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Design-Based Research in Education


"The primary aim of this paper is to describe DBR as an approach to educational design and research in enough detail that citizen science researchers can judge whether, and how, to employ the approach in their own work. Probably the most crucial point to take away from here about DBR is that it is defined more by its goals than by any particular set of methods (Bereiter, 2002). Perhaps the most crucial of these goals from a methodological perspective is the explicit aim to link the processes of design function that mediate how learners interact with a designed learning environment to what and how they consequently accomplish intended outcomes (Sandoval, 2014). Citizen science is much too large and varied a field of work (Bonney et al., 2015) for an outsider to offer prescriptions for the application of DBR. Instead, citizen science researchers have to ask whether the goals of their work are consonant with the five aims of DBR as outlined here, and whether they have the means to engage in the empirical documentation of interactions with designs in use. DBR has been taken up in other informal science spaces, and it is likely that citizen science research can, and perhaps already has, take up the approach as well."