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Hive Research Lab


Keywords: Research-Practice Partnerships, Collaborative Knowledge Building, Networked Improvement Communities, Design-based Research , Co-design


Hive Research Lab, led by researchers at Indiana University and New York University, was established as a research-practice partner of the Hive NYC Learning Network. The network, a collective of over 60 youth-serving educational organizations spanning practices of youth activism, youth media, design-based learning, maker learning, informal science education, media literacy and computer science education, aims to both both a ‘network for learning’, creating an ecosystem of learning opportunities for youth, and a ‘network that learns’, acting as a city-wide laboratory for the development of new approaches to digital learning through collaborative and experimentation. Hive Research Lab structured its primary lines of research around these two goals of the network, investigating youth pathways and trajectories and networked organizational innovation. 


Rather than taken a traditional evaluation approach, Hive Research Lab was itself a site of experimentation around various collaborative research methodologies, and utilized approaches of co-design, design-based research, networked improvement, and collaborative knowledge building. Through these approaches, the partnership aimed to both advance core scholarship in it’s area of inquiry while simultaneously working with network partners to advance knowledge, build capacity, and continually tune the focus of the team’s research activities.


  • Dixie Ching, New York University

  • Kylie Peppler, UC-Irvine

  • Chris Hoadley, New York University



  • Mozilla Foundation

  • Hive NYC Learning Network


  • The Spencer Foundation

  • Hive Digital Media Fund at the New York Community Trust

  • The MacArthur Foundation

  • Capital One



  • Santo, R., Ching, D., Peppler, K., & Hoadley, C. (2018). Messy, sprawling and open: Research-practice partnership methodologies for working in distributed inter-organizational networks. In B. Bevan & W. R. Penuel (Eds.), Connecting research and practice for educational improvement: Ethical and equitable approaches. New York, NY: Routledge.                   

  • Santo, R., Ching, D., Peppler, K. A., & Hoadley, C. M. (2017). Participatory Knowledge Building within Research-Practice Partnerships in Education. SAGE Research Methods Case. London: Sage Publications.

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