Week 5 Action Research 5301

Quality Indicator 1

Context of Study: Keeping the context of study in view is an important aspect of action research. You need to be aware of the various external influences and determinants surrounding your research since they could (and probably do) have direct influence over your final results. In my particular project, I need to be aware of writing my research and my findings in such a way that other districts reading my work understand our district. For example, many districts today are already implementing learning management systems such as Moodle or Blackboard but our campus (and hopefully district) will use this piloted research to investigate a way to implement a similar system. I will need to document (in addition to the findings of the research) similar products tried previously, demographic data, number of students, etc.

Quality Indicator 2

Wondering(s) and Purpose: The action researcher needs to be sure they have clearly defined and explained their wondering(s) and the purpose behind their research. Why was it a felt or actualized need? How genuine was the wondering? Was it really needed or was it in response to something already solved? In my own research, I need to assess and explain (thoroughly) what my research is and why it is so important that we learn best practices for implementing online learning environments for our students. I need to be sure that anyone reading my research will be able to understand why I chose my topic and experience the passion behind the decision to engage in research about online learning environments.

Quality Indicator 3

Principal research and design (Data collection and data analysis): This quality indicator is about the actual research itself. In my research with regards to this quality indicator, I need to be sure that I pull in data from multiple data sources, utilize multiple formats (journals, logs, reflections, interviews, test scores, etc), and pull in any existing research and/or literature regarding my selected topic: implementing online learning environments. I will want to get feedback from multiple sources including classroom teachers, administrators, and (of course) the students themselves. My research should be thorough and well thought-out. Anyone reading my research should know that this project was well-executed and very thorough.

Quality Indicator 4

Principal-Researcher learning: This is perhaps the most important indicator in all of action research. This involves the “take-away” from the research. What did the action researcher actually learn from the study? What were their findings and how did they come to their conclusions? In my research, I will need to use the data to create a thorough summary of my findings as well as answers to any data that doesn’t seem to fit my conclusion. For example, if rotational quizzes work in every class but one, I need to find out why they didn’t work in that one class. I need to make sure I am getting specific accounts from teachers as they move forward with the project so that their statements can be compiled within my findings. My final product should reflect an on-going process of learning and reflection and communicate a data-driven approach to institutional change.

Quality Indicator 5

Implications for Practice: This indicator should come about as a direct continuation of the previous quality indicator. In fact, failure to complete this indicator would perhaps be the worst of all since it would mean that so much work and learning was put into a project that, ultimately, was only for its own sake. That is to say, the research project should be about effecting real change, not just for the sake of learning or acquiring knowledge. The finalized plan should include ways that I have taken our research about implementing online learning environments and made changes to individual classrooms (including my own) and/or influenced administrators and district leaders in this topic of study. Additionally, I need to have prepared a plan of action for the months following the research. How will the research impact on-going, continuous improvement? Additionally, how will I follow-up this research? How can I translate my research to other scenarios? For example, if another school or another district wants to investigate how to implement online learning environments, I should be able to take my existing research and make necessary adaptations and use it to either spring-board change in a different environment or be able to start their own research as a type of continuation from mine.

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