Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - CALLIDUS

Research design

Because the CALLIDUS-project aims to be a collaboration of university and different schools the design-based research approach has been choosen for this interdisciplinary project.

Design-based Research

„Design Research is not defined by methodology. All sorts of methods may be employed. What defines design research is its purpose: sustained innovative development.” (Bereiter 2002, 330)

The CALLIDUS-project combines applied sciences (corpus-based tasks for teaching Latin) and basic research (corpus-based methods for language acquisition). Therefore the approach of design-based research (DBR) is used to evaluate the studies and the software. 

„In summary, design experiments are extended (iterative), interventionist (innovative and design-based), and theory-oriented enterprises whose “theories” do real work in practical educational contexts.” (Cobb et al. 2003, 13)


The phases of design-based research


Auf das Projekt adaptierte DBR-Modell


Phase 1: Exploration and analysis of the context

In the first phase the real teaching and learning context (practice) as well as the literature (theory) were analysed. Topics were the following:

  • Vocabulary acquisition (in general and for teaching Latin)
  • Testing effect, types of (corpus-based) tests
  • Types of linguistic exercises and tasks
  • Digital learning: mobile learning, blended learning, flipped classroom; learning analytics, educational data mining; Moodle
  • Linguistic and cognitive insights about the mental lexicon, procedures of vocabulary learning, connectionist theories, theory of mind, ...
  • Corpuslinguistics: analyses of frequency and association, POS-Tagging, stemming, treebanking, domain specific languages (AQL)
  • Software engineering: user friendly GUI, formats of data, frameworks, desktop vs. app, ...
  • Study concept: beginners vs. intermediate learners, selection of texts, development of teacher-friendly teaching material, ...

On the basis of this first phase the main and design principles of the intervention were deduced.


Phase 2: Design of the intervention


The intervention includes two aspects: Giving the teachers corpus-based vocabulary acquisition material (paper) and developing a software which uses corpus-based techniques to create vocabulary learning exercises. Thus, both parts form the whole intervention.


Phase 3: Evaluation

  1. Test of the (analog) materials with pre- and posttests and feedback of the teachers
  2. Test of the software with feedback of users and statistics