What Is Action Research*? A family of research methodologies whichpursue action (or change) and research (orunderstanding) at the same time. It uses acyclic process alternating between actionand critical reflection In later cycles, methods, data, andinterpretations are continuously refined inlight of understanding developed in earliercycles*Dick, Bob (1999) What is action research?Available on line at http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/whatisar.html
Credo for Reflective Practice Everyone needs opportunities forprofessional growth. All professionals want to improve. All professionals can learn. All professionals assume responsibilityfor professional growth and development. People need and want information abouttheir performance. Collaboration enriches professionaldevelopment.
What Is Action Research? It is emergent, taking shape asunderstanding increases It is iterative, converging towards abetter understanding of whathappens In most of its forms Action Researchis participative (change is usuallyeasier to achieve when those affectedby the change are involved) andqualitative
Types of Action ResearchParticipatory Action Participants in aprogramme orinstitutionstogether designand implement aresearch project inorder to makerecommendationsfor changingpractice.Political Action Citizens do research towork for social changewith regards to issuesof power. Always concerned withquestions ofimportance, andencourages progresstoward particularsocial goals.
Overview of Action Research Action research is deliberate,solution-oriented investigation thatis group or personally owned andconducted. It is characterized by spiralingcycles of problem identification,systematic data collection,reflection, analysis, data-drivenaction taken, and, finally, problemredefinition. (Johnson, B. 1993)
The Action Research Cycle As a research method, action researchis cyclical. It assumes thatunderstandings and actions emerge ina constant cycle. ―Action research involves theimprovement of practice, of theunderstanding of practice, and of thesituations in which practice occurs‖.
Stages in Action Research 1-3 Stage One: Problem Identification: Acknowledge an inequity and the need forchange. Can be an existing problem, or anewly emerged issue. Stage Two: Evaluation: Develop and carry out methods forevaluating the breadth and depth of theinequity Stage Three: Recommendations: Based on the Evaluation, provide specificrecommendations for change and/orcontinued evaluation.
Stages in Action Research 4-6 Stage Four: Application/Practice: Work with the powers that be to take action andinstitutionalize the recommendations. Stage Five: Reflection: With changes in place, reflect on ways in which newpractices affect the organization or the issue.Concurrently, reflect on what you, as an individualresearcher, and/or the team learned from the processof the research. Stage Six: Consideration of New Questions: Acknowledge and dialogue about new questions thathave emerged from the changes. Have the changesworked? Are there any shortcomings? Did the teamuncover additional issues or inequities in the processof the AR?
Methods You can collect qualitative orquantitative data Quantitative makes comparisonsbetween variables Qualitative tries to describe aphenomenon Action Research is most oftenqualitative
How to Study the Problem Describe your plan, including thematerials and methods you will use Describe learning theories orperspectives embedded in your plan Justify how your plan is consistentwith a specific issue perspective
The Participants Include the numbers andcharacteristics of participants in yourproject Explain how the makeup of yoursample compares to the population Include special characteristics ofpopulation / variables or issue thatmight be of interest
The Setting Describe the environment where youwill conduct your project Include the location, size, and anyinformation that might of interest tothe reader
Your Methods Describe details of how your plan willunfold and who will be responsible for thevarious parts of the plan Be specific enough to give a good idea ofhow you envision your plan happening
Reflection/Analysis Reflect on ways in which new practicesaffect the issue Reflect on what you learned from theprocess of the research
Consideration of New Questions Acknowledge and dialogueabout new questions that haveemerged from the changes Have the changes worked? Are there any shortcomings? Did you uncover additionalissues or inequities in theprocess
Issues & Recommendations Be explicit about the research method. Action Researchers must be clear abouttheir framework of ideas, the method,techniques that they are developing, andprovide rich and clear evidence from theirreflections Proper documentation is important Explicit criteria should be definedbefore performing the research in orderto later judge its outcomes.
Action Research Steps1. Identify a problem orresearch topic2. Set the problem or researchtopic in a theoretical context3. Make a plan for datacollection4. Begin to collect and analyzedata5. If necessary, allow thequestion or problem tochange as you collect data6. Analyze andorganize the data7. Report the data8. Make yourconclusions andrecommendations9. Create a plan ofaction10. Put your plan intoaction and evaluate
1. Finding the Problem1. Problems must first be identified2. Define the problem – seek tounderstand the nature of thesituation and understand causalfactors3. A problem is a difference betweenpresent state and desired state
Problem DefinerPresent state:Desired state:Objective Facts Consequences Relevant or Related FactsThe problem:Restate the problem:
2. Review Literature / TheoreticalContext1.Find a goodlibrary or journaldatabase2.Locate possiblesources3.Peruse yoursources4.Read and takecareful notes6.Organise notes andlook for emergingthemes7.Express emergingthemes withdeclarative sentences8.Create an extremelyrough first draft9.Start the revisionprocess
3. TYPES OF DATACOLLECTION1. Log or researchjournal2. Field notes3. Checklists4. Rating checklists5. Rubrics6. Conferences andinterviews7. Video and audiorecordings8. Data retrieval charts9. Maps10.The arts11. Archival data12.Surveys13. Attitude and ratingscales14.Online platformsand class journals
4. DATA ANALYSIS : ACCURACYAND CREDIBILITY1. Record your observations carefully and precisely2. Describe all phases of data collection and analysis3. Make sure you record and report everything that isof importance4. Be as objective as possible in describing andinterpreting what you see5. Use enough data sources6. Use the right kinds of data sources7. Look long enough and deep enough
4. DATA ANALYSIS : Validity,Reliability, and Triangulation Validity = the degree to which a thingmeasures what it reports to measure Triangulation = looking at somethingfrom more than one perspective Reliability = the degree to which a studyor experiment can be repeated with similarresults
4. DATA ANALYSIS :Generalizability Degree to which behaviour of onegroup can be used to explain thebehaviour of a wider group Generalizability is not the goal ofaction research. Instead, it is to: understand what is happening inyour organisation or team determine how to improve things inthat context
5. Inductive Analysis Inductive analysis = to look at a field orgroup of data and try to induce or createorder by organizing what is observed intogroups Look for repeating patterns and themesto help them understand it the bit of realitythat you are observing In using inductive analysis, initial categoriesshould be flexible as later data may changetheir nature and composition.
Correlational : Seeks to determine whetherand to what degree astatistical relationship existsbetween 2 or more variables . Used to describe an existingcondition or event in the past.Quasi-experimental: Like true experiment; butno random assignment ofsubjects to groups Pre-tests and matchingused to ensurecomparison groups arerelatively similar6. Quantitative Research Designs3 Quantitative research designs fit the AR paradigm:Causal-comparative: Used to find reason forexisting differencesbetween 2 or more groups Used when randomassignment of participantsfor groups cannot be met Like correlational research,used to describe an existingsituation Compares groups to find acause for differences inmeasures or scores
7. Action Research ReportReporting Qualitative Data Create a picture Transform data intoa digestible whole Describemeaningful trends,patterns, andcategoriesReporting Quantitative Data Use numerals to reportdates, time, counts,quantities, scales, money … Arithmetic data are reportedin descending order. Tell what you are observingfirst; the total numberbefore you reportcategories; be consistentwith the order of gender orother categories
Outline of Action Research Report1. Area-of-focusstatement2. Related literature3. Definition ofvariables4. Researchquestions5. Description ofintervention orinnovation6. Data collection7. Dataconsiderations8. Data analysisandinterpretation9. Action plan
8. CONCLUSIONS &RECOMMENDATIONS1. Conclusion = reasoneddeduction2. Based on data you havecollected and reported3. Synthesizes and explainsimportant data4. Recommendation =general suggestion forchoice or action basedon findings5. Conclusion andrecommendations oftensimilarImplications for Future Research Good research often resultsin many new questions Describe possible futurerelated research projectsEvaluation of the Study No such thing as a perfectresult Evaluate the effectivenessof the current study Describe how it might bedone differently Strengths, weaknesses,limitations
9. DESIGNING A NEW PLAN ORPROGRAMMEFive possible outcomes of an ActionResearch project:1. Greater understanding of the situation,employees or persons in general2. The discovery of a problem3. A plan, programme, or method is found to beeffective4. A plan, programme, or method is found toneed modification5. A plan, programme, or method is found to beineffective
10. Developing Action PlansReflect: “Based on what Ihave learned from thisinvestigation, what should Ido now?”
Levels of Action Planning Individual curriculum development,implementation instructional & assessment strategies group management strategies/plans community involvement Team colleagues, administrators,stakeholders Organisation-wide
Action Should Be Ongoing Taking action is a regular part of work based on formative feedback often intuitive and informalReflection What were the intended and unintendedeffects of your actions? What work issues arise from what youhave learned about your practice?
THE ACTION RESEARCHTHESIS FormatAbstractCHAPTER I – INTRODUCTIONCHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURECHAPTER III – METHODOLOGYCHAPTER IV – FINDINGSCHAPTER V - DISCUSSION
CONCLUSION―Action research is a process thatgives credence to the developmentof powers of reflective thought,discussion, decision and action byordinary people participating incollective research on ‗privatetroubles‘ that they have incommon.‖(Adelman 1993)
Core Reading MILLS, GEOFFREY E. (2011) ACTION RESEARCH, 4THEDITION, PEARSON JOHNSON, ANDREW P.(2012) A SHORT GUIDE TOACTION RESEARCH, 4TH EDITION, PEARSON COOPER, D.R. AND SCHINDLER, P.S. (2011) BUSINESSRESEARCH METHODS, 11TH EDITION, MCGRAW HILL SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS, P. AND THORNHILL, A. (2012)RESEARCH METHODS FOR BUSINESS STUDENTS, 6THEDITION, PRENTICE HALL. SAUNDERS, M. AND LEWIS, P. (2012) DOINGRESEARCH IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT, FTPRENTICE HALL. LEEDY, P.D. AND ORMROD, J.E. (2013) PRACTICALRESEARCH, 10TH EDITION, PEARSON GLESNE, C.(2011) BECOMING QUALITATIVERESEARCHERS, 4TH EDITION, PEARSON