An example of how I usedDesign-based Research toconceptualise an academic article by G Lautenbach
Design-based Research• Involves conceptualising research to coincide with development of practice. The central notion is design. In Education it is pedagogic design.• “Design research is an approach to developing and STUDYING theory-driven pedagogical interventions in situ” (Barab & Squire, 2004).
Design-based research as research methodology• Anne Brown & Allan Collins - a new approach to educational research that aims to combine the rigour of experimental research with the messiness of classroom settings to provide solutions to real educational challenges• involves the grounding of proposed solutions to educational problems in existing theory.• “Cross-fertilisation” of classroom-based research and controlled laboratory research as design experimentation (Brown, 1992)
Commonly used terms for the general approach• Design experiments (Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992; Reeves, 2000)• Development research (Van den Akker, cited in Reeves, 2000)• Design-based research (Design-Based Research Collective, 2003)• Design research (O’Donnell, 2004)
Defining characteristics of design- based research• It is iterative in that research takes place through repeated cycles of design, implementation, analysis and revision.• It is process-focused in that it seeks to understand both the learning process and the impact of designed interventions on that learning.• It is interventionist in that it involves designed learning environments that are systematically investigated to test the expected relationship between aspects of the design on learning with the intent to advance educational theory and practice.
Defining characteristics of design- based research (Continued)• It is collaborative in that knowledge about teaching and learning are constructed through researcher-practitioner partnerships.• It is utility oriented in that it aims to produce usable knowledge for educational innovation by explaining how designs function in authentic settings.• It is theory-driven in that theoretical assumptions, which guide the design of interventions, are tested with the intention of advancing educational theory through the cyclic design-implementation-analysis-redesign of learning and teaching activities and artefacts.
3 broad goals• Design experiments address complex problems in real contexts in collaboration with practitioners• Known and hypothetical design principles are integrated with technology to provide plausible solutions to practical problems• Rigorous and reflective inquiry is conducted to evaluate and refine the design of innovative learning environments and contribute to a body of design theory
Relevance?• Design-based researchers are committed to the idea that learning and teaching are the result of complex social interactions shaped by the interplay of various contextual variables.• Design-based researchers use multiple forms of data, such as artefacts and records of conversations, to construct knowledge about phenomena under study.• DBR is not only used to find out what happens, but to gain an understanding of how and why things happen as they do.
A challenge?• It typically takes years to generate useful results. Reeves (2000,) suggests five years or more.• However, the approach of “progressive refinement” requires design researchers to put “a first version of a design into the world to see how it works” in order to revise the design “until all the bugs are worked out” (Collins et al, 2004)
Design logic for DBR: Action features of each phase• Jan Herrington, EDMEDIA 2010
Design logic of DBR Design Based Research Analysis of Practical ProblemsPhase 1• Consult with those experiencing the problem• Explore• Speak to people• Read about the problem
Design logic of DBR Design Based Research Back to literature & theory. Look for draft design principles. Develop solutions within theoretical frameworkPhase 2• Back to literature & theory• Compile draft design principles – Provide… – Support… – Promote… – Engage… – Negotiate… etc.
Design logic of DBR Design Based Research Test solution in iterative cycles. Try, change, try againPhase 3• Test solution in iterative cycles – Try solution – Change it – Try again
Design logic of DBR Design Based Research Reflection to produce design principles. Reflect, create principles, publishPhase 4• Reflection to produce design principles• Reflection to enhance solution implementation – Reflect on findings – Create design principles – publish
Example (Lautenbach, 2010)Reconceptualising a module on teaching & learning with learning technologies• Step 1: Analysis of Practical Problem / Consult, Explore, Read• Many think: – Learning technologies can change pedagogical practices – Computers can teach in the absence of humans• Technology should rather support complex human, social and cultural interactions (Amiel & Reeves, 2008)
Emphasis of example• Reconceptualising learning activities in an undergraduate module• Introducing theoretical frameworks that underpin teaching & learning with technology• Grounding the learning activities in theory• Incorporating research into practice - deriving design principles from students themselves
Reconceptualised Module: My Aim? Authentic, collaborative activities (using learning technologies) as a purposeful teaching strategy rather than a once off classroom technique. Vygotskian actor-object-tool triad as a precursor to CHATFocus - not on the technology but rather on the learning where the technology functions as the mediating tool.
Vygotsky’s Mediational Triangle Tool / Mediating The first artifact theoretical construct useful to this study is the concept of tool mediation.Subject/Actor Activity Object Outcome Activity – Using ICTs in authentic tasks Object – Engaging with authentic tasks Outcome –ICTs adding value to teaching & learning
The second theoretical construct useful to this study is the concept of authentic learning as the object of the activity.
Authentic activities (Herrington, Reeves & Oliver, 2002)• Have real-world relevance• Are ill defined / open to multiple interpretations• Are complex• Provide opportunities to include different perspectives• Provide collaborative opportunities• Integrated across different subject areas• Include integrated assessment• Yield possible products• Allow competing answers or solutions
Design logic of DBR Design-based Research Back to literature & Analysis of theory. Look for draft Reflection to Practical design principles. Test solution in produce design Problem / Develop solutions iterative cycles. principles. Reflect,Consult, Explore, within theoretical Try, change, try create principles, Read framework again publish Refinement of Problems, Solutions, and Methods Design Logic (adapted from Reeves, 2000)
Example - Data collection?Qualitative analysis of student reflectionsReflective reports submitted as part of the final examination portfolioAnalysed for content using simple in vivo coding techniques & explanations
How did I get to the design principles?• Direct quotes from reflections• Clustered into themes• Themes changed into design principles by using verbs… 3 examples follow…
1 Provide activities that model real life We could learn by example and model our teaching on good practice We used different technologies that are applicable in everyday life We gained other real world skills beyond subject contentIt does not end in the classroom; it ends in the world out there
2 Keep activities relevant (and fun)Tasks were creative and made learning fun It is better to use different and unique ways to maintain interestIt made the tasks lighter and made learning easier and fun Learning was intriguing and fulfilling Technology allows for deeper learning and makes it more fun
3 Contextualise learning activities We learned about innovative ways to implement ICTs in the South African context We used the technology to explore and construct concepts and relationships in context This module made me think about how to overcome barriers in the classroom It encouraged me to think critically about teaching in the classroom
Example 2: 13 Design Principles (derived from students)1. Keep activities relevant2. See authentic learning as the object of the activity3. Provide activities that model real life4. Create opportunities for learning5. Keep activities relevant (and fun)6. Contextualise learning activities7. Accommodate learner needs8. Engage students in a variety of tasks9. Promote the tool as mediator10. Develop a structure to underpin the activities11. Establish a schedule to actively engage students12. Expect more from students13. Encourage collaboration / participation
But how does this differ from Action Research?
Simple comparison with Action Research• Purpose of AR: • Purpose of DBR: – To provide a solution – To provide solutions to to an educator’s real educational problem in their own challenges school or organisation – To improve practice – To refine the design or understand issues of innovative learning interventions and contribute to a body of design theory