Design-Based Research: Definition, Characteristics, Application and Challenges


  • Hamed Vaezi
  • Hossein Karimi Moonaghi
  • Reyhaneh Golbaf



In recent years medical education has developed dramatically, but lecturers often cite the existence of a gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. In the first decade of the present century, new research methodology named “design-based research (DBR)” was developed, which most experts and journals refer to as a fundamental way to make changes in the quality and applicability of studies and educational research as well as to enhance and improve the practice of instruction. The aim of the present study was introducing design-based research and its concepts, features, applications, and challenges. A narrative review was conducted in 2018. For this purpose, authorized English academic database including Web of Science, Science Direct, Google Scholar, international database and library in medical research filed with keywords including “design-based research, definition of DBR, DBR applications, medical education, and DBR challenges” without date limitation until 2018.11.21 were screened. Overall, 68 articles were selected and after careful reading, 21 article with related subjects were selected for material extraction. The conclusion was made that DBR that combines empirical research with design-based theories could be considered as an effective method for understanding quality, time and the cause of the phenomenon of educational innovation in practice. Usually DBR is formed by initial evaluation of a problem that occurs in a particular context, and this assessment continues throughout design and implementation. One of the characteristics of DBR is the guiding team, which includes researchers, professionals, designers, managers, teachers, trainers and others whose expertise and knowledge may in some way help. The application of DBR in web-based training programs is quite evident. The probability of non-returns in short-term projects is one of the main challenges of DBR. Medical education has developed dramatically in recent years, but it has made little progress in promoting innovative research methodologies. DBR can be used as a bridge between theories and practice and provide the basis for close communication between researchers, designers, and participants. By applying sophisticated methods and multiple sources of information, the success rate of an intervention in a particular environment is assessed, which ultimately leads to improved theories.




How to Cite

Vaezi, H., Moonaghi, H. K., & Golbaf, R. (2019). Design-Based Research: Definition, Characteristics, Application and Challenges. Journal of Education in Black Sea Region, 5(1), 26–35.