Elements of Action Research

Elements - Clear Goals

A. Abstract

Your abstract should concisely summarize and highlight the primary points of your Action Research Project. The purpose is to help colleagues quickly decide if your project can support their own project or practice. Abstracts should include the purpose, methods, and results of the project only. The abstract should be short.

B. Research Question
The following prompts can help you identify the question that will be the basis for your Action Research Project. Answer the questions that are relevant to your project as a way to focus your ideas. Remember, action research questions are about what you are doing, not what other people are doing.

  1. What is the question?

    • Is there a persistent problem or area of concern in my class/professional setting? What is my concern? Why am I concerned? What kind of evidence can I produce to show the situation as it is?
    • Is there a teaching method I would like to explore/incorporate in my practice?
    • Is there a topic in my discipline I would like to teach or present differently?
    • Would I like to explore alternative methods of assessment?
    • Would I like to have evidence of the effectiveness of something I amcurrently doing?
    • Have I seen an Action Research question that I would like to alter/modify/investigate in my practice?
    • Will I be able to follow this question through multiple semesters?

  2. Is the question appropriate for Action Research?

    • Is it significant and related to improving student learning?
    • How will finding the answer inform my teaching?
    • Is it under my control (teaching strategies, classroom activities, student assignments)?
    • Is it feasible in terms of time, effort and available resources?
    • Can I take action based on my results?
    • Is this an area where I am willing to make a change?
    • Am I willing to make a change based on my results?
    • Does the question measure only one result/trait?
    • Can the results be measured?

  3. How might I address the question?

    • Can I clearly state the Research Question (or hypothesis) that I want to test?
    • Can I clearly state the goal or set the standard to which I want to compare my students' achievements