Developing an Action Research Plan

This part of the module asks you to build upon some of the ideas you have already generated as you continue to put yourself in the role of scholar, by developing a sample action research project. Read back through the notes you made when brainstorming your problem of practice and while reading research related to this area of inquiry. Then write an action research proposal with the components below. 

  1. Introduction: Problem Statement - You have already defined a “problem of practice” within your own teaching. Consider whether you want to redefine or refine any of the ideas you brainstormed earlier. Then write a short paragraph pulling your description of the problem, explanation of how it relates to expectations you and others have about teaching and learning in your program, and why this problem is important. 
  2. Literature Review - You should review existing research related to your chosen topic and synthesize the results of this research in a literature review. Guiding questions for this part include the following:
    • What is the background of this topic or focus and why is that background important to understand?
    • What is the context of previous work that has been done on this topic? 
    • To what else does the topic relate? 
    • How can I situate my study within related professional literature? 
    • What is the theoretical framework that I bring to this study? 
    • What are the areas of research and specific research studies that relate to my study? 
    • What are related professional references (research, theory, and/or practice) that inform me? 
    In addition to the publication you already read, find 2-3 other research-based articles related to the topic and use these to help you to answer this list of questions.
  3. Research Questions and Expected Outcomes - Identify 2-3 research questions to guide your study and a set of outcomes that you will examine to answer the question. For example, in the earlier example related to formal and informal second-person pronouns in German, a researcher might ask:
    • How do learners explain their choice of pronouns following a series of role play activities? 
    • Does their reflection on pronoun choice impact their language use in later activities? 
    They might then design a set of recorded or digitally-mediated role play activities where the relations between participants is salient. Students could be presented with transcripts from these interactions and asked to reflect on the pronouns they chose and why. Later in the course, a similar set of role play activities could be implemented to see if there is any change in the choices students make.
  4. Action Plan - This includes a description of the instruction that will accompany your action research project. This should be as detailed as possible and can include the materials and lesson plans to be used.  

As you complete the plan, consider what kinds of resources you would need to carry out this work. What would be the most difficult part for you? 

You can use an app such as Trello or Miro to create a project board to organize your action plan into more discrete tasks and activities. 

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