Penuel, W.R., Roschelle, J. & Shechtman, N. (2007). Designing formative assessment software with teachers: An analysis of the co-design process. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 2, 1, 51-74.
Researchers in the learning sciences have explored a collaborative approach to developing innovations that fit into real classroom contexts. The co-design process relies on teachers’ ongoing involvement with the design of educational innovations, which typically employ technology as a critical support for practice. To date, investigators have described the application and results of co-design, but they have not defined the process nor explored how it plays out over time. In this paper, we define co-design as a highly-facilitated, team-based process in which teachers, researchers, and developers work together in defined roles to design an educational innovation, realize the design in one or more prototypes, and evaluate each prototype’s significance for addressing a concrete educational need. We suggest seven key process components and use data from a systematic set of interviews to illustrate the roles of teachers and researchers in co-design and describe how tensions in the process can unfold and be resolved over time.