[BA/MA/PA] Designing a Tool for Evaluation in Design Science Research


In Design Science Research (DSR) (Hevner et al., 2004) the evaluation of solutions (artifacts) plays a crucial role (Peffers et al., 2012). Especially in the field of Information Systems (IS) these solutions are often digital solutions that can be evaluated electronically/digitally (Niehaves & Ortbach, 2016). However, the design of feedback forms is still challenging and depends on the context of the solution to be evaluated.

Research gap/Problem statement

Often researchers develop artifacts that conceptually describe a phenomenon or mechanism. For example, a framework, a conceptual model, a taxonomy, a morphological box or similar artifacts. It is a challenge to evaluate such arifacts with the target group they are intended for. The question is how researchers can be support with a digital tool that allows them to obtain feedback on their conceptual artifacts.

Subject of the thesis and directions for research

The goal of this thesis is to design a tool that allows researchers to evaluate frameworks, conceptual models, ontologies, taxonomies and other artifacts in the context of DSR. You have the task to use the general design principals provided by Niehaves and Ortbach (2016) to design such a tool, that allows researchers to create a prototype of their conceptual artifact. The task includes identifying a suitable approach to developing this tool, e.g. coding it yourself, using existing tools, using low-code platforms, etc.

This thesis takes an Design Science Research (DSR) approach (Hevner et al., 2004) to develop a solution (artifacts). A free course on DSR is provided online: Design Science Research – Essentials Series


This thesis offering is in the field of IS and requires business understanding, motivation to learn new applications to create the tool and interest in academic research. Coding skills are required, depending on the tool with which you aim to create the solution.


The thesis and application material can be submitted in English or German.

Call for action

Please apply to Julius Kirschbaum following the guidelines for thesis applications on our chair’s website.

  1. Apply for this thesis by sending an e-mail with a short motivational text, your CV and current transcript to julius.kirschbaum@fau.de
  2. Initial meeting to discuss the topic and get to know each other
  3. Drafting an exposé [2-4 weeks, registration of thesis after 2 weeks]
    1. Refine the problem statement
    2. Demonstrate the relevance
    3. Find your research question
    4. Build your research design and methodology
  4. Feedback meetings with supervisor during development
  5. Hand-in your thesis


HEVNER AR, MARCH ST, PARK J, RAM S, MARCH ST, PARK J, RAM S and MARCH ST (2004) Design science in information systems research. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems 28(1), 75–105.

NIEHAVES B and ORTBACH K (2016) The inner and the outer model in explanatory design theory: the case of designing electronic feedback systems. European Journal of Information Systems 25(4), 303–316. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1057/ejis.2016.3.

PEFFERS K, ROTHENBERGER MA, TUUNANEN T and VAEZI R (2012) Design science research evaluation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 7286 LNCS, 398–410.