How did DBR get started?
Design-Based Research is one terminology use to describe a research methodology based on the influential works of Brown (1992) and Collins (1992). Examples of other terminologies used to describe research methodologies that shared common characteristics are design studies, design experiments, and development research. In the seminal works of Brown (1992) and Collins (1992), ¡°design experiments¡± were used.
Brown (as cited in Sandoval, & Bell, 2004) described her evolving approach to ¡°design experimentation¡± as an effort to bridge laboratory studies of learning with studies of complex instructional interventions. In her research program devoted to the study of learning in a classroom environment that was rich, complex, and constantly changing, Brown (1992) conducted what Collins (1992) referred to as ¡°design experiments¡± and addressed the theoretical and methodological challenges in doing so.
Collins (1992) argued for the need to develop a design science of education, similar to aeronautics or artificial intelligence, to determine how different learning-environment designs affect dependent variables in teaching and learning. The goal was to construct a more systematic methodology for conducting design experiments that would involve working with teachers as co-investigators and help develop design theory to guide implementation of innovations.
With the dismal record of educational research in yielding discernable benefits and impact on practitioners, coupled with calls for educational research to close the ¡°credibility gap¡± (Levin & O¡¯Donnell, 1999), develop more ¡°usable knowledge¡± (Lagemann, 2002), and be more socially responsible (Reeves & Herrington, 2005), a search for a research methodology that would help address these issues ensued and many deemed ¡°Design-Based Research¡±, aka ¡°design experiment¡±, as a, if not the, methodology that would fit this bill. The Design-Based Research Collective (2003) chose to use the term ¡°Design-Based Research¡± instead of ¡°design experiments¡± to avoid invoking mistaken identification with experimental design, studies of designers and trial teaching methods.
Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in
creating complex interventions. Journal of Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141-178.
Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. O’Shea
(Eds.), New directions in educational technology (pp. 15-22). New York: Springer-Verlag.
Lagemann, E. C. (2002). Usable knowledge in education. Retrieved March 20, 2007 from
Levin, J. R., & O’Donnell, A. M. (1999). What to do about educational research’s
credibility gaps? Issues in Education, 5, 177-229.
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.
Sandoval, W. A., & Bell, P. (2004). Design-based research methods for studying learning
in context: Introduction. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 199-201.
The Design-Based Research Collective. (2003). Design-Based Research: An Emerging
Paradigm for Educational Inquiry. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 5-8.
@ Peer Group 2006