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Understanding the Design Research Process
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Understanding the Design Research Process

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  1. Understanding the Design Research Process Reflections on PictoPal

  2. About design research • Why do we need it? • Increase the relevance of research • Developing empirically-grounded theories • Increasing the robustness of design practice • What is it? • Design research is “a series of approaches, with the intent of producing new theories, artifacts, and practices that account for and potentially impact learning and teaching in naturalistic settings.” (Barab and Squire, 2004)

  3. Understanding design research • Visual models • Reeves (2000) • McKenney, van den Akker & Nieveen (2006) • Bannan & Baek (2008) • Ejersbo, et al (2008) • Frameworks • Reinking & Bradley (2004) • Gravemeijer & Cobb (2006)

  4. Reeves, 2000

  5. McKenney, van den Akker & Nieveen, 2006

  6. Bannan & Baek, 2008

  7. Ejersbo, et al, 2008

  8. Reinking & Bradley (2008) • Intervention-centered • Theoretical • Goal-oriented • Adaptive and iterative • Transformative • Methodologically inclusive and flexible • Pragmatic

  9. Gravemeijer & Cobb (2006) • Important steps within • Three main phases of their work: • preparing for a design experiment; • conducting a design experiment; and • retrospective analysis

  10. Model used to describe PictoPal (McKenney, Reeves & Herrington, in press)

  11. PictoPal as design research • Final Intervention • On-computer activities • Off-computer activities • Teacher guide

  12. Analysis Literature review Site visits Interviews School visit Questionnaire Document analysis Language curriculum National interim targets for early literacy PictoPal as design research • Exploration • Literature review • Product search • Visit NECC for ideas and potential ‘critical friends’

  13. Design Core convictions (e.g.) Children want to express themselves in print, even before they are able to read Product guidelines (e.g.) On-computer activities should elicit dialogue and collaboration Process guidelines (e.g.) Cooperation with teachers and language experts Construction Initial rapid prototyping Global outlines Paper prototypes Working prototypes (5) Shift to commercial software 90% of desired functions available Much more stable Our time focused on content, not media PictoPal as design research

  14. Reflection PictoPal evolution On-pc (focus in early Ps) Closed activities dropped Semi-open continued # activities doubled Off-pc (focus in latter Ps) Teacher involvement To increase integration Informed by observations and learning gain data (gains shown with Ps 2-5, yet not consistently) Learning gains appear to increase with teacher involvement as designers Possibly because they are then better able to integrate But also due to their perceptions of ICT and education Evaluation PictoPal as design research

  15. Product guidelines (e.g.) Activities should elicit dialogue and collaboration Children discuss PictoPal with each other and with adults, although their conversations are more on-task with adults. However, adult guidance is very impractical for most schools. Student teachers and parent volunteers have been successful, but are difficult to rely on; tutor systems involving 6th graders have also been successful. Process guidelines (e.g.) PictoPal should be designed together with teachers and language experts Measures should be taken to mitigate a sense of feeling overwhelmed. Even highly motivated teachers can have become more focused on ‘getting the job done’ and not see when they are making poor design decisions. Providing sample materials and completed examples to teachers early on is crucial to teacher understanding PictoPal as design research Design principles Elaboration and refinement of initial design ideas, based on R&D

  16. Implementation Small scale Moving from intensive support to guidebook and one workshop when teachers enact only; more workshops when teachers also create the materials Experimenting with approaches to pupil guidance Teachers say they learn by participating in PictoPal; we would like to understand this better Diffusion Intervention not fully mature, but ideas shared through: Researcher conferences Practitioner workshops Journal articles As we look to up-scaling Whose job is it to go to scale? Should we consider approaching a publisher? PictoPal as design research

  17. Reflections on the PictoPal approach • Shifting emphasis (as intervention matures) • From characteristics of the learning environment • Content • Interface • Task design • To implementation factors • Teacher technology integration • Alignment of on-off computer activities • Influence of data in shaping subsequent sub-studies • Teacher role in design of the materials • Teacher beliefs 

  18. Reflections on this as a case of DBR • Meets Reinking and Bradley’s 7 characteristics • Sustaining design and development • Project funding for first year (P1 dvpt only) • 7 ‘backpocket’ studies (esp. graduate assignments) (P1-P4) • Recently: 2 PhD studies funded (4yr each) • Tensions and trade-offs • Optimum format for pupil guidance during on-computer activities still not found • Practicality vs. legitimacy tension • Methodological challenges • Multiple roles of designer, facilitator, researcher • Met with explicit frameworks; triangulation; and inductive and deductive analyses • Still learning to understand salient contextual factors to predict potential generalisability