254). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference (IGI Global).
  • McDaniel, R., Fiore, S. M., & Nicholson, D. (2010). Serious storytelling: Narrative considerations for serious games researchers and developers. In J. A. Cannon-Bowers & C. A. Bowers (Eds.), Serious Game Design and Development: Technologies for Training and Learning (pp. 13-30). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference (IGI Global).
  • McDaniel, R. (2008). Experiences with building a narrative content management system: Best practices for developing specialized content management systems (and lessons learned for the classroom). In B. Gu & G. Pullman (Eds.), Content Management: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice (pp. 15-42). Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.

Book Reviews

  • McDaniel, R. (2011). Review of Semiotics of Programming by Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii (Cambridge University Press). Cognitive Technology Journal 15(2), 61-62.
  • McDaniel, R. (2009). Understanding and developing technologies for persuasion. Rev. of Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost (MIT Press). Cognitive Technology Journal 13(2), 53-54.
  • McDaniel, R. (2008). Persuasive games. Rev. of Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost (MIT Press). Literary and Linguistic Computing 23(4), 502-504.

Conference Papers/Presentations

  • McDaniel, R., Salter, A., and Main & E. (2015). Games and Learning at UCF. Panel presentation for the Next Generation Learning Spaces Site Tour. Orlando, FL. October 13, 2015. National conference.
  • Fanfarelli, J.R., & McDaniel, R. (2015). Breaking barriers by breaking bricks: An experimental research testbed using platform adventure game mechanics. Paper presented at the 13th Annual International Digital Media and Arts (IDMAA) Conference. Johnson, Tennessee. October 21, 2015. International conference.
  • McDaniel, R. (2015). Communication and knowledge management strategies in video game design and development: A case study highlighting key organizational narratives. Published in the Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (pp. 9-16),  July 12-15, 2015. Limerick, Ireland.
  • McDaniel, R., & Fanfarelli, J. (2015). How to design experimental research studies around digital badges. Paper presented at the 2nd International Workshop on Open Badges in Education (OBIE2015): From Learning Evidence to Learning Analytics in Poughkeepsie, NY. March 16, 2015. International conference.
  • McDaniel, R. (2015). Exploring social justice in digital writing spaces. Paper presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Association for Teachers of Technical Writing in Tampa, FL. March 18, 2015. National conference.
  • McDaniel, R. (2015). Building games for the humanities with Unity3D. Paper presented at the THATCamp Florida 2015 Conference in Orlando, FL. February 28, 2015. National conference.
  • Fanfarelli, J., Vie, S., & McDaniel, R. (2015). Understanding digital badges through feedback, reward, and narrative: A multidisciplinary approach to building better badges in social environments.  Paper presented at the 5th Annual Symposium on Communication Complex Information (SCCI) in Greenville, NC.  February 24, 2015. National conference.
  • McDaniel, R., Dotson, L., Bauer, N., Winter, D., & *Fanfarelli, J. (2014). Breaking out of the traditional dissertation mold: Exploring the possibilities of digital and interactive dissertations. Paper presented at the United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA) 2014 Conference in Orlando, FL. September 25, 2014. National conference.
  • McDaniel, R. & *Fanfarelli, J. (2014). Words that wiggle: Using narrative in games for learning. The power of words + the power of gaming = powerful training! Paper presented at the 2014 Department of Defense GameTech User's Conference in Orlando, FL. September 3, 2014. National Conference.
  • McDaniel, R., *Fanfarelli, J., & Thompson, K. (2014). Stinking Badges: Why We Need Em’ and How to Use Em’. Paper presented at the 2014 Information Fluency Conference: The Age of New Media: Literacy in the 21st Century in Orlando, FL. February 27, 2014. International Conference.

  • McDaniel, R., Lindgren, R., & Friskics, J. (2012). Using badges for shaping interactions in online learning environments. Published in the Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (pp. 55-76), October 8-10, 2012.
  • Vick, E.H., McDaniel, R., & Jacobs, S. (2010). Using semiotic grammars for rapid design of evolving videogame mechanics. In S. Spencer (Ed.) Proceedings of the Sandbox 2010: The 5th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Video Games (pp. 25-30). New York: The Association for Computing Machinery.
  • McDaniel, R., Vick, E.H., Jacobs, S., & Telep, P. (2009). Cardboard semiotics: Reconfigurable symbols as a means for narrative prototyping in game design. In S. Spencer (Ed.) Proceedings of the Sandbox 2009: The 4th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Video Games (pp. 87-93). New York: The Association for Computing Machinery.

Miscellaneous Publications

  • McDaniel, R. & Cabrera, C. (2015). Game design and development using Maya and Unity3D. Invited weeklong workshop given to the University of Costa Rica, Department of Business Informatics and Computing, Pacific Campus. Puntarenas, Costa Rica. February 9-17, 2015.


Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
20388 DIG3933H Hon Video Game Theory & Design Mixed-Mode/Reduce Seat-Time(M) W 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81553 DIG6836 Design & Development for T&T Video Strmng (V1) COVD DL exmp M 06:00 PM - 07:15 PM Unavailable
No Description Available

No courses found for Summer 2020.

Updated: Feb 10, 2021