I think the characteristics that make an action research report engaging have to do mostly with the organization of the paper and the components. Maheshwar (2012) writes about how Borgia and Schuler describe components of action research as the “Five C’s”:
Commitment: Time commitment should be carefully considered.
Collaboration: In an action research paper, all participants are equal to each other in terms of giving ideas and suggestions.
Concern: In the research process, participants will build up a group of “critical friends” who trust each other and the value of the project.
Consideration: Reflective practice, which involves a review of professional research like action research.
Change: For humans, especially teachers, change is continuing and it is a significant element in retaining our effectiveness.
These are all characteristics that one should think about when starting an action research project report. For the organization of my research paper I think I am going to follow the format that I wrote about last week. It will be in six sections: the introduction, background literature review, methodology, presentation of findings, discussion, and conclusion. I will also look at the rubric and see if I need to include anything else.
Looking at the example report “If I Were a Camera: Some Possibilities for Visual Arts in a Reading Classroom” by Deborah Higgins, I like how she starts with the introduction. I also like that she talks about the background of her students. I think that could be a good element to add to my paper. I can see how a research report could be pretty dry reading. The way to make it come alive is to paint a living picture of the situation that brought about the need for the research in the first place and then take the reader through the research steps. I also like Higgins ended her paper by summarizing what she learned. When the findings are laid out in a real life context like this, they become much more meaningful. In looking at “Assessment: A New Science Teacher’s Attempt to Use
Assessment as a Form of Conversation” by Christopher O. Tracy, what stood out for me was the format he used. He started with an introduction, research question, the students, data collection, findings, reflection and final thoughts. This was also another good format for a research paper. He also had his appendixes at the end. It was good to look at another example.
Below is a good chart that shows the characteristics of an action research paper. This was taken from Hien, T. T. T. (2009). It is a good visual to track the flow of your action research.
Looking at these exemplars has given me some ideas on how to write up my action research paper in a way that won’t be boring. I will make sure that I include the main points of my action research and then add more if needed. If I follow my outline, I should be ok in writing up my report. I am looking forward to writing up my findings and sharing them with others.
Action Research Projects: Exemplar Projects – LMTIP. (2002). Retrieved November 19, 2015, from https://gse.gmu.edu/research/lmtip/arp/ex
Hien, T. T. T. (2009). Why is action research suitable for education. VNU Journal of Science, Foreign Languages, 25(2), 97-106.
Higgins, D. (2000). If I Were a Camera: Some Possibilities for Visual Arts in a Reading Classroom. Retrieved November 19, 2015, from https://gse.gmu.edu/assets/docs/lmtip/vol2/D.Higgins.pdf
Maheshwar, D. (2012). Action Research in Education. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=402
Tracy, C. (2002). Assessment: A New Science Teacher’s Attempt to Use Assessment as a Form of Conversation. Retrieved November 19, 2015, from https://gse.gmu.edu/assets/docs/lmtip/vol2/D.Higgins.pdf