Action Research Papers Samples

Sample action research sample | sample action research format (IT FIELD)

Title Page

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Action Research Project Overview

The non-portfolio or non-internship action research project involves actively researching a current technological problem or issue.  The problem or issue can be internal or external to a business; however, the research requires fieldwork.  This project’s duration must be at least eight weeks (four, two-week iterations of at least 40 hours of activity per iteration).

Introduction Overview

The introduction, as the minimum, is one to two pages long and should not have an APA heading.  The introduction must include:

  • A brief history/background of the business if the problem involves a business or the background support for your technological problem or issue if the problem does not involve a business
  • A discussion about the circumstances of the situation that you plan to improve or change
    • You may want to discuss, ‘what is wrong or deficient…and why you think making changes will result in improvements.  Include why the improvement is of value to you (the stakeholder)
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Methodology

The methodology section of the paper, as a minimum, is two to three pages long.  Essentially, this section is a mini-research paper defining and explaining the Action Research (AR) Methodology including its application to technology research.

The methodology paper must include:

  • Five (5) professional (subject matter experts) or scholarly references
  • A discussion about the history of AR and application/uses along with its applicability to researching technology issues
  • A transitional paragraph at the end of the section describing how AR is an appropriate methodology for the research you are doing
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Literature Review

A literature review is a research paper about your topic. This section, as the minimum, is three to four pages long using a themed (topic sections) presentation approach with as much detail as possible.  Depending on your topic, specific examples or literary support may be difficult to find.  You may need to use a surrogate (somewhat related) topic in order to complete the literature review.  For example, improving the ‘needs assessment’ process in organization XYZ may not yield research results, so you will need to generalize the topic.  Generalizing the topic could may require examining research on the value of need assessments, the processes associated with needs assessment, or how to a conduct needs assessment.

The literature review section/paper must include:

  • At least eight (8) professional (subject matter expert) and/or scholarly references
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Proposal

The proposal section contains a high-level overview of your project as laid out in a minimum of four iterations.  Each iteration should represent approximately two weeks, with a minimum of 40 hours of activity in each iteration. Do not try to layout your full plan at this point, keep this to one or two paragraphs for each iteration description.  At this point, you should focus on the big picture. Hypothetical situation…Let’s say your proposal deals with improving the ‘needs assessment’ process in organization XYZ.  You know the process is weak and requires improvement, but do not know what the weak points are or how to correct them.  You assume you will need the following iterations:

Iteration 1

In iteration 1, you anticipate two or three brainstorming sessions with representatives from each of the three divisions with each session last a maximum of two hours.  The session discussions will include identifying current process flow, a gap analysis, gathering process requirements, and communication flow.  In addition, the iteration will include compiling, analyzing, and reporting the results of each brainstorming session.  At this point you can go into a little more detail but not too much…keep this statement to one or two paragraphs.

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 2

You expect there will be several one-hour follow up session with each of the division representatives to discuss the outcome of the brainstorming session, clarify information, and gather more detail about their division’s requirements.  Again keep this to one or two paragraphs, I encourage you to focus on the big picture.

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 3

This iteration will be a two-hour follow-up meeting with the three division representatives to discuss identified common requirements, possible integration of requirements, and discussion of how unique requirements will be managed at the division level.  The researcher will manage common and integrated requirements, and the appropriate division must manage unique requirements.  At the conclusion of this meeting, the division representatives will be tasked with formulating a solution for all unique requirements. 

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 4

You need to fully analyze the feedback concerning the requirements from each of the divisions.  Then, document a final process to collect ‘needs’ from each of the divisions,

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

 

A figure, see Figure below, showing at least four iterations of your Action Research project’s flow must appear at the end of your proposal.  The figure shown here should be used as a template for the information needed in the figure.  Remember to revise the information in each of the Iteration number blocks!

Reflective Statement

The last component of your action research paper is a reflective learning statement encompassing your complete experience.  The statement must present two aspects of your research.  First, the statement must summarize your experiences during the process and, second, the statement must summarize your overall learning during the process.  Be sure to include any specific achievements.

References

From Concept to Practice: Beginning Teachers' Reflections on the Education of Linguistically-Diverse Students


This page contains:

  1. The core features of an action research project
  2. The research design and data collection used in exemplar LMTIP action research projects
  3. A styles template for the final written version of your LMTIP project

1. Core Features for an Action Research Project

All of the examplar projects meet the following criteria:

1. A Consistent Internal
    Logic
  • A consistent internal logic means that the research question(s) you pose at the beginning of the paper should be answered at some point later in the paper.
2. Connections to the
    Literature
  • The research question you are exploring is tied to other research that's already been done on this question. Usually this is done in either a Connections to the Literature section or a Review of the Literature section.
3. Data Collection and
    Findings
  • The data collection "tools" you used to collect evidence on your question need to be identified: Did you collect your data with interviews, surveys, test scores, observations, etc.? What were your findings from the data that you collected?
4. Reflections
  • Personal reflections should address (a) the assumptions you held at the outset of the project, (b) the thoughts and reactions you had during the process of completing your project, and (c) how your original assumptions may have changed as a result of completing this project.

    (You may wish to create a separate Reflections section within your paper or to fold your reflections into one or more other sections of the paper.)
5. Implications
  • The implications for your findings might consider a set of next steps you want to take, additional research that needs to be done, and/or how your findings relate to your school or teaching context. (You might choose to create a separate Implications section for your paper or you might choose to fold your implications into another section of the paper.


2. The following action research projects were selected during Winter 2003 to provide exemplars of the possible range for teachers' action research project. The exemplar projects are arranged on this page according to the sample selected for the study and then, further sub-divided according to the manner of data collection.

I. Case Study of Individual Student(s)
A) More of a Qualitative Approach to Data Collection Used

  • Acculturation and Language Acquisition: A Look at Schumann's Acculturation Model
    PDFMSWord
    Jacob Chizzo
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Case study of a single student. Also surveys other students as well to provide context. Extensive discussion of the theoretical model he was exploring in his case study.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education

B) Case Study of Individual Student(s) -- More of a Quantitative Approach Used

  • Using Computers to Improve Reading Levels of Ninth Graders
    PDFMSWord
    Katie Cole
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Case Study of two students within one class. Data collection includes surveys, test scores, and observations.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests

II. A Study within One Class
A) More of a Qualitative Approach Used

  • Teaching Science to High School Students Who Have Limited Formal Schooling
    PDFMSWord
    Kathy Hermann
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Uses personal reflections to tell a yearlong story of how she taught one class. Research question is not fixed throughout study, but develops over time during the course of the project.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • If I Were a Camera: Some Possibilities for Visual Arts in a Reading Classroom
    PDFMSWord
    Deborah Higgins
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Opens with personal reflections and philosophy. Studies one class' reactions to a 4-6 week unit.. Extensive reflection and discussion of her conclusions.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • The Joy of Writing: Creating a Class Culture for Writing
    PDFMSWord
    Derek O'Halloran
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Uses questionnaires, self-evaluations, and student writing samples to gather data on one class. Includes samples of teacher-generated work. Includes reflections and what he might do if he could do it all over again. Uses extensive quotes. Personalized tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing
  • Assessment: A New Science Teacher's Attempt to Use Assessment as a Form of Conversation
    PDFMSWord
    Christopher O. Tracy
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Explores a set of assessment approaches with one class. Data collection includes student surveys, portfolios, and personal reflections. Personalized tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests

B) Study within One Class -- More of a Quantitative Approach Used

  • The Power of Mentoring Beginning Teachers
    PDFMSWord
    Carole Angell and Bernadette Garfinkel
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Extensive discussion of the literature on beginning teachers and mentoring. Data collection includes participant questionnaires, observations, and of five beginning teachers and two mentor teachers. Offers outcomes in relation to the methods they had implemented.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Four: Processes for Conducting Action Research and Participating in the LMTIP
  • Does Culture Affect Learning Style?
    PDFMSWord
    Marian Shaw Cutler
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Connects her project to two models found within the research literature. Subdivides one class into four groups during third and fourth quarters of the school year. Data includes observations, student surveys, and grades.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education
  • Non-Fiction for Non-Readers
    PDFMSWord
    Suzanne Lotharius
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Implements instructional approach in three phases with one class. Findings based on student test scores, teacher observations, and students' written and oral responses. Offers an opinion on her findings and weighs their implications for her teaching.
    Can be found in: Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing

III. A Study across Several Classes
A) More of a Qualitative Approach Used

  • How Does the Use of Reading Strategies Improve Achievement in Science for Language Minority Students?
    PDFMSWord
    Shannon Hicok
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Literature review includes a discussion of the literature. Collects data on students in three different classes. Offers student reactions and personal reflections on each strategy used. Ties findings back to the purpose of the study. Raises additional questions to be explored.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner…": The Impact of Home Visits on English Language Learners in a Multicultural High School
    PDFMSWord
    Cosby Hunt
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: First person reflective narrative examines the process of the instructional approach of home visits. Provides extensive context (e.g., thick description) of site, sample, and personal reflections.
    Can be found in: Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education

B) Across Several Classes -- More of a Quantative Approach Used

  • A Multi-Strategy Approach to Increase ESOL Student Performance on the High-Stakes Virginia End-of-Course Biology Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessment
    PDFMSWord
    Betsy-Ann DeSouza-Wyatt
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Modifies and/or adds to instructional approaches in one course (with 58 students). Includes a description of research, methods, results, and conclusion for each new approach. Compares this and last year's students' test score for this course. Offers rationales for instructional decisions made at key junctures during the school year.
    Can be found in: Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education
  • How Does Phonemic Awareness in ESL Learners Impact Reading and Writing?
    PDFMSWord
    Anthony S. Terrell
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Comparative study between two experimental groups (who did receive the instructional intervention) and two control groups (who did not receive the intervention). Uses both quantitative and qualitative data. More formal tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing


3. For additional guidance as you write up your action research project, refer to the Styles Template:
   Styles Template PDF or Styles Template Word.

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