Summaries. (Instructions: Provide a brief (1 paragraph) summary of EACH reading assigned. This approach will support you to make progress on your final project for this class. Your summary may contain a quote, properly cited in APA format, as well as your interpretation or perspective on the quote. As a rule of thumb, you should spend twice as many words explaining/expanding on/critiquing any quote you use. Never use a quote as your own sentence, even when properly cited. Provide a summary for EVERY article assigned that you read.)
These summaries are given in the order I read the articles.
Shavelson, R. J., Phillips, D. C., Towne, L., & Feuer, M. J. (2003). On the science of education design studies. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 25–28.
The article details the authors’ main contributions and knowledge of a National Resource Council (NRC) report (2002) [full reference below], which describes educational research as a scientific endeavor. The article included an in-depth description of the scientific method via the “guiding principles of scientific research” (Shavelson et al., 2003, pg. 26), as well as an emphasis on innovation and iteration within design methodologies. The authors finished the article by giving the proper methodology and theory for generalized questions one could ask when conducting educational research (although I certainly agree with Vanessa’s note on the use of the word systemic as opposed to relationship). By providing these details, the authors helped the reader fit educational research into a science-based research framework.
Scientific Research in Education. (2002). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10236
Collins, A., Joseph, D., & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 15–42.
This article compares design research to other educational research methodologies, including studies based in controlled environments (such as the laboratory or training environments), ethnographic research, and large-scale intervention studies. Collins’ comparison of controlled setting research vs. design research (pg. 20) from his 1999 article was particularly enlightening:
“ 1. Laboratory settings vs. messy situations…
- A single dependent variable vs. multiple dependent variables…
- Controlling variables vs. characterizing the situation…
- Fixed procedures vs. flexible design revision…
- Social isolation vs. social interaction…
- Testing hypotheses vs. developing a profile…
- Experimenter vs. co-participant design and analysis…”
In listing the comparative differences between the two research methodologies, Collins et al. also summarizes what design research really is – research on learning performed in the real world. This research is innovative, iterative, evolutionary, and messy. Two predominant examples of design research – Brown and Campione’s “Fostering a Community of Learners” and Joseph’s Passion Curriculum – are then detailed to expand on this definition. The details that follow the examples describe how to implement and report a design research study.
Barab, S., & Squire, K. (2004). Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327809jls1301_1
Again, the reader is confronted with an in-depth analysis of what design-based research is and isn’t. While Collins’ (1999) comparison of DBR to controlled settings research was elucidated clearly in the previous article, it doesn’t hold a candle to the ease of Table 1 within this article. The authors then go on to argue the merits of deciding what constitutes credible evidence as well as what tools and methodologies are most useful. I found the Collins et al. and Barab et al. articles to both focus on a call to the learning sciences community: 1. to develop an accepted definition of DBR; 2. to ask the fundamental question that guides all excellent research – why do we care; and 3. to develop and validate methodological practices and tools that will guide the design-based research in the future.
Reaction. (Instructions: This part is a choose-your-own adventure freestyle place to react to one or more of the readings. You could describe how you plan to apply something you read, reflect on your own experiences, interpretations and beliefs. You can also synthesize across the readings. You do not need to do this for each reading—just one overall reaction.)
Shavelson et al. was the article that helped me understand how much DBR (design-based research) and DBER (discipline-based educational research) overlap. It also reiterated the scientific method, which I saw in the DBR readings last week. How affirming this article was! Thank you, Vanessa, for assigning it.
I, of course, IMMEDIATELY downloaded the pdf of the NRC e-book, which you can find here: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10236/scientific-research-in-education.
This article fits educational research into a framework I already know and love (i.e. scientific research). And reading the NRC e-book is definitely the next thing on my to-do list.
I also intend to send the Shavelson et al. article to CNM’s IRB (Institutional Research Board) (full disclosure – I sit on this Board) to have a discussion on how to approach design-based research in future proposals. Vanessa’s ideas from last week, including housing the research in current instructional practices while detailing the procedures that protect participants and secure data, are essential to the acceptance of such proposals. But to allow research evolution in the midst of a proposal, thus making the research either integral to some kind of trust of the PI or a conversation between the PI and the Board, is a new thing for us, and as such, it warrants an internal (and probably prolonged) discussion.
Discussion foci. (Instructions: Include at least 2 questions, wonderings, or topics in total about the articles to encourage in-class discussion.)
- This question is based on a comment I assume Vanessa made in the Shavelson et al. article. What are the fundamental differences between scientific research and design? And why would emphasizing one detract from the other?
- This quote from Barab and Squire (pg. 12) – “More generally, as a field we have over-theorized the role of context, and at the same time we have done little to characterize the role of context in ways that can usefully inform our design work”- haunts me, perhaps because I am constantly looking for the broader impacts of a study. Thus my question – how can DBR expand (or how has it already expanded) to increase its transferability?