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Workshop Design research: Methodology and theoretical background

posted 28 May 2018, 00:43 by ICO Education   [ updated 29 May 2018, 05:00 ]
Pre-conference workshop EARLI SIG 17&18, Cambridge - August 26th, 11:00-17:00

Arthur Bakker (Utrecht University) and Rich Lehrer (Vanderbilt University) offer a one-day workshop on design research prior to EARLI SIG 17&25 in Cambridge, August 26, 11:00-17:00:


Topic and rationale: To overcome the gap between educational research and practice, new kinds of educational research have been developed and are still in progress. An interesting genre of practice-oriented approaches aiming for improvement and sustainable change is educational design research (Van den Akker et al., 2006), also called design experiments (Cobb et al., 2003; Collins, 1990). Where most educational research is about how education was or is, design research is about how education could be. One of its key criteria is ecological validity (Brown, 1992) and another is a focus on “humble” theory development—working toward theories of learning and change grounded in the particulars of design.

Objectives and planned activities: The objectives are to give participants insight into the rationale behind design research and to provide opportunities to discuss challenges and possible solutions. This five-hour workshop entails round tables and personal consultation to ensure ample live interaction with participants and the workshop leaders. Furthermore, there will be discussion of successful as well as unsuccessful cases and brief lectures on the following topics (Bakker, 2018):
  1. What is design research (design experiments, design-based research, formative experiments, design studies) in comparison to action research, other intervention studies, and formative interventions?
  2. How to conduct design research? Possible research questions, delineation in studies, use of design principles, conjecture maps, and hypothetical learning trajectories.
  3. What are common challenges and ways to handle these? Think of co-design with teachers, lack of control but an emphasis on comparison, and reporting results.

Target audience (between 8 and 25 participants): The target audience is early career researchers who consider doing design research, or already use it. However, we also welcome educational researchers who want to know more about it, for example because they supervise students or teachers who want to combine design and research. We ask all participants to read a few core texts and send us a document with their research proposal or plan with a wish list of what they like to be discussed during either round tables or personal consultation, depending on the participant’s preference. If overbooked, early career researchers will be given priority.

Expected outcomes: Better understanding of the theory and practice of design research; increased enthusiasm to tackle perceived hurdles; ideas about how to partition the study of a learning ecology (tasks, tools, forms of argument, forms of interaction).

Bakker, A. (2018). Design research in education: A practical guide for early career researchers. London: Routledge.
Brown, A. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141–178.
Cobb, P., Confrey, J., DiSessa, A., Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2003). Design experiments in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 9–13.
Collins, A. (1990). Toward a design science of education. Technical report. New York: CTE.
Van den Akker, J., Gravemeijer, K. P. E., McKenney, S., & Nieveen, N. (2006). Educational design research. London: Routledge.

To register for the conference, or the pre-conference workshops go to: http://theoryandmethods.com/register/