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A tale of two studies: TEL research and the theory-practice nexus

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/06/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning
Issue number1
Number of pages20
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper explores the role of theory in two research studies conducted through a design-based methodological lens. Rejecting the binary distinction between interpretivist and positivist positions characterised by the paradigm wars, the authors ensured both that practical interventions were guided by relevant theoretical perspectives, and that the evaluation of these interventions subsequently informed the development of theory. In the first of these cases, a series of interventions introducing video-enhanced practice to two cohorts of undergraduate students was situated against a backdrop of both social and cognitive constructivist theories of learning, leading to the development of an integrated model of video-enhanced assessment and feedback. In the second case, a broad range of theoretical developments in the fields of social-constructivist, constructionist, contextualised, experiential and place-based learning informed the design of a series of outdoor mobile learning activities intended to enhance learner engagement of children with science topic work, leading to theoretical developments around digital capital and the digital disconnect. The paper argues that through embracing a pragmatist epistemology, design-based research offers a methodological approach underpinned by a symbiotic relationship between theory and practice in technology-enhanced learning research.