Design Research in the Elementary School Classroom

Design Research in the Elementary School Classroom

Earl Woodruff (OISE - University of Toronto, Canada) and Latika Nirula (OISE - University of Toronto, Canada)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-555-9.ch075
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Over the last 15 years, the study of technology in classroom settings has highlighted the need for a new research paradigm. Past research on educational technologies and software has been impugned due to the impossibility of establishing valid controls for the simultaneous introduction of technological and pedagogical innovations (Cobb, 2000; Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992, 1999). In response to the growing dissatisfaction to traditional paradigms, a relatively new approach called design research (Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992) has gained popularity – for an extensive history, see Edelson (2002). This new framework provides a potential infrastructure for promoting exchange across many different types of investigation (Cobb et al., 2003). Design researchers are able to use varying elements of design to optimize conditions that may result in the increased efficacy of a given educational innovation, since the process is defined by iterative design and formative research in complex real-world contexts (Edelson, 2002). Through careful observation, both quantitative and qualitative, design researchers are able to surmise how different design elements are contributing to observed results (Collins, 1999).

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