The project will use an educational design research approach that aims “to increase the relevance of educational research for educational policy and practice” (van den Akker, Gravemeijer, McKenney & Nieveen 2006: p3). It is interventionist, aiming to design an intervention in a real school setting. It is practice oriented, as it is assessed by its practicality for users in real contexts. It is interactive, based on a cyclical approach to design, evaluation and revision thereby maximising practical relevance. It is theory oriented as the design is based upon theory and the theory is modified by the experience of putting it into practice.
Within the educational design research approach, the first step will be to develop an innovation theory based on the Ecosystem and Methodological Framework. We will gather evidence of what works in practice from interviewing experienced practitioners, analyse it is using Informed Grounded theory (Thornberg 2012, Themelis 2014) and combine it with evidence reported in literature from theory and practice. This approach generates a model, that is created from the dual processes of a bottom up identification of ‘what works’ in practice and a top down identification of “what research suggests’. This new theory of best praxis will be part of the content developed and taught to participants in the through the Multifunctional and Interactive Platform – Open educational & training e-resource, along with examples of best practice and assessment for teachers and trainers. We will also adopt a networked learning perspective in which information and communications technologies are used to promote connections between learners (target groups), between learners and tutors and between a learning community and its resources (Goodyear et al 2004). As a result, a supportive learning community will be promoted to support the re-use and sustainability of the resources beyond the end of the project.