According to Tabak (2004) Design-based research (DBR) methods integrate design and empirical research with intent to develop models and interpretation of learning in natural learning environments. By contrast Joseph (2004) adds that design-based research enables researchers to thoroughly comprehend practical problems while simultaneously facilitating practitioners to grasp the overtones and significance of theoretical research. I would then ask as my muddy point, why aren’t more research studies set up in this manner? To understand the serendipitous nature of practice and the underpinnings of the theoretical constructs that guides such practice.
With understanding the framework of DBR, it has changed my approach to the literature review specifically for DBR studies. First, I’ve felt the specific need to identify the stakeholders and the settings of other studies, in other words circumstantial aspects of studies are very important. Second, there is the need to understand past experiments and relevant theories. If it is possible to look at a collection of action research studies, case studies, or experimental designs then there could be overarching theories developed from this information that could inform the primary iteration of the research design. To summarize, the inferences of applied theory should be one of the goals of the literature review so that testing and remediating the theory can take place during the DBR study.
Joseph, D. (2004). The Practice of Design-Based Research: Uncovering the Interplay Between Design, Research, and the Real-World Context. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 235–242
Tabak, I. (2004). Reconstructing context: Negotiating the tension Between Exogenous and endogenous educational design. Educational Psychologist, 39(4), 225–233