Electronic performance support for curriculum materials developers: A design research project in Sub-Saharan Africa

Susan McKenney, Thomas Reeves

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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    Although teacher guides are, next to textbooks, among the most-used teacher resources worldwide, little empirical research has been conducted on how to support the developers of such guides in their complex task. Through a multi-year iterative process of analysis, design, evaluation, and revision, design research was conducted to gain insight into desirable characteristics of an electronic performance support system for curriculum materials developers in southern Africa. From a practical standpoint, this study yielded positive experiences for the participants and a software tool that is not only valid and practical, but also has the potential to positively impact users if implemented well. From a scientific standpoint, design principles were generated, tested and refined for key system characteristics, specifically: content, support and interface. The design study flanking evolution of the tool helped (re)shape each prototype, and to track effects on both the professional learning of the materials developers and the quality of the curriculum materials made. Because long-term, high-quality design studies in the field of education are rare, this chapter focuses on the research approach, and its affordances for contributing to theory-development while also capturing and speaking to the needs of practitioners.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEducational design research – Part B: Illustrative cases
    EditorsT. Plomp, N. Nieveen
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherSLO Netherlands Institute for curriculum development
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


    • design research
    • design-based research


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