Design principles are fundamental to the conduct of educational design research (or design-based research) studies, a research approach that is becoming more widely used in educational technology research and pedagogy. In this paper, we argue that design principles can be used to guide the design and development of learning environments in higher education that are based on sound practical and theoretical principles, and that can promote student engagement through innovative learning tasks. We review the use of design principles in educational research, and describe how these principles can be used to design and refine educational innovation and technology-based learning initiatives. The paper describes four phases of design-based research, together with examples of how existing principles can be analysed and used by teachers to inform the creation and dissemination of innovative solutions to educational problems.
Keywords: design-based research, student engagement, technology-based learning, instructional design