Reflection: Research by design: Design-based research and the higher degree research student

Shannon Kennedy-Clark


One of my first thoughts upon being asked to revisit this article (Kennedy-Clark, 2013) was to reflect upon how much research has been done on design-based research as a methodology. So, in this response, I will draw upon some of the main ideas that are coming from recent studies and consider this in the context of Higher Degree Research (HDR). When I was first introduced to design-based research, it was the methodological approach being used in a grant-funded research project at the Centre for Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo Lab) at the University of Sydney, Australia, where we were building an educational virtual world that was based on Harvard’s River City. At the time, most of the literature on design-based research was grounded firmly in the learning sciences and came from leading researchers in the field, such as Barab and Squire’s (2004) seminal text and from research groups such as the Design-Based Research Collective (2003).


higher degree research; design-based research

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