Overview & Critiques of Design-based Research

from Terry Anderson and Julie Shattuck in Educational Researcher

They chart the cycle of design-based research methodology to date, from initial articulation, to proselytizing, to, most recently, practice.

DBR always involve a learning intervention as part of its methodology and most involve multiple iterations of assess/design/develop/deliver/evaluate.

…Unlike quantitative studies, most DBR studies do not produce measurable effect sizes that demonstrate “what works.” However, they provide rich descriptions of the contexts in which the studies occurred, the challenges of implementation, the development processes involved in creating and administrating the interventions, and the design principles that emerged…

…one of the challenges of DBR is knowing when, if ever, the research project is completed,….

…DBR seems have been used to make a difference—but mostly at the level of small-scale interventions and in the lives of individual teachers and schools. It is interesting to speculate if the methodology could and will be used by researchers to investigate today’s disruptive innovations such as massive open online courses, tuition-free universities (e.g., People’s University), open educational resources, and other networked learning innovations.