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Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI)

Design Based Research

Research Topic Overview 
Design-based research (DBR) is a naturalistic approach to developing  and studying the impact of interventions in teaching and learning. The methodology unfolds in four stages: informed exploration, enactment, evaluation within a local context, and development of design principles. A pragmatic approach to educational research, it offers potential for greater understanding, better learning, improved practice, and theory generation through its use of multiple methods and ongoing assessment of the impact of change.
Why is DBR important?
- provides a methodology for the design and assessment of innovations in education
- is systematic and iterative, in line with emerging understanding of how people learn
- is based in real-life, educational situations and is therefore relevant to teaching and design practitioners
- encourages researchers and practitioners to work collaboratively to create and assess the impact of solutions to learning problems
TEKRI Activities in Design-based Research
The learning design approach to course development at AU, managed through the Centre for Learning Design and Development, is supported and enhanced by DBR approaches. A study in course design to meet the challenges of teaching and learning calculus is underway, moving from enactment to evaluation. Other studies are in the early design stages.

People Involved
Team Leader: Cindy Ives
Member: Jon Dron
Anderson, T. & Shattuck, J. (2012). Design-Based Research: A Decade of Progress in Education Research? Educational Researcher, 41(Jan/Feb.), 16-25.  Retrieved from
Anderson, T. (2005). Design-based research and its application to a call centre innovation in distance education. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(2), 69-83. From
Anderson, T. (2005). Distance learning: Social software's Killer app? Paper presented at the Open Distance Learning Association of Australia

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