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Action Research Dissertation : What to Think About

  1. 1. Action Research Dissertation What to think about Philip Adu, Ph.D. Methodology Expert National Center for Academic & Dissertation Excellence (NCADE) The Chicago School Of Professional Psychology padu@thechicagoschool.edu @drphilipadu
  2. 2. What is Action Research?
  3. 3. Differences between Action Research and Traditional Research Characteristics Action Research Traditional Research Type of problem Practical problem (directly or indirectly experienced by research practitioner) Literature-based problem (based on the gap identified in the literature) Ultimate goal Address a practical problem and improve professional practice Fill a gap in the literature and contribute to the knowledge in a field Level of involvement Participants could be actively involved from the start to the end of the study Participants are normally involved during the data collection stage (Craig, 2009)
  4. 4. Focus of the Presentation Discussing the main sections in chapters 1-5 Chapter Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Literature Review Chapter Three: Methodology Chapter Four: Findings Chapter Five: Discussion
  5. 5. Writing Action Research Dissertation with the Readers in Mind Chapter Main Goal Readers will… Chapter One: Introduction (Here is my study about) Know what the problem is, who are affected by the problem, why it is important to address the problem, and how you plan to address it Chapter Two: Literature Review (Here is how my study is connected to the literature) Understand studies, theories and best practices that inform the problem, solution to the problem and/or actions you plan to take in the study. Chapter Three: Methodology (Here is how I conducted my study) Know what research method you plan to use, how you plan to collect and analyze data, who will be your participants, and where the data collection will take place Chapter Four: Findings (Here are the outcomes of the study) Understand participants’ characteristics, how data was analyzed, what the findings are, and how they address the research questions Chapter Five: Discussion (Here are my interpretations and implications of the findings) Know what the findings mean and imply, how you would use the findings, and who should learn or act based on the findings
  6. 6. Chapter One: Introduction o Background of the Problem o Research Problem o Purpose of the Study o Research Questions o Definition of Key Terms o Scope/Delimitations of the Study o Significance of the Study o Conceptual/Theoretical Framework o Limitations of the Study
  7. 7. Chapter One  Background of the Problem (Telling your story about the problem) o What is the practical problem? o In what context does the problem occur? o Who are directly and indirectly affected by the problem? o What is currently been done to address the problem? o What is the rationale behind the focus of the study?  Examining the problem: Why is there a need to examine the problem?  Generate solution to the problem: Why do you want to came up with potential solution?  Implement potential solution: Why do you want to implement a solution? Focus Context
  8. 8. Chapter One  Research Problem o What specific problem do you want to directly address in your study? o The research problem could be: o Lack of understanding of the existing problem o No effective solution to the problem o Lack of assessment of the an existing intervention
  9. 9. Chapter One  Purpose of the Study o What do you plan to do or find out in the study? o Features 1. Operative or action words 2. Specific focus 3. Specific participants 4. Research approach and/or data collection strategies 5. Specific use of the findings (Craig, 2009)
  10. 10. Chapter One  Research Questions o Based on the purpose of the study, what questions do you want address? o Exploratory research question (open-end in nature)  Qualitative research questions o Confirmatory research question (closed-end questions)  Quantitative research questions
  11. 11. Chapter One  Definition of Key Terms o In simple terms, what do the main concepts mean? It is about: • Moving from abstract concepts to practical ideas • Assigning specific attributes to abstract terms
  12. 12. Chapter One  Scope/Delimitations of the Study o What are the features of the study? o Population/participants o Method o Location o Phenomenon o Problem, purpose and research questions o What are their distinct parameters?
  13. 13. Chapter One  Significance of the Study o Who will directly or indirectly benefit from the study? o What are immediate benefits of the study? o What are long-term benefits of the study? o What contribution would the study to the professional practice?
  14. 14. Chapter One  Conceptual/Theoretical Framework o What concepts, models or theories inform or explain the: o Existence of the problem o Nature of the problem o Severity and effects of the problem o Efficacy of the existing solution o Nature and/or efficacy of the potential solution o Synthesize how the selected concepts, models or theories inform or explain one or more of the above areas
  15. 15.  Limitations of the Study o Think about the actions to be taken and decisions to be made o What are the negative implications or consequences (or weaknesses)of the decisions and actions? Chapter One
  16. 16. Chapter Two: Literature Review  Outline o The essence of this chapter o What to include in this chapter
  17. 17. Chapter Two  Essence of reviewing literature for your action research dissertation o Learn more about the problem o Learn about potential solution and best practices o Justify your decisions in the study (especially why you plan to focus on a particular problem) o Connect your study to existing literature o Educate readers about studies done on the problem
  18. 18. Chapter Two  What to include in this chapter o Literature sources: Where you found the literature o Review best practices (i.e. Action research studies) o Review traditional research, position papers and books o Literature selection strategy: How you selected appropriate literature o Synthesis of the relevant information: Comparing and contrasting relevant information in relation to the phenomenon of study
  19. 19. Chapter Three: Methodology o Chapter Overview o Research Questions and their Rationales o Research Design and Paradigm o Researcher’s Roles, Background and Biases o Population and Sample o Procedure o Quality Assurance o Instrumentation o Data Processing o Assumptions o Limitations o Ethical Assurances Sources https://www.slideshare.net/kontorphilip/writing-the-methodology-chapter-of-your-dissertation https://www.slideshare.net/kontorphilip/writing-the-methodology-chapter-of-a-qualitative-study
  20. 20. Chapter Three Research Design and Paradigm Research Design  Stating and describing your research design and its strengths  Providing the reason why is it appropriate for your study Narrative Approach Mixed Methods Design Descriptive Quantitive Design Grounded Theory Phenomenological Approach Quasi- Experimental Design Causal Comparative Design Case Study Approach Correlational Design
  21. 21. Chapter Three Research Design and Paradigm Research Paradigm  Stating and describing your research paradigm and its assumptions  Stating how it informs your research design PragmaticTransformative Constructivism Positivism
  22. 22. Chapter Three Researcher’s Roles, Background and Biases Role as a researcher, facilitator and/or practitioner Background, Beliefs & Biases Bias-free state Sharing about your Acknowledging your Providing steps on how you plan to attain
  23. 23. Chapter Four: Results o Overview o Setting/context o Demographics o Data Analysis Process/Procedure o Presentation of the Main Findings o Presentation of other Findings (if any)
  24. 24. Chapter Five: Discussion  Outline o Overview o Summary of the findings o Interpretation of the findings (including connecting them to the literature reviewed in chapter two) o Implications of the study (Including an action plan) o Limitations o Recommendations
  25. 25. Chapter Five Implications of the study (Including an action plan) 1. Based on the findings and interpretations, what lessons can we draw from the data?  Lessons for:  Practitioners  Researchers  Policy makers (if any)  School administrators (if any) 2. Based on the findings and interpretations, what is your action plan?  How do you plan to use the findings?  Considering the problem and the findings, what actions do you plan to take?
  26. 26. References Craig, D. V. (2009). Action research essentials. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  27. 27. PhilipAdu,Ph.D. Methodology Expert National Center forAcademic & Dissertation Excellence (NCADE) The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Ncade.me@thechicagoschool.edu You could reach me at padu@thechicagoschool.edu and @drphilipadu on twitter.
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Action Research Dissertation : What to Think About

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