Research Slices

Core Processes for Effective Iteration in EDeR


  • Daniel Rees Lewis Northwestern University
  • Matthew Easterday Northwestern University
  • Chris Riesbeck Northwestern University



Educational Design Research Methodology, Design Process, Iteration, Agile Research Processes, Lean, Slicing


Educational Design Research (EDeR) methodologists argue that iteration is a core component of EDeR. Iteration is currently defined as a process of gathering more information through actions, such as testing, and using that information to improve the design. In this paper, we seek to tighten the definition of iteration to help EDeR teams conduct iterations more effectively. We argue that EDeR teams should organize their research in slices that deliver small but real value to end users while informing the design research. EDeR should pick slices that are: (a) minimal and focused, (b) deployed in a real context, (c) valuable to the end users, and (d) informative to the research. Slicing helps EDeR teams increase ecological validity when they test because it allows testing which is within real-world educational contexts or with the stakeholders who will use and be impacted by the design. Increasing ecological validity of testing is particularly important because EDeR projects tackle highly complex real-world problems with many unknown elements and relational complexity—this means it is challenging to predict what designs will have the desired impact without real-world deployment. Effective iteration through organizing research in slices helps EDeR teams to better support stakeholder goals, develop more impactful theory, and have greater and earlier impact upon education.




How to Cite

Rees Lewis, D., Easterday, M., & Riesbeck, C. (2024). Research Slices: Core Processes for Effective Iteration in EDeR. EDeR. Educational Design Research, 8(1).