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Print Resources: Book & Journal Articles ( APA format)
Van den Akker, J., Gravemeijer, K., McKenney, S., & Nieveen, N. (2006) Educational design research. London: Routledge.

Available at http://www.taylorandfrancis.co.uk/shopping_cart/products/product_detail.asp?sku=&ppid=118302&isbn=9780415396356
Journal Articles  

This list is not meant to be an exhaustive bibliography of journal articles on design research, but rather a compilation of both the seminal articles in this field as well as the most current that might be of interest to someone beginning to explore this innovative form of research. This collection of articles are presented as methodological articles and research examples. Unless otherwise noted, all the abstracts are from the databases in GALILEO including, but not limited to, Article First, Academic Search Premier, ERIC, Professional Development Collection, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PscyINFO, Sociological Collection, and Wilson Web.


Methodological Articles

Bannan-Ritland, B. (2003). The role of design in research: The integrative learning design framework. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 21-24.

Abstract: In this article, a general model is proposed for design research in education that grows out of the author's research and work in related design fields. The model emphasizes the stage sensitivity of (a) research questions, (b) data and methods, and (c) the need for researchers to design artifacts, processes, and analyses at earlier stages in their research that can then be profitably used (perhaps by different researchers) in later stages.

Barab, S. A., and Squire, K. D. (2004). Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13 (1), 1-14.

Abstract: The article highlights and problematizes some challenges that are faced in carrying out design-based research. It states that the emerging field of learning sciences is one that is interdisciplinary, drawing on multiple theoretical perspectives and research paradigms so as to build understandings of the nature and conditions of learning, cognition and development. A fundamental assumption of many learning scientists is that cognition is not a thing located within the individual thinker but is a process that is distributed across the knower, the environment in which knowing occurs and the activity in which the learner participates. In other words, learning, cognition, knowing and context are irreducibly co-constituted and cannot be treated as isolated entities or processes.

Bell, P. (2004). On the theoretical breadth of design-based research. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 243-253.

Abstract: Over the past decade, design experimentation has become an increasingly accepted mode of research appropriate for the theoretical and empirical study of learning amidst complex educational interventions as they are enacted in everyday settings. There is still a significant lack of clarity surrounding methodological and epistemological features of this body of work. In fact, there is a broad variety of theory being developed in this mode of research. In contrast to recent efforts to seek a singular definition for design experimentation, I argue that methodological and epistemological issues are significantly more tractable if considered from the perspective of manifold families of theoretically framed design-based research. After characterizing a range of such families, I suggest that, as we deliberate on the nature of design-based research, greater attention should be given to the pluralistic nature of learning theory, to the relation between theory and method, and to working across theoretical and methodological boundaries through the use of mixed methods. Finally, I suggest that design-based research-with its focus on promoting, sustaining, and understanding innovation in the world-should be considered a form of scholarly inquiry that sits alongside the panoply of canonical forms ranging from the experimental, historical, philosophical, sociological, legal, and interpretive.

Bereiter, C. (2005) Design research the way forward. Education Canada, 46(1), 16-19.

Abstract: The article focuses on the development of an effective educational research for solving educational problems. An educational research is a kind of product testing. In some area of research such as the medical research, it has been held up as a model of product-testing research. Such educational research often measured against the standard of medical research, but it is measured against only one type of medical research.

Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2, 141-178.

Abstract: This is the seminal article on design research. Discusses theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Movement from the classical psychological position of concentrating on a theoretical study of the learning processes of individual students to a concentration on conceptual change in teachers and students; Classroom restructuring; Design experiments; Experiences on learning theory.

Cobb, P., Confrey, J., diSessa, A., Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2003). Design Experiments in Educational Research. Educational Researcher, 32 (1), 9-13.

Abstract: In this article, the authors first indicate the range of purposes and the variety of settings in which designexperiments have been conducted and then delineate five crosscutting features that collectively differentiate designexperiments from other methodologies. Designexperimentshave both a pragmatic bent—“engineering” particular forms of learning— and a theoretical orientation—developing domain-specific theories by systematically studying those forms of learning and the means of supporting them. The authors clarify what is involved in preparing for and carrying out a designexperiment, and in conducting a retrospective analysis of the extensive, longitudinal data sets generated during an experiment. Logistical issues, issues of measure, the importance of working through the data systematically, and the need to be explicit about the criteria for making inferences are discussed.

Collins, A., Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004 ). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 15-42.

Abstract: The term "design experiments" was introduced in 1992, in papers by Ann Brown (1992) and Allan Collins (1992). Design experiments were developed as a way to carry out formative research to test and refine educational designs based on principles derived from prior research. More recently the term design research has been applied to this kind of work. In this paper, we outline the goals of design research and how it is related to other methodologies. We illustrate how design research is carried out with two very different examples. And we provide guidelines for how design research can best be carried out in the future.

Design-Based Research Collective. (2003). Design-based research: An emerging paradigm for educational inquiry. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 5-8.

Abstract: The authors argue that design-based research, which blends empirical educational research with the theory-driven design of learning environments, is an important methodology for understanding how, when, and why educational innovations work in practice. Design based researchers' innovations embody specific theoretical claims about teaching and learning, and help us understand the relationships among educational theory, designed artifact, and practice. Design is central in efforts to foster learning, create usable knowledge, and advance theories of learning and teaching in complex settings. Design based research also may contribute to the growth of human capacity for subsequent educational reform.

Edelson, D. C. (2002). Design research: What we learn when we engage in design. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11(1), 105-121.

Abstract: Examines the lessons learned from engaging in design research by educational researchers. Functions of design research in the implementation of theories for testing; Types of theories developed from design research; Examples of a design research program investigating software supports for reflective inquiry.

Hoadley, C. M. (2004). Methodological alignment in design-basedresearch. Educational Psychologist, 39 (4), 203-12.

Abstract: Empirical research is all about trying to model and predict the world. In this article, I discuss how design-based research methods can help do this effectively. In particular, design-based research methods can help with the problem of methodological alignment: ensuring that the research methods we use actually test what we think they are testing. I argue that our current notions of rigor overemphasize certain types of rigor at the expense of others and that design-based research provides an opportunity to select different inferential trade-offs. I describe how design-based research trajectory evolved over time in a way that helped ensure that the learning theories being studied were well represented by the planned interventions and that the interpretation of outcomes was grounded in an understanding of not only the research design, but how the research played out in practice when enacted in real classrooms.

Joseph, D. (2004). The practice of design-based research: Uncovering the interplay between design, research, and the real-world context. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 235-242.

Abstract: Recent interest in design-based research as a research and development methodology in education has begun to clarify the goals and commitments involved in this practice. So far, scholars have limited views into how the work of design and the work of research impact each other in the course of design-based investigations. In this article, the author uses the experience of the passion curriculum project, in which one person acted as researcher and as educational practitioner to provide a close trace of the interconnections between research and design in this work. The author highlights three key functions in design-based research: how design considerations provide a focus for developing research questions; how design moves forward on several fronts simultaneously, with some design solutions informed by research investigations and theory and others developed through engineering of locally functional solutions; and how emergent theories inform both the design of interventions and the development of lenses for investigation. Examples from the passion curriculum project expose the operation of these functions in this particular context.

Kelly, A. (2004). Design Research in Education: Yes, but is it Methodological? Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 115-128.

Abstract: The article presents a commentary on emerging research methods. It provides evidence for the vigor of design studies in education and makes a substantial contribution to prior efforts and to articles that have so far primarily appeared in edited books. It also states that other attempts at creating design-based formative research methods exist. A form of design research in education has been active in Europe for some time, called "developmental research." A brief discussion on the classification of design studies is presented in the article. It highlights methodological challenges that need to be addressed if one is to develop design studies from a loose set of methods into a rigorous methodology.

McCandliss, B. D., Kalchman, M., & Bryant, P. (2003). Designexperiments and laboratory approaches to learning: Steps toward collaborative exchange. Educational Researcher, 32 (1), 14-16.

Abstract: This contribution explores how the emerging goals, approaches, and methodologies of designexperimentsmight be productively combined with methods of inquiry common in more traditional laboratory science and considers the potential benefits of such a dialectic. The authors hope to promote a constructive dialogue to help formulate an infrastructure for the science of education that synthesizes theoretical insights supported by a wide array of investigational methodologies.

Reeves, T. C., Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2005). Design Research: A Socially Responsible Approach to Instructional Technology Research in Higher Education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 16(2), 97-116.

Abstract: Design research has grown in importance since it was first conceptualized in the early 90s, but it has not been adopted for research in instructional technology in higher education to any great extent. Many researchers continue to conduct studies that principally seek to determine the effectiveness of the delivery medium, rather than the instructional strategies and tasks. This article explores the various incentives for conducting research on the impact of computing and other technologies in higher education, examines the social relevance of that research, and recommends design research as a particularly appropriate approach to socially responsible inquiry. A description of the characteristics of design research is given, together with an argument for the more widespread adoption of this approach to enhance the quality and usefulness of research in computers and other technologies in education.

Reigeluth, C. M., & Frick, T. W.  (1999). Formative research:  A methodology for creating and improving design theories.  In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models, Volume II: A new paradigm of instructional theory (pp. 633-651). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Abstract: This chapter offer a detailed description of a research methodology— “formative research”. This kind of developmental research or action research is intended to improve design theory for designing instructional practices or processes. It is recommended that this approach be used to expand the knowledge base in instructional-design theory. The authors first discuss three criteria for evaluating research that aims to create generalizable design knowledge: effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal. Then they provide a detailed description of the formative research methodology, including designed cases, in vivo naturalistic cases, and post facto naturalistic cases. The last section of this chapter addresses the methodological issues of construct validity, data collection and analysis procedures, and generalizability to a design theory.

Reinking, D., & Bradley, B. A.  (2004). Connecting research and practice using formative and design experiments. In N. K. Duke & M. H. Mallette (Eds.), Literacy research methodologies (pp. 149-169). New York: Guilford.

Abstract: This chapter conceptualizes formative experiments as a boarder experiment that employs all three types of experimentation and entails a more systematic record of this experimentation, typically including collegial discussions and overt reflections based on careful data collection. The authors use engineering as an analogy to stress its emphasis on workability or achievability. The historical roots of this methodology are discussed, and its characteristics are identified. Lastly, the authors use one of their research studies on improvement of elementary students’ reading as an illustrative example for this methodology.

Sandoval, W., & Bell, P. (2004). Design-based research methods for studying learning in context. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 199-201.

Abstract: Introduces articles in the Volume 39 of the "Educational Psychology" journal. Influence of design complex interventions on research; Ways in which design-based research can contribute to the theoretical understanding of learning in complex settings; Theoretical and methodological tensions that arise when complex interventions are introduced into classroom settings; Variations of methodology that differ in theoretical perspectives.

Shavelson, R. J., Phillips, D. C., Towne, L., & Feur, M. J. (2003). On the science of education design studies. Educational Researcher, 32 (1), 25-8.

Abstract: The authors argue that design studies, like all scientific work, must comport with guiding scientific principles and provide adequate warrants for their knowledge claims. The issue is whether their knowledge claims can be warranted. By their very nature, design studies are complex, multivariate, multilevel, and interventionist, making warrants particularly difficult to establish, Moreover, many of these studies, intended or not, rely on narrative accounts to communicate and justify their findings. Although narratives often purport to be true, there is nothing in narrative form that guarantees veracity. The authors provide a framework that links design-study research questions as they evolve over time with corresponding research methods. In this way, an integration can be seen of research methods focused on discovery with methods focused on validation of claims.

Sloane, F. C., & Gorard, S. (2003). Exploring modeling aspects of design experiments. Educational Researcher, 32 (1), 29-31.

Abstract: In this article the authors use the process of model building (model formulation, fit, and validation) in applied settings to raise pertinent questions about design experiment (DE) methodology. They argue that the DE work presented in this issue highlights features of model formulation and local validation, but does not discuss model fitting or broader models of validation. This article marks out key areas for the DE community to address and concludes by positing that the concept of artifact failure in design research may be a more appropriate area of concern when designing an artifact (whether the artifact is a learning process or a software product). DE research is relatively new as an educational research method. The authors believe that DE researchers and the more general research methodology communities must work together to fully evaluate and reap the potential rewards of this developing research method.


Research Examples

Abbott, S. P., Reed, E., Abbott, R. D., & Berninger, V. W. (1997). Year-long balanced reading/writing tutorial: A design experiment used for dynamic assessment. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(3), 249-263.

Abstract: Sixteen children with severe reading problems in first grade received a year-long individual tutorial intervention. Growth curve analyses found significant gains on measures of orthographic and phonological coding, word identification, word attack skills, reading comprehension, letter automaticity, and spelling and marginally significant gains in writing composition.

Barab, S. A., Thomas, M., Dodge, T., Squire, K., & Newell, M. (2004). Criticaldesignethnography: Designing for change. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 35 (2), 254-268.

Abstract: This article describes critical design ethnography, an ethnographic process involving participatory design work aimed at transforming a local context while producing an instructional design that can be used in multiple contexts. Here, the authors reflect on the opportunities and challenges that emerged as we built local critiques then reified them into a designed artifact that has been implemented in classrooms all over the world.

DeCorte, E., Vierschaaffel, L., & van de Ven, A. (2001). Improving text comprehension strategies in upper primary school children: A designexperiment. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 531-559.

Abstract: With respect to the acquisition of competence in reading, new standards for primary education stress more than before the importance of learning and teaching cognitive and metacognitive strategies that facilitate text comprehension. Therefore, there is a need to design a research-based instructional approach to strategic reading comprehension. The design experiment aimed at developing, implementing and evaluating a research-based, but also practically applicable learning environment for enhancing skilled strategy use in upper primary school children when reading a text. Four text comprehension strategies (activating prior knowledge, clarifying difficult words, making a schematic representation of the text, and formulating the main idea) and a metacognitive strategy (regulating one's own reading process) were trained through a variety of highly interactive instructional techniques, namely modeling, whole class discussion, and small group work in the format of reciprocal teaching. Participants in the study were four experimental 5th grade classes (79 children) and eight comparable control classes (149 pupils). The effects of the learning environment were measured using a pretest-post-test-retention design. Multilevel hierarchical linear regression models were used to analyze the quantitative data of a Reading Strategy Test, a standardized Reading Comprehension Test, a Reading Attitude Scale, a Transfer Test and an interview about strategy use during reading. The data of the Reading Strategy Test, the Transfer Test and the interviews about strategy use showed that the experimental group out-performed the control group in terms of the strategy adoption and application during text reading. Whilst the experimental group also scored higher on the Reading Comprehension Test than the control group, the difference was not significant. This design experiment shows that it is possible to foster pupils' use and transfer of strategic reading comprehension skills in regular classrooms by immersing them in a powerful learning environment. But this intervention does not automatically result in improvement of performance on a standardized reading comprehension test.

Hacker, D. J., & Tenent, A. (2002). Implementing reciprocal teaching in the classroom: Overcoming obstacles and making modifications. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94 (4), 699-718.

Abstract: This article investigates teachers’ implementation and practice of reciprocalteaching(RT) in 2 elementary schools. The obstacles they encountered and modifications made to RT were examined in vivo. Teachers modified their practice of RT, and the authors examined their modifications. Theory and guidelines that can be used to help teachers with the implementation and practice of RT are developed.

Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (1997). Multimedia, magic and the way students respond to a situated learning environment. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 13(2), 127-143. Available at: http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet13/herrington.html

Abstract: This article presents a design of an interactive multimedia learning environment entitled Investigating assessment strategies in mathematics classrooms, which represents the operationalized characteristics of situated learning. The authors also suggest the critical guidelines for the design of the multimedia software to enable it to support a situated learning environment. They then report a study that investigates patterns of behavior of students immersed in this multimedia situated learning environment. The findings suggest that the use of the situated learning model is successful in providing guidelines for the development of an interactive multimedia program. They also reveal that in instances where learners are empowered and are enabled to assume higher degrees of responsibility for their activity and conduct in a learning setting, the researchers need to be cognizant of the various design factors which can impede or enhance learning. In multimedia environments, these include such elements as the motivational aspects of the environment, the interface design, and the navigation elements employed. In conclusion, the authors suggest that it also important to practice research which explores the impact of the more tangible aspects of multimedia design such as those explored in this study.

Hoadley, C. M., & Linn, M. C. (2000) Teaching science through online, peer discussions: SpeakEasy in the knowledge integration environment. International Journal of Science Education, 22 (8), 839-857.

Abstract: This article discusses whether students can learn science from carefully designed online peer discussions. Contrasts two formats of contributed comments--historical debate and narrative text--and assesses the impact of an asynchronous discussion on student understanding of the nature of light. It also reports that students gain integrated understanding of the nature of color from both discussion formats.

Jitendra, Asha K. (2005). How Design Experiments Can Inform Teaching and Learning: Teacher-Researchers as Collaborators in Educational Research. Learning Disablilities Research & Practice 20(4), 213-217.

Abstract: In this commentary, the author summarizes her own research with colleagues to affirm Dr. Gersten's call for considering design experiments prior to conducting intervention research. The author describes how design experiments not only can inform teaching and the learning of innovative approaches, but also hold the promise of effectively bridging the research-to-practice gap to produce meaningful change in practice when innovative practices are fine-tuned and validated by partnerships with teacher-researchers.

Kafai, Y. B., & Ching, C. C. (2001). Affordances of collaborative software design planning for elementary students’ science talk. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10 (3), 323-363.

Abstract: This article investigates whether science permeates the design environment and is thus contexted within the other activities of collaborative management and technology. Focuses on which contexts gave rise to science talk. Studies a classroom with (n=33) students divided into seven teams.

McKenney, S., Nieveen, N, & van der Akker, J. (2002). Computer support for curriculum developers: CASCADE. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50 (4), 25-35.

Abstract: This article examines research on a computer-based tool, CASCADE (Computer Assisted Curriculum Analysis, Design and Evaluation), that was developed at the University of Twente (Netherlands) to assist in curriculum development. The article discusses electronic performance support systems and the need for increased attention to implementation and impact studies.

McLoughlin, C., & Oliver, R. (1998). Planning a telelearning environment to foster higher order thinking. Distance Education, 19 (2), 242-264.

Abstract: This article discusses audiographic conferencing in Western Australia and describes research that investigated telematics classrooms, with a focus on changing the teaching/learning environmentto develop higher-order thinking skills. Results indicate that higher-order thinking increased with the scaffolding role of the teacher and social interaction and collaboration among students.

Neuman, S. B. (1999). Books make a difference: A study of access to literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 34 (3), 286-311.

Abstract: This article examines the impact of an intervention targeting economically disadvantaged children that flooded over 330 child-care centers with high-quality children's books and provided 10 hours of training to child-care staff. It examines the project's impact and gives support for the physical proximity of booksand the psychological support to child-care staff on children's early-literacy development.

Palincsar, A. S.,  Magnusson, S. J., Collins, K. M., & Cutter, J. (2001). Making science accessible to all: Results of a design experiment in inclusive classrooms. Learning Disability Quarterly, 24 (1), 15-32.

Abstract: A two-year study investigated the experiences and outcomes of four students with disabilities in guided inquiry science instruction in upper elementary grade classrooms. Patterns across the case studies informed the identification of advanced instructional strategies that, when implemented, resulted in all students demonstrating significant learning gains.

Reinking, D., & Watkins, J. (2000). A formative experiment investigating the use of multimedia book reviews to increase elementary students’ independent reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 35 (3), 384-419.

Abstract: This study investigates how a computer-based instructional intervention (creating multimedia reviews of books) might increase fourth and fifth graders’ independent reading. The study finds that the success of the intervention was related to the mediating effects of using technology, changes in the interactions among students and teachers, and students' engagement in relation to their reading ability. It also notes several other factors.

Welch, M. (2000). Descriptive analysis of team teaching in two elementary classrooms: A formative experimental approach. Remedial and Special Education, 21 (6), 366-376.

Abstract: This article reports the results of a descriptiveanalysis of team teaching in two classrooms. The study used formative experiments to conduct summative evaluation procedures. Performance of typical students and students with learning disabilities on curriculum-based assessment measures indicate academic gains in reading and spelling for all students.

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