Action research is a way of developing not only local knowledge but also public knowledge about teaching, coaching, learning, and schools. Through observation, reflection, inquiry, and action, teachers and coaches study and gain great theoretical understanding about practice. When teachers study their practice, action research has the potential to transform teaching and the way students learn.
This course examines* action research and its role in decision-making in educational practices. Students are introduced to various types of action research and to the elements of the action research process, including identifying a problem, determining a problem statement and a purpose, conducting a literature review, planning for the collection and the analysis of data, and creating a plan of action. Methods for collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data are discussed. Students identify ethical issues related to research as well, including a professional code of ethics, confidentiality, and research using human subjects. In addition, they synthesize and apply the content of the course by writing a proposal for an action research study.
*Please note that actually conducting research will not be a part of the course. All assignments can be completed without a participant’s being in a classroom.
Week 1: Student Orientation
Week 2: Defining Action Research; Purposes of Action Research; Models of Action Research
Week 3: Identifying Problems; Ethics of Action Research; Developing Research Question
Week 4: Reviewing Literature (Discovering Resources for Research); Ethical Issues in Research
Week 5: Data Collection Plan: Qualitative, Quantitative Analyzing Data
Week 6: What Now? Drawing Conclusions; Presenting Research
Week 7: Pulling it All Together Proposal for Research Project
This is an advanced level course for teachers, literacy coaches, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers with Internet access. They will also need speakers and a microphone (or a headset or telephone) to participate in the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Virtual Meeting sessions. In addition, participants should be proficient with browsing the Internet, uploading and downloading content, navigating to computer files, and with using word processing software, email, and attachments.
This course is one of two that leads to certification as a literacy coach. Prior to completion of this course, the participant should have already successfully completed each of the following Read to Succeed endorsement courses:
- Foundations of Reading
- Content Area Reading and Writing (any approved “Content Area Reading and Writing” course)
- Instructional Practices
- Assessment of Reading
All materials in this course are the property of the South Carolina Department of Education Office of VirtualSC PD. All course materials needed/required for the workshop are available online.