Approaching an action research thesis

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Approaching an action research thesis

Introduction This document begins with a brief overview of action research and a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages. The intention is to help you make an informed choice about your approach to your research. There is a particular focus on doing research for a thesis or dissertation, or for a similar independent research report.

If a thesis is not your interest I think you will still find material of use. The document also includes brief accounts of some of the methodologies that exist within action research.

An even briefer mention of the data collection methods which can be used is also included. This background material is followed by two practical sections. The first of them describes how action research can be carried out. A format for writing up the research is then presented.

The form of action research described is one which uses a cyclic or spiral process. It converges to something more useful over time for both action and understanding.

It is chosen because of the rigour and economy which it allows.

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I think it is also more easily defended than some other forms. I write as a practitioner in a psychology department where action research is viewed with some scepticism. You may be doing your research within a setting where action research and qualitative approaches are more common.

If so, you may not need to approach it with quite as much caution as I suggest. In all of this, it is not my intention to argue against other research paradigms. For some purposes quantitative, or reductionist, or hypothesis-testing approaches, alone or together, are much more appropriate.

In many research situations action research is quite unsuitable. My only intention is to offer action research as a viable and sometimes more appropriate alternative in some research settings. Should you choose to do an action research study this paper will then help you to do so more effectively and with less risk.

Nor do I have any objection to quantitative research. If your measures adequately capture what you are researching, quantitative measures offer very real advantages. However, qualitative measures may allow you to address more of what you want to examine. In such situations it is appropriate to use them.

The paper is copiously referenced so that you can identify the relevant literature. Embedded in the reference list are also some other works. About half of the references are annotated to assist you in an intelligent choice of reading.

As the name suggests, action research is a methodology which has the dual aims of action and research At the extreme, the "research" may take the form of increased understanding on the part of those most directly involved.

For this form of action research the outcomes are change, and learning for those who take part. This is the form which I most often use. In other forms, research is the primary focus.

Approaching an action research thesis

The action is then often a by-product. Such approaches typically seek publication to reach a wider audience of researchers. In these, more attention is often given to the design of the research than to other aspects.

In both approaches it is possible for action to inform understanding, and understanding to assist action. For thesis purposes it is as well to choose a form where the research is at least a substantial part of the study.

The approach described below tries to assure both action and research outcomes as far as possible. You can modify it in whatever direction best suits your own circumstances.

This is a minimal definition. Various writers add other conditions. Almost all writers appear to regard it as cyclic or a spiraleither explicitly or implicitly. At the very least, intention or planning precedes action, and critique or review follows.Below, I describe an approach as one example of how you might go about it.

I have chosen it because it is an approach I am familiar with. Also, it achieves a balance of action and research, and it is more economical to report than other approaches I know.

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the international journal of computer game research: volume 4, issue 1 November home: about: archive: Zach Whalen is a PhD student at the University of Florida. His current writing and research includes work on video game genre theory, comics studies, House of Leaves, and digital pedagogy.

In addition to his academic work, Zach is an author and webmaster for the weblog, Academic. Approaching an action research thesis: an overview This is a resource file which supports the regular public program "areol" (action research and evaluation on line) offered twice a year beginning in mid-February and mid-July.

The Restorative Benefits of Nature taged by this limitation. But there remains the question of how significant the fatigue of directed. Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) 6 Methods of data collection and analysis Keywords: Qualitative methods, quantitative methods.

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