Perspective Article

Toward a Framework for Robust Design-Based Research

M. Shane Tutwiler 1 * , Denise M. Bressler 2, Joseph Reilly 3, Eileen McGivney 4, Tina A. Grotzer 5, Chris Dede 5
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1 College of Education, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, 02881, USA2 College of Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA3 College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 02115, USA4 College of Art, Media & Design, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 02115, USA5 Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA* Corresponding Author
Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies, 3(3), 2023, 1-7,
Published: 30 September 2023
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Design-based research (DBR) is a popular approach for studying and maximizing the effectiveness of learning environments in the Learning Sciences. This approach has historically been approached from a mixed-methodological perspective. In this article, we argue that, with an ever-increasing focus on using the results of DBR to inform policy and practice, the design of DBR studies must be made more robust by addressing issues inherent to the quantitative methodologies employed to track gains in learning. We propose four key design principles (Measurement Matters, Learning is Longitudinal, Use Samples Smartly, and Invest in Fidelity), as well as an analytic framework within which to apply them. A brief case study is used to demonstrate some of these elements in practice.


Tutwiler, M. S., Bressler, D. M., Reilly, J., McGivney, E., Grotzer, T. A., & Dede, C. (2023). Toward a Framework for Robust Design-Based Research. Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies, 3(3), 1-7.


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