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Chapter 1. What Is Action Research?

Action Research

❶In most instances the use of qualitative information increases responsiveness.

The Action Research Process

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Three Purposes for Action Research

Before development of the multimedia software package, student data was gathered to set a baseline for evaluating future improvements and to contribute to development of the package itself. The Study Process Questionnaire SPQ was used to provide insight into the students' approaches to learning the material.

A diagnostic survey similar in format to the SPQ but with questions that were specific to the course was designed. The survey aimed to reflect what had been achieved to date and identify problems that still needed to be addressed. The conceptual quiz was designed to explore misunderstandings of the material taught in the earlier part of the course. The information provided by the observations provides valuable input into development of the multimedia software package and once implemented surveys and conceptual quizzes will be used to monitor its effectiveness.

In their years as writing consultants, the instructors had found numerous problems in students' business writings in that they did not often meet their writing purposes, essential information was missing, tone inappropriate, and set phrases inserted inappropriately.

Moreover, typographical and surface errors show that students do not seem to edit their own work. To design a four-week intensive business letter writing course to help students overcome the problems in their business letters.

Effectiveness of the course was measured in terms of students' attitude and performance before and after the course. Performance was also monitored over an extended period. Results from the trials were positive and encouraging: Materials on this site may only be used for educational and nonprofit purposes. For other uses, please contact us for permission. The main researcher identifies the action research problem and proposes an intervention.

The practitioner is involved in the implementation of any interventions. View 3 Emancipatory Action Research Practitioners work together as a group and collectively identify problems and possible solutions. Solutions are as much political and consciousness raising as practical. Example for Practical Action Research Using interactive multimedia to support information systems training: Cycle 1 Question Although interactive multimedia has been used in education for some time, little is known about its effectiveness in enhancing students' learning ability.

Act The system was used in lectures, replacing the use of transparencies and overhead projectors. Observe In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the system, feedback was obtained from students about their preference for learning with the system. Reflect Feedback from students indicated that the majority preferred to learn in a lecturing environment accompanied by the ISEI, audio-visual presentation.

Back to top Cycle 2 Review the question A literature review revealed that problems particular to the subject of information systems were that students find it difficult to visualize how the business world functions and also find it difficult to integrate information systems concepts and apply the knowledge they acquire in answering case study-type questions. Plan The system was integrated with lectures over a one semester period.

Act In each series of ISEII presentations, students were assigned tasks in different case situations, focusing on how to apply information systems concepts in solving business problems in a simulated company.

Observe In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the design, both objective and subjective data were collected at the end of each training session by means of questionnaire surveys and interviews.

Reflect Results of the evaluation indicated that the ISEII system had increased students' incentive to learn and interest in learning. Lecturing initiatives with multimedia tools in Engineering education Action Researchers: Plan The plan was to modify the curriculum by splitting the course into two courses to be taught in consecutive semesters, thus reducing the amount of material taught in each course.

Act The new course structure was implemented over one semester for the first of the two courses. Observe The second after-tutorial format which involved students asking questions was very beneficial in encouraging students to ask questions: Reflect Improvements were observed in the course but the instructor thought there were additional things which could be done in future to improve the course further.

Back to top Cycle 2 Review the question The revised questions focused on: How to improved students' understanding of mathematic derivations needed in fluid mechanics.

How to make examples of applications more interesting. How to demonstrate the dynamic nature of problems in the course. Plan Three new initiatives were planned: Instead of developing topics in fluid mechanics through mathematical derivations followed by discussion, the lecture notes were reorganized so that final equations and applications were presented and discussed first.

This was done to help understanding of students who were not mathematically sophisticated and to help students to distinguish between key concepts that must be memorized and other material that needed to be understood but not memorized.

More local and regional applications were introduced to improve students' motivation and enhance interest. This process could be aided by videos and photographs in the lecture theatre. Animated diagrams and videos of relevant laboratory experiments and local examples were to be used to demonstrate the dynamic nature of problems being considered.

This was done to enhance interest and improve students' physical understanding of the problem. Act Before development of the multimedia software package, student data was gathered to set a baseline for evaluating future improvements and to contribute to development of the package itself.

Observe Several observation methods were used. Surveys University course evaluation was used to gauge the overall effectiveness of the course. Conceptual quiz The conceptual quiz was designed to explore misunderstandings of the material taught in the earlier part of the course. Reflect The information provided by the observations provides valuable input into development of the multimedia software package and once implemented surveys and conceptual quizzes will be used to monitor its effectiveness.

Training effective writers of business English through interactive feedback Action Researchers: Anna Yu, Pionie Foo, Irene Ng and Lillian Law, Language Center, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Cycle 1 Question In their years as writing consultants, the instructors had found numerous problems in students' business writings in that they did not often meet their writing purposes, essential information was missing, tone inappropriate, and set phrases inserted inappropriately.

Plan To design a four-week intensive business letter writing course to help students overcome the problems in their business letters.

Action research involves actively participating in a change situation, often via an existing organization, whilst simultaneously conducting research.

Action research can also be undertaken by larger organizations or institutions, assisted or guided by professional researchers, with the aim of improving their strategies, practices and knowledge of the environments within which they practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new course of action to help their community improve its work practices.

Kurt Lewin , then a professor at MIT , first coined the term "action research" in In his paper "Action Research and Minority Problems" he described action research as "a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action" that uses "a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action and fact-finding about the result of the action".

This tension exists between. Action research challenges traditional social science by moving beyond reflective knowledge created by outside experts sampling variables, to an active moment-to-moment theorizing, data collecting and inquiry occurring in the midst of emergent structure.

From this starting point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-informed action — how to conduct an action science".

Chris Argyris ' action science begins with the study of how human beings design their actions in difficult situations. Humans design their actions to achieve intended consequences and are governed by a set of environment variables. How those governing variables are treated in designing actions are the key differences between single-loop and double-loop learning.

When actions are designed to achieve the intended consequences and to suppress conflict about the governing variables, a single-loop learning cycle usually ensues. On the other hand, when actions are taken not only to achieve the intended consequences, but also to openly inquire about conflict and to possibly transform the governing variables, both single- and double-loop learning cycles usually ensue.

Argyris applies single- and double-loop learning concepts not only to personal behaviors but also to organizational behaviors in his models. This is different from experimental research in which environmental variables are controlled and researchers try to find out cause and effect in an isolated environment. Cooperative, aka collaborative, inquiry was first proposed by John Heron in and later expanded with Peter Reason and Demi Brown.

The major idea is to "research 'with' rather than 'on' people. Cooperative inquiry creates a research cycle among 4 different types of knowledge: At every cycle, the research process includes these four stages, with deepening experience and knowledge of the initial proposition, or of new propositions. Participatory action research has emerged in recent years as a significant methodology for intervention, development and change within groups and communities.

It is now promoted and implemented by many international development agencies and university programs, as well as countless local community organizations around the world. This was further developed in "adult education" models throughout Latin America.

Orlando Fals-Borda — , Colombian sociologist and political activist, was one of the principal promoters of participatory action research IAP in Spanish in Latin America. He published a "double history of the coast", book that compares the official "history" and the non-official "story" of the north coast of Colombia.

William Barry Atkins and Wallace defined an approach to action research which focuses on creating ontological weight. Barry was influenced by Jean McNiff's and Jack Whitehead's phraseology of living theory action research but was diametrically opposed to the validation process advocated by Whitehead which demanded video "evidence" of "energy flowing values" and his atheistic ontological position which influenced his conception of values in action research.

Barry explained that living educational theory LET "[It is] a critical and transformational approach to action research. It confronts the researcher to challenge the status quo of their educational practice and to answer the question, 'How can I improve that I'm doing? The mission of the LET action researcher is to overcome workplace norms and self-behavior which contradict the researcher's values and beliefs. The vision of the LET researcher is to make an original contribution to knowledge through generating an educational theory proven to improve the learning of people within a social learning space.

The standard of judgment for theory validity is evidence of workplace reform, transformational growth of the researcher, and improved learning by the people researcher claimed to have influenced French and Cecil Bell define organization development OD at one point as "organization improvement through action research".

Concerned with social change and, more particularly, with effective, permanent social change, Lewin believed that the motivation to change was strongly related to action: If people are active in decisions affecting them, they are more likely to adopt new ways. Lewin's description of the process of change involves three steps:

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In actual fact, the difference between the models is the degree to which an outside researcher influences the action research project in terms of framing the research question and determining the direction the research will take.

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Different models and definitions of action research are explored and an attempt is made to identify the unique features of action research that should make it an attractive mode of research for healthcare practi-.

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“Action Inquiry is an umbrella term for the deliberate use of any kind of a plan, act, describe, review cycle for inquiry into action in a field of practice. Reflective practice, diagnostic practice, action learning, action research and researched action are all kinds of action inquiry.” The method used is similar to Action Science. In distinction, there are some forms of action research where research is the main emphasis and the action is almost a fringe benefit. I regard all of these as action research. This definition is capable of encompassing a variety of research and intervention methods.

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action research model 1. The Power point presentationon:Action Research model 2. Action Research ModelThe action research model focuses onplanned change as a cyclical process inwhich initial research about the organizationprovides information to guide subsequentaction. Action Research is a four step continuous process; Diagnosis, Planning, Action and Evaluation Action Research Theory provides the bridge between knowledge building and data gathering with effective action.