Designing for added pedagogical value : A design-based research study of teachers’ educational design with ICT
Abstract: In an increasingly digitized world teachers are expected to take on the role of educational designers and use ICT to design in ways that add pedagogical value to teaching and learning. This thesis adopts a design-based research (DBR) approach to: (a) explore and contribute to the educational design processes of teachers of English as a foreign language in their efforts to use ICT for added pedagogical value, (b) examine how ICT is used in educational designs to create/contribute to what the teachers and students describe as added value and (c) explore, problematize and refine DBR as a research approach.Literature studies and a collaborative self-study preceded the DBR to guide its focus and implementation. The DBR was carried out over a period of two years in four upper secondary schools in Sweden in which every student had access to their own computer. The research data consists of: (a) audio recorded design conversations, (b) enacted educational designs and design elements as parts of these, (c) reflective log entries written by the participating teachers, (d) focus group interviews with students and (e) the researcher’s field notes.Six different theoretical frameworks and models are used in combination in the accompanying articles to analyze the data and achieve the three research aims. The findings show how teachers’ pedagogical reasoning and TPACK development are interconnected and reciprocal aspects of the educational design process and how the externalization of, and reflection on, these aspects is necessary to develop the specific and practical TPACK needed to realize design intentions in situated contexts. A number of challenges and opportunities in the educational process have been identified.Moreover, the findings show how ICT was used to contribute added value in educational designs by facilitating: (a) more authentic and seamless learning experiences in external online contexts with both in-class and out-of-class actors irrespective of time and place, (b) an exchange of digital knowledge representations of understanding and practice between different actors, e.g. for the purposes of modelling, supporting cognitive apprenticeship, meta-cognitive self-regulation and formative assessment and (c) new and extended forms of, and opportunities for, collaborative creation and meaning-making.The current common focus in DBR on the development of prescriptive design principles is problematized in relation to the findings of the thesis, which illustrate the complex and situated nature of the educational design process. A theoretically and empirically informed design framework (DF) is developed and used as a conceptual tool to guide and analyze educational design processes and enactments. The findings illustrate how the use of the DF and the process of collaborative design reflection contributed to the analysis of the teachers’ design intentions and de facto design practices and to a DBR format that allowed the participants to use their respective competencies in the development of educational designs for added value. The thesis thereby serves as an example of how DBR can be methodically implemented to study and generate increased knowledge about teachers’ design intentions and design practices, develop research-based educational designs in line with teachers’ pedagogical intentions and support their development as educational designers.
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