Design-based research, action research and co-creation

11feb(feb 11)0:0013(feb 13)23:59PhD CourseDesign-based research, action research and co-creation0:00 - 23:59 (13) TYPE OF ACTIVITYEkstern kalender,Intern kalender,PhD Course

Event Details

Course description

This course offers introductions to, reflections on, and exercises with the methodological approaches of design research, action research, appreciative inquiry and innovative co-creation in education and related areas of research. The common tread in these approaches is that they favor that researchers and practitioners work together to both create knowledge of and change the practice. The advantage of these approaches compared to traditional ones is that the research is continually informed by the reflections and experiences of the practitioners and that the research is immediately communicated to the participants.

The course introduces to actions research in general and to pragmatic and dialectic action research in particular. In action research, the researchers work together with the other participants to solve the problem or change the practice, just as the practitioners contribute to the research with their reflections on the practice in question.

Furthermore, the course introduces to design based research, which is research inspired by the processes of work in design. In design-based research, the researcher selects and designs an intervention, such as a learning or play activity, in collaboration with practitioners, and the intervention is redesigned through iterative processes. Lastly, the design process is used as a resource for developing theory as the pragmatic understanding of knowledge states.

Finally, the course introduces to innovative co-creation, in which researchers and practitioners collaborate to develop novel concepts or theories that make possible new interventions and transformations of practices in ways that add value. The role of the researcher is to develop theoretical frameworks and conceptual prototypes and redesign them in iterative processes based on joint observations, discussions and reflections with practitioners.

A general focal point of the course is that both actions research, design-based research and innovative co-creation requires that the participants are sensible to the situation and open towards other people’s perspectives, and that all the participants are disposed towards working creatively together and prepared to explore new ideas and do things differently.


The aim of the course is that the student will:

  • Gain insights into the methodologies of actions research, design-based research and innovative co-creation
  • Be capable of analyzing and discussing the specific advantages and challenges of applying these research approaches in a PhD project
  • Be capable of applying and carrying out these methodological approaches of design research, action research and innovative co-creation in education and related areas of research

Target groups

PhD students in design, in education and related areas of research, both early or late stage PhD students. Maximum 25 participants.


English or Danish depending on the language skills of the participants.


The course will consist in lectures, groups lectures and sessions with focus on student’s projects. Furthermore, the course will consist in hands on exercises with the different research approaches.

ECTS Credits

3 ECTS which includes the activities of the three days, reading the literature, and submitting a short paper.


Helle Marie Skovbjerg, PhD and Professor WSR, Design School Kolding (

Merete Cornet Sørensen, PhD and Associate Professor, University College Absalon (

Lars Geer Hammershøj, PhD and Associate Professor, DPU, AU (

Date and Time

February 10, 11 and 12 2021.


This course will be held online.


January 15, 2021 by signing up to the PhD School, Mia Mimi Flodager

Information about the course to Professor Helle Marie Skovbjerg:

Participation is free of charge, and refreshments and a light lunch are provided by the university. However, participants must pay for own travel, stay as well as other food and beverages.


Amabile, T. M. (1997): Motivating Creativity in organizations: On Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do. California Management Review, Vol. 40, no. 1, 1997, p. 39-58.

Andersen, T. & Shattuck, J. (2012): Design-Based Research: A Decade of Progress in Education Research. Educational Researcher, Vol 41, No 1, p. 16-25.

Barab, S. & Squire, K. (2004). Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. The journal of the Learning Science 13(1), pp 1-14.

Bason, C. (2010): Leading public sector Innovation. Co-creating for a better society. Bristol: Policy Press.

Brown, T. (2008): Design Thinking. Harvard Business Review, June 2008.

Brydon-Miller et al. (2003). Why actions research? Action research, vol 1(1), p9-28, Sage Publications

Dewey, J. (1938). Logic: theory of inquiry. New York

Coghlan, D. & Brydon-Miller, M. (2014): Appreciative Inquiry and Research Methodology In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research. SAGE Publishing.

Collins, A., Joseph, D., Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design Research: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. The Learning Science 13 (1), pp 15-42. Laurence Erlbaum Associates

Ejsing-Duun, S & Skovbjerg, H. M. (2018): Design as Modes of Inquiry in Design Pedagogy. International Journal of Art & Design Education

Hammershøj, L. G. (2018): Conceptualizing creativity and innovation as affective processes: Steve Jobs, Lars von Trier, and responsible innovation. Philosophy of Management, Vol 17, Issue 1, p. 115-131.

Haastrup, L., & Merete, S. (2017). Undersøgelse af Huskunstnerordningen . København: Statens Kunstfond.

Hildebrand, D. (2008). Dewey. A Beginner´s guide. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.

Johansson-Sköldberg, U, & Woodilla, J. & Cetinkaya, M. (2013): Design thinking: Past, present and possible futures. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol 22, No 2, 2013.

Kesting, P. & Parm Ulhøi, J. (2010): Employee-driven Innovation: extending the license to foster innovation. Mangement Decision, Vol 48, No 1, p. 65-85

Lewin K. (1997). Resolving social conflicts and field theory in social science. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Reason P., & Bradbury H. (2008). The SAGE handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE.

Schumpeter, J.A (1934). The Theory of Economic Development, Oxford University Press (Chapter 2).

Ørngreen, R. (2015): . Reflections on Design-Based Research. 4th IFIP 13.6 Working Conference on Human Work Interaction Design (HWID), Jun 2015, London, United Kingdom. pp.20-38, 10.1007/978-3-319- 27048-7_2 . hal-01371781​


11 (Thursday) 0:00 - 13 (Saturday) 23:59