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Design-based Research: An Emerging Paradigm for the Study of Learning in Context

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building

Design-based research (DBR) is an approach to educational research that aims both to address complex education problems and to contribute to education theory, all by means of the iterative design and research of educational interventions. While other educational research typically investigates or evaluates what currently exists in education, DBR aims instead to enhance education (and, thus, has much in common with interventionist engineering). It begins with an educational problem, then draws on the literature and input from participants (teachers and students), to iteratively develop and empirically study in context a novel practical solution (which might or might not involve technology). Throughout, the aim is to develop both an effective practical intervention and new theoretical understanding. In this talk, I will introduce Design-based Research, illustrated by the design-based research of a prototype digital game for children who are low�attaining in mathematics. I will also consider, from a critical perspective, the potential of DBR to inform the development of computer-based educational tools.


Dr Wayne Holmes is a lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, who has been involved in education, educational technologies and education research for more than 25 years. He holds a PhD in Learning and Technology (Oxford), an MSc in Education (Oxford), and an MA in Philosophy. He is currently leading projects on personalised learning (funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung) and AI to manage education forums at scale (funded by Beijing Normal University).

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