Q: What is an action research report and how is it written?
Action research is any research that is conducted by professionals in a specific field with the aim of promoting continuous reflection and improvement. This can be performed in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, education, etc. Action research is particularly popular in the field of education. Teachers often engage in it when they want to test the effectiveness of different teaching methods to facilitate learning among their students.
To be able to write an effective action research report, you first need to understand the process that is followed when conducting action research. Generally, you begin by identifying a research problem and then narrow it down to a research question that is feasible for you to study. You then devise an action plan that you think will address your research question. This will involve collecting data and evidence to support your plan. The commonly used techniques to collect data for action research are observation of individual/group behavior, questionnaires, surveys, video/audio recordings, peer feedback, field notes, work samples of participants, etc. Once you have selected your method and started analyzing the data, you might come up with a more effective plan. You might then want to introduce changes into your plan and start observing your participants again, or you might just come up with a more effective solution or next steps that can be implemented. Thus, action research is often a cyclical process.
The action research report that you write is based on this process. Typically, an action research report is written in the same way as you would write an original research article. However, you need to ensure that your report has the following components:
- The context or background
- Literature review
- Statement of research focus
- Action plan and its implementation
- Data collection methods
- Research findings including data analysis and interpretation
- Reflection and implications
- Next steps/Plan for further action