Introduction to the Course
The new course run and organized by Dr Nellie Deutsch on WizIQ entails a very interesting topic which is that of Action Research, it will be a 10 month long course with weekly live sessions and the possibility to work either individually or collaborate and create our own Action Research Project.
The course on WizIQ began a week ago and all recordings of the sessions or course didactic materials and other relevant information is contained within the course itself. As always the course is free and open to all Educators and non-Educators. Hence if you are interested in understanding the theory of Action Research and carrying out your own project then this is the place to be. See you there.
The first session on February 9 and the second session February 16, the next session is February 23 – in the following passages I will try and add my own thoughts and brief reflection on each session as it occurs. Concurrently I will also begin my very own Action Research Project on one of my own classes where I teach English at High School. But as I discovered the first thing is to choose a problem to study and limit that problem to specifics – otherwise if the problem is too broad or wide ranging then the ‘research’ cannot properly take place. (more on this below)
Session 2 on February 16
Action Research is not linear but rather cyclic – as the process itself is one of Progressive Problem Solving with Action Research as the following illustration goes to demonstrate:
Find the problem → study it and make a plan → take action → collect and analyze → reflect … THEN begin again → Find the problem → study it and make a plan → take action → collect and analyze → reflect … THEN begin again → and so on.
Dr Nellie says that we need to use the OODA method albeit being a military method is well used in Action Research, OODA simply stands for OBSERVE, ORIENT, DECIDE, ACT. Seemingly simple enough, but only the following weeks and months will determine just how simple this acronym may be. Of course there are materials to read on Action Research as we set about taking on the onerous task of carrying out our own research project. Dr Nellie has also mentioned to use material dated between 2015 and 2010, in other words to use primary resources as required by this particular course and to limit the secondary resources to viable dates within the time frame suggested.
One of the important things about the process of Action Research is the use of the nine steps as guidance, some may be skipped or rearranged which will depend on the topic to be dealt with in the project itself. The nine steps can be outlined as follows:
- Identify and limit the topic
- Gather the information
- Review the related literature
- Develop a Research plan
- Implement the plan and collect data
- Analyze the data
- Develop an action plan
- Share and communicate the results
- Reflect on the research process
Another important factor which is highlighted by the nine steps is to write and record every single passage of the process otherwise it cannot be regarded as in itself a research. The very term ‘research’ must bring to mind the myriad of trials and tribulations over the years of many well renowned researchers into as many areas of work to know that a research without a ‘research paper’ showing and demonstrating the process cannot be deemed viable research.
The following image sums up the task for the week and the idea behind this particular course on WizIQ.
In the second session we tried to hash around ideas that we thought could be a problem to focus our research on but we also had to face the fact that some ‘problems’ are not per se the problem but more of a judgement on a situation. So now my own objective is to observe to find a problem and focus on that problem for my own practical adventure into the evolution of this course over the next ten months.
Want to participate in this course? Take a look at this flyer on Smore Action Research course information