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Can Educational Research Be Both Rigorous and Relevant?


"This paper addresses a complex question: Can educational research be both rigorous and relevant? The first eight years of first decade of the 20th Century was a time when federal support for educational research in the USA emphasized rigor above most other concerns, and the last two years may mark the beginning of a shift to more emphasis on impact. The most desirable situation would be a balance between rigor and impact. Educational designers, teachers, and other practitioners would especially stand to benefit from such a balance because of the likelihood that it will enhance the impact of educational research. Educational design research is proposed as having enormous potential with respect to striking an appropriate balance between rigor and relevance in the service of the educational needs of learners, teachers, designers, and society at large."