Educational design research, an innovative method to investigate virtual reality applications in disaster management training programs

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0003

Educational design research is a form of experiment that combines the stages of development, design and testing of a researched paradigm in a way that all theese processes are conducted in real learning environment. The investigated educational dilemmas are continuously modified and readjusted throughout the research process, so that researchers can test and generate theories simultaneously within naturalistic educational contexts. Design-based research is defined as an adaptive, collaborative, contextual and flexible process, easily adapting to any research objective through the adjacent methodological complex. It differrs from other research methods by addressing practical and theoretical objectives with the same importance, the final contribution being, in general, a validated practical application and a set of new theoretical knowledge. The aim of this paper is to present the exceptional advantages of this research method and to provide a source of ideas for researchers interested in developing scientific works based on this methodology. Demonstratively, we include an example of a research protocol adapted to this methodological concept, which aimed to investigate the potential use and integration of virtual reality technology in disaster management related training programs. This protocol constituted the basis of a complex inquiry process led by our research team and which we consider to be a perfect model for demonstrating the adaptability of the method to instructional research objectives.

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