Action Research

Action research can be described as a family of research methodologies which pursue action (or change) and research (or understanding) at the same time. In most of its forms it does this by using a cyclic or spiral process which alternates between action and critical reflection and in the later cycles, continuously refining methods, data and interpretation in the light of the understanding developed in the earlier cycles. -- Dick, Bob (1999)

Action Research, a scholarly approach to improve teaching and learning, can be a central piece of professional development. This project-based research can benefit professors, counselors, and librarians by actively engaging them in the collaborative study of learning as it takes place day by day in the context of their own practices. Through this small-scale, practical research, faculty members can investigate questions regarding student learning that directly impact their practices. At Valencia, action research has become a significant aspect of faculty development, thereby reinforcing the College's community of learners and culture of evidence.

We offer many opportunities to support faculty members who are interested in exploring action research. These resources and courses help faculty members develop a best practices framework for action research and Valencia's Standards of Scholarship.


SOTL2171 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 3 PD Hours

This Essential Competencies seminar examines Action Research as a method for educators to continuously reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling and librarianship. NOTE: This course is part of the TLA Core Seminar series and open to all faculty.

SOTL2271 Learning to Use the ARP Builder 2 PD Hours

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to use the Action Research Project Builder to plan, implement, assess, and publish (within the Valencia community) their Action Research.

SOTL2272 Developing Effective Surveys 2 PD Hours

In this hands-on session, participants will learn the benefits of the common survey types, learn tips on how to write effective survey questions, and collaboratively assess sample surveys. Participants will have the opportunity to apply these principles to their own work.

SOTL2273 IR and You: How IR Can Help Faculty Research 2 PD Hours

This interactive course has been designed to familiarize participants with how Institutional Research (IR) can support faculty research projects. Participants will receive immediate feedback from IR on types of data analyses or studies that would assist in their data collection. Participants will learn what resources are available for different types of research. Participants will understand the relationship between information requests for research and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process.

SOTL3271 Principles of Good Practice 1 PD Hour

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to the ethical considerations of conducting research in an educational setting.

SOTL3272 IRB Requirements and Your Course Part I 1 PD Hour

Meeting one hour face to face , this course will provide an overview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for all faculty members who are planning to conduct research studies at Valencia College.

SOTL3273 IRB Requirements and Your Course Part II 3 PD Hours

This online course will result in nationally recognized certification from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on protecting human subjects. The online training is self-paced and required for faculty members conducting research at Valencia College. It is recognized by most institutions of higher education for three years after the dates of completion.

SOTL3371 Action Research: Project Design 20 PD Hours

An independent study course where participants will design an Action Research Project that articulates a research question, measures a learning outcome, and implements innovative teaching strategies. NOTE: Part 1 of a two-part sequence. Successful completion of this independent study course is dependent upon submission of the completed Action Research Project Plan (pages 1-4), approved by the faculty member's dean or director. This approval is documented using SOTL3371 Independent Study Approval Form.

SOTL3372 Action Research: Implementation 20 PD Hours

Prerequisite: SOTL3371 or consent of facilitator. An independent study course where participants implement their Action Research Project. Participants will record appropriate data, conduct analysis of that data, and reflect on its meaning for the improvement of student learning. Results and reflective critique are recorded in the Action Research Builder. NOTE: Part 2 of a two-part sequence. Successful completion of this independent study course is dependent upon submission of the fully completed Action Research Project Plan, approved by the faculty member's dean or director, and uploaded to Valencia's online repository, the Action Research Builder. This approval is documented using the SOTL3372 Independent Study Approval Form. This course is an elective course in the Seneff Certification program.

SOTL4270 Community of Scholars Variable PD Hours

A selected group of faculty will collaboratively engage in scholarly inquiry. Each Community of Scholars will be specialized "community of practice" that will explore a shared topic related to the innovation of teaching and learning at Valencia. Led by a faculty facilitator, each community will engage in collaborative activities and disseminate their work to campus and college colleagues. NOTE: Participants may be selected through an application process. For more information please contact the Office of Faculty and Instructional Development. This course is an elective course in the Seneff Certification program.