Roschelle, J., & Jackiw, N. (2000). Technology design as educational research: Interweaving imagination, inquiry & impact. In A. Kelly & R. Lesh (Eds.), Research design in mathematics & science education (pp. 777-797). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
We maintain that research has an important role in the future of educational technology because the problems of designing for learning are distinct from the problems of designing for corporate productivity which dominate the mainstream industry (Soloway & Guzdial, 1996). But to be successful, the mission for research must expand to include equal emphasis on imagination, inquiry, and impact. New models of the research projects that include technology design are needed that draw upon the idealistic potential of technology, but engage with the practical problems of educational reform in a rapidly changing society.
We begin by reviewing briefly some of the characteristics that have made past research projects successful. Next we consider why successes in designing learning technology have been mostly localized, with few innovations crossing the threshold to broad scale acceptance. Then we suggest three emerging models for high impact research: open project architecture, principled design experiment consortia, and reusable software kits. We conclude by listing some criteria that span the three models, and may provide guidance for future research projects.