Design-Based Research Methods in CSCL: Calibrating our Epistemologies and Ontologies

Yael Kali, Christopher Hoadley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Design-based research (DBR) methods are an important cornerstone in the
methodological repertoire of the learning sciences, and they play a particularly important role in CSCL research and development. In this chapter, we first lay out some basic definitions of what DBR is and is not, and discuss some history of how this concept came to be part of the CSCL research landscape. We then attempt to describe the state-of-the-art by unpacking the contributions of DBR to both epistemology and ontology of CSCL. We describe a tension between two modes of inquiry—scientific and design—which we view as inherent to DBR, and explain why this has provoked ongoing critique of DBR as a methodology, and debates regarding the type of knowledge DBR should produce. Finally, we present a renewed approach for conducting a more methodologically-coherent DBR, which calibrates between these two modes of inquiry in CSCL research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
EditorsU. Cress, C. Rosé, A. Wise, J. Oshima
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2020


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