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Action research


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Action research

  1. 1. Post Graduate Certificate:Presentation Titlepractice in HEdeveloping professional Example Author: Simon Haslett Topic 15th October 2009 Introduction to Action Research
  2. 2. Introduction to Action Research1. Chapter objectives2. Definitions of research3. Social science vs. action research4. Action research questions5. The action research process6. What constitutes data in action research?7. Starting to plan your action research: SWOT analysis8. Developing your project I9. Developing your project II10. Bibliography
  3. 3. 1: Objectives• describe research in your discipline and compare it with pedagogical action research• undertake a SWOT analysis of yourself as an HE teacher• identify potential areas for own action research• start to plan how to undertake this research
  4. 4. 2: Definitions of research• Note down a definition of research in your subject discipline? E.g. what are “typical” research: – questions? – activities? – outcomes (e.g. who is the audience? is something produced? might certain practices change?)• Now go to the library room and read Norton (2009:50-68) What is the case for pedagogical action research?• How does action research compare to your previous definition of research?
  5. 5. 3: Social Science vs Action Research(from McNiff & Whitehead 2005) Social science research: Action research: • Looks at a situation from • Looks at own outside/objective distance practice/practitioner led • Looks at others • Emphasis on self knowledge/transformingpract • Produces scientific proof ice • Conclusions can be • Results are provisional generally applied • Specific, personal, to be • May show cause/effect, shared/learned from statistical correlation • Aims for improvements, rather than an answer
  6. 6. 4: Action research questions• View the video V07 of Matthew and Rachel discussing example action research questions• Make a note of any ideas you have regarding areas of potential action research in your own practice• Try to phrase them as “how do I…?” questions
  7. 7. 5: The action research process• Watch video clips V08 and V09 where Mary and Matthew describe their action research cycles• Go to the library room to read McNiff & Whitehead (2005) chapter 10 Action Planning: how do you develop an action plan?• Compare Mary’s and Matthew’s action research cycles and processes with the action plans suggested in McNiff & Whitehead. Reflect on the similarities/ differences?
  8. 8. 6: What constitutes data in actionresearch?• …“Data refers to all the information you gather in relation to a particular issue. Evidence refers to those special pieces of data that show the issue in action. Evidence is therefore found in, and extracted from, data, which are usually contained in … books, records, memos, transcripts, computer files, videos, pictures and so on. Your task is to imagine where you could find evidence, that is, what sources of data you would look at to find instances of what you are looking for…” (McNiff & Whitehead 2005:95)
  9. 9. 7: Starting to plan your actionresearch: SWOT analysis• SWOT = strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats• A SWOT analysis can be a useful tool for reflecting on areas for professional development• Complete a SWOT analysis of yourself as a professional in Higher Education (see slide 7a for the suggested format)• Do any potential ideas for your own action research emerge from this exercise? Make a note of them.
  10. 10. 7a: SWOT analysis of yourself as aprofessional in Higher Education Strengths (own) Weaknesses (own) Opportunities Threats (external) (external)
  11. 11. 8: Developing your project I• Using the McNiff & Whitehead first 3 action plan questions (see slide 8a) note down some ideas for your first action research cycle• Contact a fellow participant and discuss: – Your “how do I…?” action research question – Your response to the first 3 questions
  12. 12. 8a: Action plan questions in detail(McNiff & Whitehead 2005:91) 1. What is my concern? •Identify a small, focussed, manageable research area •Turn the research issue into a “how do I…” action research question 2. Why am I concerned? •Is this issue in some way related to your values – express what these are 3. What experiences can I •How will you gather data describe to show why I am to show the situation in concerned? reality? •What will this data be?
  13. 13. 9: Developing your project II• Look at the remaining action plan questions on slide 9a• This is a suggested framework for developing an action plan• You can ideastorm, make notes, draw spidergraphs etc. in order to develop your ideas….
  14. 14. 9a: Action plan questions(McNiff & Whitehead 2005:91) 1. What is my concern? 7. How will I explain my 2. Why am I concerned? educational influences in learning? 3. What experiences can I describe to show why I am 8. How will I ensure that any concerned? conclusions I reach are fair and accurate? 4. What can I do about it? 9. How will I evaluate the 5. What will I do about it? validity of the evidence- 6. What kind of data will I based account of my gather to show the situation learning? as it unfolds? 10. How will I modify my concerns, ideas and practice in the light of my evaluations?
  15. 15. 10: Bibliography• MCNIFF, J. (2002) Action Research for Professional Development. Third Edition [On-line] Accessed: 06 February 2010• MCNIFF, J. & WHITEHEAD, J. (2006) All you need to know about action research: an introduction London: Sage• NORTON, L. S. (2009) Action research in Teaching & Learning: a practical guide to conducting pedagogical research in universities London: Routledge