DBR Weekly Readings Part 1

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. )

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

Wow. This article details the evolution of guiding methodologies and practical considerations for their implementation through 30 ish years of educational psychology research, told from the perspective of Brown’s individual research program. It’s a rather fascinating journey – Brown details her cognitive reasoning for why certain choices were made in her research journey and supports them with illustration from her projects. Her evolution (and that of her research program) are profound – from lab based rote memorization techniques to embracing the chaos of the classroom (and designing ways to assess that chaos) – Brown explains the shift in research methodology elegantly with relative ease.


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

This article provides a summary on what design-based research entails and gives brief examples of “good” (according to the authors) implemented design-based research. Design-based research forms a bridge between theory and practice, specifically research (ever-guided by theory) and teaching (ever-guided by experience). The overlap of a basic scientific method scheme (with hypotheses, iteration, and communication as broad themes) and an emphasis on relational undercurrents within educational research seems to form the backbone of design-based research. Appreciation of documentation, particularly to form large databases of information, seems inherent within the design-based research modality as well.


Svihla, V. (2014). Advances in design-based research. Frontline Learning Research, 2(4), 35–45.

Through the use of instructional design and experimental results, this article argues that: a. DBR is a fundamental research methodology for the Learning Sciences, employing both iteration and reflection to inform the refinement of theory and practice, and b. DBIR (design-based implementation research) is a way to “scale-up” DBR. Standards for the conduct of DBR as well as what kinds of data are most helpful are also discussed.


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.)

I continue to embrace the discussion of innovation and failure within research and practice. DBR, in particular, seems not only to support these ideas but also to find them fundamental to any research methodology. In my own teaching practice, providing space for innovation, evolution, and failure is essential, and I try to both provide the space and model these teaching ideals.


Discussion foci. (Instructions: Include at least 2 questions, wonderings, or topics in total about the articles to encourage in-class discussion.)

DBR (design-based research) and DBER (discipline-based educational research) were two of the first topics I ever heard Vanessa discuss (in Fall 2013) and both topics completely blew my mind. (I did not even realize that DBIR (design-based implementation research) existed until I read Vanessa’s article.) Since that early immersion, I have continually focused on how to relate DBER into my everyday teaching practice. I’m not completely sure I’ve truly understood what the difference between DBR and DBER was, and I’m still a bit unclear on their distinct differences. Other than my perception that DBR and DBER seem to be different frameworks for how to conduct educational research, how are the two different? And other than a difference in scale, how exactly are DBR and DBIR different?


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