In this article Hannafin et al “advance the concept of grounded design, a process that involves linking the practices of learning systems design with related theory and research” (p. 101). They are looking to advance this concept because, as they see it, particularly in relation to constructivist learning environments, “[e]vidence of mismatched instructional goals versus methods are widespread. It is not unusual, for example, for schools to proclaim an emphasis on critical thinking or problem solving, but focus largely on mastery of declarative knowledge” (p. 101). Though grounded learning systems design is concerned primarily with constructivism, it is methodologically nonpartisan, Hannafin et al defining it simply as “the systematic implementation of processes and procedures that are rooted in established theory and research in human learning” (p. 102).
Hannafin et al also present an overview of the underlying–methodological–foundations of grounded design and, by way of several examples, look to tie these foundations together with their concept. Much of their argument is devoted to advocating (or perhaps simply revealing the reality of) multiple foundations being deployed in any given learning environment.
While much of this article seems (to me, at this point in my studies) somewhat obvious, simply a cogent overview of the field today, combined with a focused approach to best practices, perhaps the mere presence of such an effort by these authors is an indication of the field needed some kind(s) of course correction(s).