Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Learning Sciences researchers can radically enhance the rigor, communication, and training of design research by better defining the method. We define design research as: a method conducted by researchers to create practical solutions and theoretical design models through a design process of focusing, understanding, defining, conceiving, building, testing, and presenting that incorporates other research methods, iteratively increasing rigor, to search for solutions to practical problems of human learning. This definition has six important premises. First, design research is the preferred method for simultaneously producing new practical solutions and theories. Second, design research models build upon other theoretical products. Third, DR theory consists of design models that explain the learning mechanisms underpinning practical solutions. Fourth, design research achieves its validity by incorporating methodologies across fields into the design research process. Fifth, design research achieves efficiency by using quick, low-cost methods to search broadly, followed by more rigorous empirical methods and higher fidelity implementation after identifying promising solutions and models. Sixth, scaling requires different products, not phases, of design research. Conducting design research in this way allows researchers to design theory-based solutions that are more impactful and create theories that are useful in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Learning Sciences in Conversation
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Methodologies, and Boundary Spaces
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000608113
ISBN (Print)9780367538651
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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