This paper presents a hermeneutical analysis of the confessional accounts of four doctoral candidates, following their completion of a research methodology module on Action Design Research (ADR). This hermeneutical analysis uses the seven concepts of hermeneutics (c.f. Myers, 2009) to unpack the lived experiences of the doctoral candidates throughout the 8-session ‘learning-by-doing’ approach to the module. Following our open, axial and selective coding, our analysis reveals that (i) neophyte researchers build confidence in a research methodology (ADR) through ‘hearing each other’ throughout an iterative learning-by-doing process, and (ii) having a tangible design artefact (e.g. checklist) makes it easier for neophyte researchers to share their, and evaluate others’, interpretations of ‘how-to’ operationalise a research methodology (ADR). We conclude our analysis with a conceptualization of a hermeneutics inspired ‘learning-by-doing’ pedagogical approach, for ADR, presented as a learning flow.