Design-based Research (DBR)

  • is a collaborative and iterative science that listens to and respects the culture and assets of the local community,
  • attempts to solve local problems through design interventions. This means that the knowledge-seeking process (research) benefits the community in which it works, 
  • design interventions are grounded in research and draw upon a body of literature, 
  • is a context-sensitive science. This is important for design. Because when theory meets practice, the more information we have about the ecosystem, the greater the chance that our design will not only survive, but grow, and thrive,
  • aims to advancing knowledge in the form of design frameworks and design principles so that these can be reused in like conditions.

Research Approach

Our research approach draws on a transdisciplinary perspective that considers both the situated nature of the learning environment in which the learning takes place, as well as what the learner brings to the learning scenario in order to optimize learning. To emphasize the nature of learning as relationship building, our research approach moves

  1. from objective knowledge to contextual knowledge,
  2. from objects to relationships,
  3. from parts to whole.

Design Approach

Our learning design approach depicts a shift towards a learner-centric model that places the learner at the center of design considerations.

In regards to knowledge management, we assume that

  1. what we know is shaped by perception. It therefore integrates the learner in the process of inquiry
  2. how we know is constructed through multiple lenses including the reflection of the learner’s perspective
  3. how we organize our knowledge assumes a focus on inquiry and knowledge building