Design research: A socially responsible approach to instructional technology research in higher education

  • Thomas C. Reeves
  • Jan Herrington
  • Ron Oliver


DESIGN RESEARCH has grown in importance since it was first conceptualized in the early 90s, but it has not been adopted for research in instructional technology in higher education to any great extent. Many researchers continue to conduct studies that principally seek to determine the effectiveness of the delivery medium, rather than the instructional strategies and tasks. This article explores the various incentives for conducting research on the impact of computing and other technologies in higher education, examines the social relevance of that research, and recommends design research as a particularly appropriate approach to socially responsible inquiry. A description of the characteristics of design research is given, together with an argument for the more widespread adoption of this approach to enhance the quality and usefulness of research in computers and other technologies in education.


design research design experiments development research research methods instructional technology research socially responsible research 

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. Reeves
    • 1
  • Jan Herrington
    • 2
  • Ron Oliver
    • 3
  1. 1.The University of GeorgiaUSA
  2. 2.University of WollongongUSA
  3. 3.Edith Cowan UniversityUSA

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