Understand how an interdisciplinary team designed and developed an orchestration tool and explore the relationship between the research team’s design process and classroom outcomes.


Specifically, my dissertation analyzes how an interdisciplinary team generated ideas and worked together to create an iteration of the CSTEPS software and how the software and designed affordances are implemented in the classroom by teaching assistants.


Design based research, a methodology used in education research, emphasizes the design and implementation of educational artifacts that researchers create in real-world contexts with interdisciplinary teams. While design based research prioritizes design, researchers in this area typically report the final designed form of technology rather than the process conducted to design.


This has created a gap in the research, forcing users, researchers, funders, and educators to make assumptions about how technological tools are designed and by whom. My assumption is that if the design process is studied from a learning perspective, considering the relationship between the different physical, cultural, and contextual elements, researchers can improve both theoretical and practical applications. Meaning we can improve methods and theories of collaboration and design, and also support researchers by learning how to build more innovative solutions to educational problems.


The first component of this dissertation analyzes how an interdisciplinary team designs a version of the CSTEPS software. To do so, I will use an analytic method called linkography to analyze the interconnectedness of ideas, assess the quality of collaboration, and identify the critical ideas of the design process. Next, I will explore how the identified critical ideas influenced the teaching assistants by analyzing how the designed affordances effected their interactions in the classroom.

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