Action Research for Quality Education

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Steps of Action ResearchAction Research for Quality Education

MOOC developed under Open Education for Better World (OE4BW), University of Nova Gorica & the UNESCO Chair in Open Technologies in Collaboration with St. Xavier’s Institute of Education, Mumbai, India 400 020

COURSE DETAILS

Course Author and Developer: Dr Bijoy K Thomas, Assistant Professor, St. Xavier’s Institute of Education, Mumbai, India / linkedin.com/in/bijoy10

Mentor of the Project: Prof. Bibhya Sharma, Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Physics,  The University of the South Pacific

Hub Coordinators: Prof. Subha Das Mollick

Duration of the course: 35 hours / Credits: 2 Credits

Course Fees: Free

Target group profile: Inservice teachers, Graduate & Postgraduate students of higher education

License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Project: Open Education for Better World (OE4BW), University of Nova Gorica & the UNESCO Chair in Open Technologies

Certificate issued by St. Xavier’s Institute of Education: www.sxie.info

Course available: https://eduoer.in/ 

Date of release: 25nd July 2022

Instructions for Enrollment to this Course
  1. Click on ‘Take this Course
  2. Fill the details in the registration form with a valid email ID (My account page)’
  3. Select the course interested in enrolling as ‘MOOC on Action Research for Quality Education
  4. Submit and wait for approval from the Admin**
  5. Complete pre-survey course form (Scroll down this page)**
  6. After admin approval, enter your user email and password in the Login option of ‘My Account Page’
  7. Click on the course that appeared under the title ‘Your Course’  on My Account Page

**Admin approval will be only based on Registration on the EduOER Portal and submission of the pre-course survey form.

Duration of the course: 35 hours (4 Weeks)

Target group profile: The online course is for Graduate/ Postgraduate students and In-service teachers at schools and colleges.

License: Open Online Course: CC BY SA

Aim of the Course:

To give students both an intellectual and a pragmatic understanding of the idea of Action Research in the classroom.

Objectives of the Course

At the end of this course, the learner will be able to

  1. describe the characteristics of action research
  2. demonstrate the significance of action research in the educational context
  3. examine the teacher’s role as an action researcher
  4. create a plan for action research for their classroom practise
  5. describe the various quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques
  6. investigate the characteristics of effective action research
  7. justify action research’s ethical considerations

Structure and Nature of the Course

The open education course developed in this program is divided into three modules. Each module is again subdivided into units and subunits. The total duration of the course is 30 hours, including assignment tasks and evaluation. The course modules are

Module 1: Action Research: Concept and Characteristics

Module 1 discusses the fundamental characteristics and importance of Action Research. The essential features involve the concept of Action Research, the difference between basic research and Action Research, and the characteristics of good Action Research. This module also details the teacher’s role in the Action Research program and the significance and benefits of conducting Action Research in the educational context.

Module 2: Action Research Plan

Module 2 analyses the details of planning and steps required for conducting Action Research. The module explains the different phases of the Action Research process. Each stage of Action Research is explained with activities. This module also deals with formulating Action Research design and brief details of the data collection tools used for Action Research and analysis techniques.

Module 3: Ethical practices and Reflection

Module 3 describes ethical practices, publications of Action Research data and the conclusion.

The course is developed with a module-based approach. The content is divided into three modules for 30 hours (including course activities). In each module, the content is organized with a framework called PPPA. PPPA format includes, Prepare, Present, Practice, and Assess. The preparation stage helps the students to induce themselves into the content. The course author develops a context based on the participants’ previous knowledge at this stage. The preparation stage may include various resources or developmental questions related to the participants’ prior knowledge. The course author presents the content based on the instructional goals in the present stage. Various learning resources are integrated to deliver the materials. The resources include reading material, image-based, multimedia, and case studies. Sometimes, a flowchart or concept mapping technique is also integrated into the presentation stage. This stage also includes some reinforcement tasks related to the content. Reinforcement tasks may comprise case studies, existing resources, discussion forums, collaborative experiences, etc. Different strategies or links are provided to the participants to understand the concept from multiple viewpoints. The course author introduces learning tasks in the practice stage to help the participants understand the topic through self-based activities. These questions are not causally related to the topic. It includes application-based questions. The last stage is assessing—the assessment stage deals with the evaluation based on the module. Besides this framework, reflective questions and discussion forums are part of each module. A significant assignment task goes with the course. The participant is expected to complete this task for evaluation to complete the system. It includes a small project based on the broader goals of the course.

Course Materials

Course materials are presented in multiple modes to understand the topic. The developer made resources and web resources of the existing open educational resources used for this course. The course materials include multimedia resources and a discussion forum. Reminders of tasks, assignments, and new course material information will be sent to participants via email.

Evaluation

To evaluate the learning outcome of the course, a summative evaluation is integrated after each module. The maximum time taken for the assessment is 2 hours per module. The online badge will be provided to complete the assignment and MCQs per module. 

Discussion Forum

For sharing participants’ reflections, discussion forums with leading questions are put up at the end of the module with feedback. The time taken to complete this activity is 1 hour.

Additional Reference

Additional OER is provided to the participants based on each module.

Course Access

This course was created as part of the OE4BW mentoring programme (www.oe4bw.org). The system is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-sharklike 4.0 International License. The modules of the course are designed in PPPA format. The PPPA format includes the stages of Prepare, Present, Practice and Assess. The course is focused on the practical application of digital education. Reinforcement assignment tasks along with evaluation are included in this course. In each stage, the participants are asked reflective questions to self-reflect and contemplate their learning. The course is organised for postgraduate students under the Faculty of Education. Simultaneously, other learning communities may use this resource for deeper practical understanding.

Nature of Educational Resources

The open education program satisfies diverse learners with various learning styles. The course is developed with available online sources, viz., text resources, open e-books, e-journals, videos, self-made video resources, diagrams, pictorial representation etc. At the same time, the author also wrote a detailed self-reflective conceptual understanding of each subtopic.

Delivery of the Course

A cloud-based Learning Management platform is used for delivering this course. The cloud-based platform integrates various online discussions, comments, and evaluation tools.

Assessment and Certification

The Institute will award a course completion certificate to those participants who have completed the course and assignments. For the completion certificate, a participant must submit at least one assignment task from each module (three assignment tasks), complete all evaluation quizzes with 60% marks, participate in at least three discussion forums, and complete the course feedback form. 

A course participation certificate will be awarded to participants who have completed any one quiz evaluation, participated in any one discussion forum, and completed the course feedback form. 

Conceptual Note of the Course

Educational research is defined as the systematic gathering and analysis of data. Student learning, teaching techniques, teacher training, and classroom dynamics are components of education that may be investigated using several approaches and contexts.

The existing educational system desperately needs reform, and significant adjustments must be implemented to ensure the system’s continued excellence. Integrating Action Research into all facets of education is critical in this environment. Action Research in education may help teachers develop and explore innovations in the educational field. Hence, conducting Action Research in the academic area is essential to maintain the quality of education. Action Research helps the teachers, especially pre-service teachers, connect pedagogy theory with practice in a real-world context. It allows the teachers to explore new teaching strategies aligned with reality in the educational context. The training programme focused on Action Research helps teachers become reflective thinkers. Thus, pre-service teachers are motivated to become lifelong learners. They are learning to do Action Research to support teachers in becoming reflective practitioners.

However, the research reveals that the Action Research in the pre-service teacher education program neither focussed on teachers’ transformation nor gave teachers training to become reflective teachers (Krokfors et al., 2011). Most teacher education programs integrated Action Research as an elective course of theory. Practice and implementation are rarely focused on in the current context. The gap between educational practice and current needs motivates me to explore this topic under OE4BW.

This open educational program helps the pre-service teachers to understand the different phases of conducting Action Research in the educational system.