Successive Approximation of Quality in Design Research Projects
Nienke Nieveen is senior researcher at SLO [Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development]. Her work centers on coordinating the Institute's evaluation activities and the thematic strand 'Curriculum and teachers'. She has been engaged in several projects related to school-based curriculum development and professional development of teachers in the field of curriculum development. She co-edited the following books: Design approaches and tools in education and training (1999), Educational design research (2006), Introduction to educational design research (2009) and Schools as curriculum agencies: Asian and European perspectives on school-based curriculum development (2010).
Formative evaluation is a crucial feature of each design research project. Results give ground for both: a. improving the prototype of the intervention towards a high-quality final deliverable and b. sharpening the underlying tentative design principles towards an elaborated set of design principles. In this way, each prototyping cycle contributes to successive approximation of both of these outcomes strived for in design research projects. Nonetheless, in professional design practices, formative evaluation seems often to be neglected. In order to change this situation within the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO), a series of concerted actions were taken to motivate and professionalize curriculum developers in planning and performing formative evaluation activities. In the presentation we will briefly introduce the actions taken by SLO and will illustrate this with two design research projects: 'Project-based education in lower secondary education' and 'Scientific English in the curriculum for English in secondary education'.