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Design Science in Engineering Education Research

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Research Methods and Studies on Engineering Education Research

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Johanna Naukkarinen Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Johanna Naukkarinen received her M.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from Helsinki University of Technology in 2001, her D.Sc. (Tech) degree in knowledge management from Tampere University of Technology in 2015, and her professional teacher qualification from Tampere University of Applied sciences in 2013. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher and project manager with the School of Energy Systems at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT with main research interests related to technology and society, gender diversity and engineering education.

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Marja Talikka Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology Orcid 16x16

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My research interest concerns the effects of brief, integrated information literacy education on undergraduate students' research behavior. My teaching experience consists of over 30 years of information literacy education within higher education. Over the years, the content and educational methods have changed greatly. We have moved from library user education to teaching students to understand their information need as part of their research problem. Digitalization has changed teaching methods from plain classroom teaching to using a wide variety of different tools and learning platforms.

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Design science, design research, design-based research, design science research, and design experiments are terms used by different research communities to describe a somewhat similar concept, namely an inquiry process where new knowledge is created through application of scientific theories, systematic design, and collecting evidence of the quality and results of the design process. Probably the most known articulation of this process was presented by Herbert Simon in his book The Sciences of the Artificial published for the first time in 1969. Simon suggested that the paradigm of design science is much applied in engineering. However, one rarely sees the engineering research explicitly described in those terms. In the early 2000s the ideas of design science were actively discussed in many disciplines outside engineering. In management sciences, the design science approach was suggested to be a valuable addition to contemporary research methodologies, and in information systems research it was argued to be one of the two paradigms characterizing the research in the field. In learning sciences, the concept was introduced already in the 1990s, and a decade later a vivid discussion continued regarding the role and added value of design experiments, design research, and design-based research for educational research. Both in the management science and learning sciences the need for design science is justified with the bridging of practice to theory and thereby advancing practices alongside theories. In learning sciences, the design experiments are seen as a means of studying the learning phenomena in the real world instead of laboratory, thus arriving at better understanding of the contextual aspects or learning and enabling the creation of better learning conditions. Like educational research in other disciplines, also engineering education research (EER) often aims at improving the learning environments and learning conditions of students. Although design science may not be an explicitly known research paradigm to many engineering educators, many of its principles are implicitly present in engineering research and thus familiar to them. This creates a potential for bridging not only educational theory and practice, but also practices of engineering education research and engineering research. This paper presents a systematic literature review of the explicit use of the design science methodology in engineering education research. In addition to understanding how widely the approach is known within the community, further aims of the study are to explore how this research approach is used, described, and justified in the EER literature. Based on the findings, recommendations regarding the use of the design science approach in engineering education research are presented.

Naukkarinen, J., & Talikka, M. (2021, July), Design Science in Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36922

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