Creating and Supporting Design Teams


Contributor: Kim Gomez (UCLA)

I offer considerations, about forming a design team, as well as facilitating and supporting design teams, drawn from my own extensive history in collaborative design with teachers and other practitioners, and reports from the field nationally and internationally. I highlight Participatory Design efforts and why and how practitioners matter for co-design, at every stage of co-design. I describe research, design, and implementation approaches to inquiry and learning as they are represented in work that has made use of design teams. I draw on examples from the literature to illustrate themes related to establishing and running a variety of design teams. I center discussion on a select few features essential to forming and supporting design teams – the goal for the co-design, concepts and theories used to describe and analyze the design teams, stages and processes of co-design, challenges in co-design efforts, and measures of impact. I focus on research projects that have involved co-design as a means for innovation and/or improvement. I consider the use of design to build and refine curriculum, tools and routines, and increasingly, improvement of schools in practitioner-researcher co-design efforts. I highlight illustrative themes and issues of co-design with a particular emphasis on stages and processes of co-design pointing out the features of working with, and within design teams. I describe what is currently known about how teams can/should go about ensuring that the relevant set of inquiry-specific issues are addressed and making good design decisions on the relevant issues. Throughout this work, I consider what design teams can learn from the process of design and implications for future research on the co-design process.

These abstracts are living documents provided and modified by NAPLeS members. The more contributions we have towards refining the documents the more representative they will be of the community as a whole. If you would like to suggest revisions, please contact [email protected].

Syllabi and Slides

Video Resources

Listen to the Affordances in Digital Learning webinar


  • Richards, K. A., & Gomez, K. (2010). Participant understandings of the affordances of remix world. International Journal of Learning and Media, 2(2-3), 101–121. doi: 10.1162/ijlm_a_00052
  • Zywica, J., Richards K.A., Gomez, K. (2011). Affordances of a scaffolded-social learning network. On the Horizon, 19(1), 33-42.

Learning Scientists Who Have Researched This Topic

  • Daniel Edelson
  • Kim Gomez
  • Louis Gomez
  • Eleni Kyza
  • Nicole Mancevice
  • Ronald Marx
  • William Penuel
  • Jeremy Rochelle
  • Gregory Shrader