EDU 671 Fundamentals of Educational Research
Week 1 Complete (Assignment, Discussions) EDU 671
Week 1 Discussion 1
Understanding Action Research
According Eileen Ferrance (2000) in Themes in education: Action research, action research “involves people working to improve their skills, techniques, and strategies. Action research is not about learning why we do certain things, but rather how we can do things better. It is about how we can change our instruction to impact students” (p. 9). Considering this perspective as well as the information in Chapter 1 of Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher, what factors bring value to action research, differentiating it from traditional educational research? Include at least three factors that are beneficial or lend credibility.
Part Two: Ferrance (2000) adds, “One of the drawbacks of individual research is that it may not be shared with others unless the teacher chooses to present findings at a faculty meeting, make a formal presentation at a conference, or submit written material to a listserv, journal, or newsletter” (p. 9). Considering that your Final project will be an action research proposal presentation, how will this lead you to improve your practice and make changes to instruction to positively impact students?
Part Three: Visit the Ashford University Library. Locate a full-text article that addresses Part One, providing additional comparisons between action and traditional research, or find an article that discusses Part Two, sharing research findings. Share at least one point from your article that adds to what you learned from our assigned readings. Be sure to cite your article according to APA standards.
Guided Response: Locate and respond to two classmates’ posts which contain differing perspectives on the value of action research or that which is different than your own. What new or different perspectives regarding action research do you now have as a result? Provide specific feedback regarding their ideas to improve their practice and how their concepts will impact students.
*It is expected for you to follow up by the last day of the week to provide a secondary response to any comments or questions your instructor may have provided. This is part of the grading criteria as a demonstration of critical thinking.
EDU 671 Week 1 Discussion 2
Early Action Research Ideas
Familiarize yourself with the nine steps that Mills (2014) presents in Chapter 3, pp. 69-70, in order to complete the first three steps of your Final Project, Action Research Plan. Follow the directions below as they differ from the steps on page 69. At this point, you are presenting early ideas that are not concrete, as you have not conducted a review of literature yet. Therefore, your responses should be in outline form only. (You will make these three steps more concrete and formal in structure in Week Three). For now, you will briefly explain the problem or situation.
1. Current Work Setting o Describe your current professional setting, if applicable, whether you are working in a school setting, other educational setting, or organization not related to education.
2. Potential Population Effected o Keeping the focus relatively small, describe whether the potential population of interest includes a group of students and what their grade or age level includes. If you currently work with adults in a non-educational setting, include who in your workplace is impacted. If you are currently unemployed, include who may benefit from a potential change or intervention (i.e. your child, a related child, an adult in the family, etc.). Avoid the use of specific names, rather describe the group or individuals who would be influenced or involved in the action research project.
3. Area of Focus o Identify your early idea of what the purpose of your study may be.
4. Explanation of Problem o Statement of problem or situation that led to this interest or why you want to pursue this topic, including trends in education or educational research.
5. Define Variables o Describe the population (age/grade, quantity of participants, students/or adults). Briefly explain why you have chosen them.
6. Research question(s) o What do you wonder? Consider your area of focus statement. What do you hope to answer?
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates, one with a different topic idea than your own. Ask a question that will encourage them to expand their thinking, consider another point or perspective, or explain more deeply what is appealing about the topic. Make a recommendation to help them narrow their focus or expand their scope.
*It is expected you follow-up by the last day of the week to provide a secondary response to any comments or questions your instructor may have provided. This is part of the grading criteria as a demonstration of critical thinking. Attention MATLT Students: To keep aligned with your program’s emphasis on technology, we strongly suggest that you choose a research area and/or problem involving teaching, learning, or training with technology. Examples may include technology use in the classroom, technology teacher training, technology tools used for evaluation or assessment, or other technology related areas applicable to your place of work.
EDU 671 Week 1 Assignment
Trends in Educational Action Research
Instructions: For this assignment, you will create a document that includes both the Early Action Research Plan and criteria for your area of focus. The plan you share is the same one posted in the Early Action Research Ideas discussion from this week. Please be sure to consider the feedback you received from peers and your instructor and make necessary changes before including this plan in your assignment submission. For the criteria part of the assignment, consider what you read in “Themes in Education: Action Research” and “Current Trends in Education.” What topics did you see and read about that lead you toward clarifying a general idea and establishing an area of focus for research? Please refer to the “Research in Action Checklist Three – One” (Mills, 2014, p. 44) to establish criteria for your area of focus. Note that writing in the first-person voice during the criteria section of this assignment is acceptable.
The assignment needs to include the following areas of content.
• Plan – Area of Focus (1 point): In no more than two paragraphs, describe your early idea of what the purpose of your study may be.
• Plan – Explanation of Problem (1 point): In no more than two paragraphs, explain a statement of the problem or situation that led to this interest or why you want to pursue this topic.
• Plan – Population (.5 point): In no more than a paragraph, describe the population (age/grade, quantity of participants, students or adults).
• Plan – Population Choice (.5 point): In no more than a paragraph, explain why you have chosen your population for this study, including details about why this population is appropriate for this study.
• Plan – Research Questions (1 point): Develop two to three research questions that align with the area of focus and address what you hope to answer in this study. The questions need to be answerable and presented in list format, and they must appropriately represent the population/participants you identified.
• Idea – Teaching and Learning (.5 points): In at least one paragraph, evaluate whether your idea is an issue that involves teaching and learning. Use relevant literature to support the evaluation. • Idea – Locus of Control (.5 points): In at least one paragraph, evaluate whether your idea is within your locus of control.
• Idea – Passion (.5 points): In at least one paragraph, describe whether your idea is something you feel passionate about and where this passion originates from for you (e.g., life experiences or professional practice).
• Idea – Inspiration (.5 points): In at least one paragraph, describe how your idea inspires you to implement change or improvement.
The assignment needs to adhere to the following areas for written communication.
• Page Requirement (.5 points): The assignment must be two to three pages, not including title and references pages.
• APA Formatting (.5 points): Use APA formatting consistently throughout.
• Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar. Your written work should contain no errors and be very easy to understand.
• Source Requirement (.5 points): Use no less than two scholarly sources in addition to the course textbooks, providing compelling evidence to support ideas. All sources on the reference page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.
Review and Submit the Assignment Review your assignment with the Grading Rubric to be sure you have achieved the distinguished levels of performance for each criterion. Next, submit the assignment to the course room for evaluation no later than day 7 of the week. Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.