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A Design Based Research Study

Gillian Puttick, Debra Bernstein, and Teon Edwards
—2018. Educational Designer, 3(10). 


This paper describes the retrospective analysis of a sequence of design decisions made while iteratively developing a science program for eight- to fourteen-year-old Girl Scouts. The program focused on energy conservation and climate change. To analyze the design, we drew on the original theoretical framework and analyzed design documents to clearly articulate a series of previously implicit design conjectures. Aligning materials, task, and participant structures in the program with the design conjectures revealed three implications for design.

These emphasize the importance of:

i) clearly and explicitly articulating conjectures about how intended program elements mediate the connection between the designer’s assumptions and the intended outcomes,
ii) becoming sufficiently familiar with the institutional culture as it is enacted in the learning space, and
iii) in addition to learning theories, considering the incorporation of theories related to other factors such as motivation, theories of behavior change, and identity.

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