Children’s Reflection-in-Action During Collaborative Design-Based Learning

  • Zhongya ZhangEmail author
  • Tilde Bekker
  • Panos Markopoulos
  • Perry den Brok
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 916)


Supporting children’s reflection-in-action during Design-based Learning (DBL) processes can help them to make sense of their design activities and optimize their action on the spot. Earlier work has not examined the process in a way to inform the public on detailed design decisions for scaffolding. In addition, the social character of reflection-in-action is underappreciated in previous work. In this paper, we begin with building a conceptual framework. We identify four elements that define reflection-in-action: surprising event, knowing-in-action, improvisation to respond to surprise, effects on ongoing action. We describe a qualitative study that examined how these elements manifested themselves during a collaborative DBL workshop with 9 children. Our study uncovered six types of reflective discourses and shows how these on-the-spot reflections can affect subsequent group behaviors. Based on our results, we discuss the social process of reflection-in-action, the problems revealed and the requirements to design technological reflection scaffolds in a collaborative DBL context.


Reflection-in-action Design-based learning Collaboration Reflection scaffolds 



We thank all the teachers and the children from the Heerbeeck College in Eindhoven. We thank Rong-Rong and Luc for helping with the transcripts and the data analysis. The first author gratefully acknowledge the grant given by the China Scholarship Council (CSC).


  1. 1.
    Doppelt, Y., Mehalik, M.M., Schunn, C.D., Silk, E., Krysinski, D.: Engagement and achievements: a case study of design-based learning in a science context. J. Technol. Educ. 19, 22–39 (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Scheer, A., Noweski, C., Meinel, C.: Transforming constructivist learning into action: design thinking in education. Des. Technol. Educ. 17, 8–19 (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    van de Pol, J., Volman, M., Beishuizen, J.: Scaffolding in teacher-student interaction: a decade of research. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 22, 271–296 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schön, D.A.: Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. Jossey-Bass (1987)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Arias, E., Eden, H., Fischer, G., Gorman, A., Scharff, E.: Transcending the individual human mind—creating shared understanding through collaborative design. ACM Trans. Comput. Interact. 7, 84–113 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yanow, D., Tsoukas, H.: What is reflection-in-action? A phenomenological account. J. Manag. Stud. 46, 1339–1364 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Levina, N.: Collaborating on multiparty information systems development projects: a collective reflection-in-action view. Inf. Syst. Res. 16, 109–130 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gourlet, P., Eveillard, L., Dervieux, F.: The Research Diary, supporting pupils’ reflective thinking during design activities. In: Proceedings of IDC 2016 - The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 206–217 (2016)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fiore, S.M., Wiltshire, T.J.: Technology as teammate: examining the role of external cognition in support of team cognitive processes. Front. Psychol. 7, 1531 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhongya Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tilde Bekker
    • 1
  • Panos Markopoulos
    • 1
  • Perry den Brok
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industrial DesignEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of Social ScienceWageningen University & ResearchWageningenNetherlands

Personalised recommendations