Design science, as a complementary paradigm to natural science, social science and humanities, dates back to the work of Herbert Simon in the late 60s. The design-based approach established itself as an emerging force within educational research and the learning sciences with the publication of the 2003 special issue of Educational Researcher. Since then, it has steadily been gaining ground in the field. The growing prominence of this approach is marked by publications such as "Handbook of Design Research Methods in Education" (Kelly, Lesh & Baek, eds. 2008), "Conducting Educational Design Research" (McKenney & reeves, 2012) and "Handbook of Design in Educational Technology" (Luckin, Puntambekar, Goodyear, Grabowski, Underwood & Winters, eds. 2014).
In this talk, I will consider the rationale for a design approach to educational research and practice, propose a characterisation of this approach, list some of the current issues and debates, and present a particular methodology called SNaP! (scenarios, narratives and patterns).