Learning by design VS Design based research

Dr. Reeves suggested me use learning by design as my theory framework of my research on e-p.

Meanwhile, we will have the class of Design based research.

I know they are different things because design based research is more like a research methodology when learning by design is a learning theory.

But today maybe we can combine both . Because my intentional research participants, the doctoral student in instructional technology program, are people who are doing or will doing research by themselves.

When I apply blog into e-p of the first year review, it will be a strategy of learning by design for the first year doctoral students.  Meanwhile, that will be a design based research because this e-portoflios research is based on design an innovation on the current e-portfolio base.

I am still not sure whether my though is correct. I need read more. 

Balance between e-Portfolios’ using for summative and formative assemssment

I just finished reading Dr. Helen Barrett and Joanne Carney’s paper of Conflicting Paradigms and Competing Purposes in Electornic Portfolio Development.

It is really a good paper for me because it answered many of my questions.

I have been always wondering why many people gave up updating their electronic portfolios after the class or the program as I saw. Also, when I went to EDIT2000 e-portfolio showcase, I talked to two students and they shew me their artifacts. But one of the students forgot what she did and how to demonstrate the power point slides.

Maybe it was just because she was not familiar with her works. But what is the reason behind these phenomenons? We usually look E-portfolios in Eudcation as :

  • an assemssment tool
  • a tool to help life-long learning.
  • Marketing goal to show the author’s accomplishment to get a job

Barrett’s paper answered my question: There are conflicts when e-portfolio serves both as assessment tools for institutions and story-telling tool to help life long learning. Barrett said, “Portfolios are considered products, and are evaluated summartively to hold teacher candidates accountable for demonstrating particular levels of achievement. Assessment data from portfolios used for this purpose are aggregated to reflect the performance of a particular educational or professional organization. While administrators often implement electronic portfolios for this assessment purpose, students usually view this type of portfolio as something “done to them” rather than something they WANT to maintain as a lifelong learning tool…”

Barret and Wilkerson then put forward a new taxonomy to support institution need for an assessment system and learner needs for a reflective portfolio to support deep learning:

Barret--Balancing Assessment Tool and Reflection learning

What is EPSS?

I searched Wiki but there seems be no definition for this abbreviative word.

And it is explained like this on website of http://www.epssinfosite.com/:

EPSS is defined as an integrated electronic environment that is available to and easily accessible by each employee and is structured to provide immediate, individualized on-line access to the full range of information, software, guidance, advice and assistance, data, images, tools, and assessment and monitoring systems to permit job performance with minimal support and intervention by others.

In the ground-breaking book Electronic Performance Support Systems published in 1991, Gloria Gery, defined EPSS as:

“an integrated electronic environment that is available to and easily accessible by each employee and is structured to provide immediate, individualized on-line access to the full range of information, software, guidance, advice and assistance, data, images, tools, and assessment and monitoring systems to permit job performance with minimal support and intervention by others.”


I think this link will be a helpful one from San Diego State University to understand what is EPSS:




Could evaluation be a theory foundation when we carry a design base research?

Just now after I read the describes for six types of research goals. I found it is said that Action/Evaluation goals is similar to design research, except that there is little or no effort to construct theory, models, or principles to guide future design initiatives.

But I suddenly think: If we haven’t done the evaluation for a existing project or program, then we won’t know where we should prove or modify for the current project because we don’t know where the problems are. Then we couldn’t construct a effective body of design principles that can guide future design or development.

Could I have a Design/Development type goal and then put a evaluation part into it?


Which kind of Goals should I take?

I will take EDIT 9990 by Dr. Reeves and Dr.Orrill this semester. I just read the Tas#1 requirement about our class.

It requires a blog and will take 25 points for our final grade.

After reading the requirements for the blog, I suddenly foudn that maybe can help our doctoral student keep a good habit to record what he or she has been thinking about his or her research. That will be a good record. And when we look backward at the end of the doctoral stuy, even longer time later, we can find what we learned, what mistakes we made. That will be a good summary.

Also, I hope we can build a good custom to visit each other’s research blog and give comments. That will help everyone keep update his or her blog and keep thinking about others’ comments.

One of the requirements for the class blog is to discribe the goals of my research agenda.

There are six types of research goals described. They are : Theoretical Goals, Predictive Goals,Interpretivist Goals, Postmodern Goals, Design/Development Goals, and Action/Evaluation Goals.

Based on what I am thinking about my research, I think the last two type: Desing/Development Goals and Action/Evaluation Goals may be better fitful my research topic.


Firstly, I want to add blog, maybe other more things onto the electronic portfolios. That will be a design process research.

Secondly, there are already many ready e-portfolios here. I can do a lot of evaluation research about this topic……..

However, what should I do about this topic ?

It is still a problem……

Is this a problem of motivation?

There seems at least one problem as far as I saw:

  • When I attended a class ‘s eportfolio showcase. I found one student forgot what she did when I asked her to show her artifacts.
  • Quite amount of students stop to update their eportfolios as soon as there is no longer requirements for that.
  • In fact , the reason of the student forgot what she did is because after she finished it, she threw it away because she thinked she finished the requirement. She will get the “score”.

    These two cases show that many of students don’t think eportfolio as a learning strategy, a reflection tool. They just think it as an assignment or a requirement from their instructors or the school.

    Is this a problem of motivation?

    How could we do with this problem?

    We should make students feel eportfolio is really helpful for their study.

    How could we do to make students feel eportfolio is helpful for their study? Is there anything to do with assessment or evaluation? Could the assessment results make sense to students’ feeling with the electronic portfolios? How could the assessment results affect students’ feeling or understanding with electronic portfolios??

    Could we solve this problem by improve our standard for electronic portfolios?

    Could we make some change with our components of e-portfolios by strength some field of eportfolios?

    ———Collaborative learning.

    Add blog, strengthen the power of collaborative learning and reflection learning.

    Many of students didn’t care about the real meaning of e-portfolios . Why?

    I saw this sentence in a dissertation:”A standards-based portfolio uses hypertext links to clearly show the relationship between the standards or goals, artifacts and reflections.”

    I suddenly recalled it seems all of eportfolios I visited until now have no sufficient links between the reflections and artifacts or goals.

    Am I neglected some points? Maybe…

    I should go back to find that.

    I have a new idea

    I have been always confused because I don’t know who will be my research participants. Should I interview and investigate our doctoral students? Or just our undergraduate students who take class having e-portfolios requirement?

    Suddenly, just now, I have a new thought:it should not be matter either doctoral students or undergraduate students. Both of them are higher education. I may investigate both of them, then give some comparision and summaries.

    Reality is made , not found???

    I am reading someone’s dissertation and found there is a quote like this:

    In the constructivism tene, Bruner emphasized that reality is made, not found. According to him,

    Education must be conceived as aiding young humans in learning to use the tools of meaning making and reality construction, to better adapt to the world in which they find themselves and to help in the process of changing it as required. In this sense, it can even be conceived as akin to helping people become better architecs and better builders.

    I am confusing now because since I was a little chile, I have been educated that science is to discover , not to create the reality. I don’t know why Bruner would like speak as this. Of course we are construct the world as what we are thinking it is. But the reality is there. It won’t depend on anyone’s thinking. I cannot agree with what Bruner said.