Action Research Paper Sample

Sample action research sample | sample action research format (IT FIELD)

Title Page

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Action Research Project Overview

The non-portfolio or non-internship action research project involves actively researching a current technological problem or issue.  The problem or issue can be internal or external to a business; however, the research requires fieldwork.  This project’s duration must be at least eight weeks (four, two-week iterations of at least 40 hours of activity per iteration).

Introduction Overview

The introduction, as the minimum, is one to two pages long and should not have an APA heading.  The introduction must include:

  • A brief history/background of the business if the problem involves a business or the background support for your technological problem or issue if the problem does not involve a business
  • A discussion about the circumstances of the situation that you plan to improve or change
    • You may want to discuss, ‘what is wrong or deficient…and why you think making changes will result in improvements.  Include why the improvement is of value to you (the stakeholder)
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Methodology

The methodology section of the paper, as a minimum, is two to three pages long.  Essentially, this section is a mini-research paper defining and explaining the Action Research (AR) Methodology including its application to technology research.

The methodology paper must include:

  • Five (5) professional (subject matter experts) or scholarly references
  • A discussion about the history of AR and application/uses along with its applicability to researching technology issues
  • A transitional paragraph at the end of the section describing how AR is an appropriate methodology for the research you are doing
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Literature Review

A literature review is a research paper about your topic. This section, as the minimum, is three to four pages long using a themed (topic sections) presentation approach with as much detail as possible.  Depending on your topic, specific examples or literary support may be difficult to find.  You may need to use a surrogate (somewhat related) topic in order to complete the literature review.  For example, improving the ‘needs assessment’ process in organization XYZ may not yield research results, so you will need to generalize the topic.  Generalizing the topic could may require examining research on the value of need assessments, the processes associated with needs assessment, or how to a conduct needs assessment.

The literature review section/paper must include:

  • At least eight (8) professional (subject matter expert) and/or scholarly references
  • Refer to the assignment on Blackboard for additional assignment criteria

Proposal

The proposal section contains a high-level overview of your project as laid out in a minimum of four iterations.  Each iteration should represent approximately two weeks, with a minimum of 40 hours of activity in each iteration. Do not try to layout your full plan at this point, keep this to one or two paragraphs for each iteration description.  At this point, you should focus on the big picture. Hypothetical situation…Let’s say your proposal deals with improving the ‘needs assessment’ process in organization XYZ.  You know the process is weak and requires improvement, but do not know what the weak points are or how to correct them.  You assume you will need the following iterations:

Iteration 1

In iteration 1, you anticipate two or three brainstorming sessions with representatives from each of the three divisions with each session last a maximum of two hours.  The session discussions will include identifying current process flow, a gap analysis, gathering process requirements, and communication flow.  In addition, the iteration will include compiling, analyzing, and reporting the results of each brainstorming session.  At this point you can go into a little more detail but not too much…keep this statement to one or two paragraphs.

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 2

You expect there will be several one-hour follow up session with each of the division representatives to discuss the outcome of the brainstorming session, clarify information, and gather more detail about their division’s requirements.  Again keep this to one or two paragraphs, I encourage you to focus on the big picture.

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 3

This iteration will be a two-hour follow-up meeting with the three division representatives to discuss identified common requirements, possible integration of requirements, and discussion of how unique requirements will be managed at the division level.  The researcher will manage common and integrated requirements, and the appropriate division must manage unique requirements.  At the conclusion of this meeting, the division representatives will be tasked with formulating a solution for all unique requirements. 

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

Iteration 4

You need to fully analyze the feedback concerning the requirements from each of the divisions.  Then, document a final process to collect ‘needs’ from each of the divisions,

Remember, this is an example and one meeting is not sufficient for an iteration.

 

A figure, see Figure below, showing at least four iterations of your Action Research project’s flow must appear at the end of your proposal.  The figure shown here should be used as a template for the information needed in the figure.  Remember to revise the information in each of the Iteration number blocks!

Reflective Statement

The last component of your action research paper is a reflective learning statement encompassing your complete experience.  The statement must present two aspects of your research.  First, the statement must summarize your experiences during the process and, second, the statement must summarize your overall learning during the process.  Be sure to include any specific achievements.

References

Sample Action Research courtesy of Sir Kenneth D. Hernandez,CAR-PhD. (Admin TeacherPH Facebook Group)

This is my promised Action Research by one of the teachers at Victoria Reyes Elementary School. Notice that it was conducted only for a week and the Statistics used are very simple yet the interpretation is meaty.


Victoria Reyes Elementary School
Dasmariñas City

An Action Research on the Effectiveness of Differentiated Instruction In Teaching English for Grade Four Classes

By

Mary Joy V. Olicia
Researcher

I. Introduction

Like Science and Math, English is a difficult but an important subject because the curriculum considers it as a tool subject needed to understand the different content subjects. Basically, it is concerned with developing competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing. Speaking includes skills in using the language expressions and grammatical structures correctly in oral communication while writing skill includes readiness skills, mechanics in guided writing, functional and creative writing (K to 12 Curriculum Guide for Grade 4).

The K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum aims to help learners understand that English language is involved in the dynamic social process which responds to and reflects changing social conditions. It is also inextricably involved with values, beliefs and ways of thinking about the person and the world people dwell. The curriculum aims that pupils are given an opportunity to build upon their prior knowledge while utilizing their own skills, interests, styles, and talents.

However, teachers find difficulties in teaching different kinds of pupils with different intellectual capacities, talent or skills, interest, and learning styles especially in heterogeneous groupings of pupils. This situation calls for teachers to create lessons for all pupils based upon their readiness, interests, and background knowledge. Anderson (2007) noted that it is imperative not to exclude any child in a classroom, so a differentiated learning environment must be provided by a teacher.

Differentiated instruction is based on the concept that the teacher is a facilitator of information, while students take the primary role of expanding their knowledge by making sense of their ability to learn differently (Robinson, Maldonado, & Whaley, 2014).

Wilson (2009) argued that differentiated instruction is the development of the simple to the complex tasks, and a difference between individuals that are otherwise similar in certain respects such as age or grade are given consideration. Additionally, Butt and Kusar (2010) stated that it is an approach to planning, so that one lesson may be taught to the entire class while meeting the individual needs of each child.

According to Tomlinson (2009), DI as a philosophy of teaching is based on the premise that students learn best when their teachers accommodate the differences in their readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. It sees the learning experience as social and collaborative. The responsibility of what happens in the classroom is first to teacher, but also to the learner (Subban, 2006). Additionally, DI presents an effective means to address learner’s variance which avoids the pitfalls of the one-size-fits-all curriculum. Stronge (2004) and Tomlinson (2004b) claimed that addressing student differences and interest enhance their motivation to learn and make them to remain committed and to stay positive as well.

Stravroula (2011) conducted a study in investigating the impact of DI in mixed ability classrooms and found out that the implementation of differentiation had made a big step in facing the negative effects of socio-economic factors on students’ achievement by managing diversity effectively, providing learning opportunities for all students. The positive change in students’ achievement had shown that differentiation can be considered as an effective teaching approach in mixed ability classrooms.

Furthermore, Servilio (cited by Robinson, 2014) studied the effectiveness of using DI to motivate students to read and found out that an average of 83.4% of the students’ grades improved in reading, 12.5% remained the same, and 41% of the grades decreased.

As educator, the teacher-researcher was motivated to conduct this action research on the effectiveness of DI in teaching English on Grade Four pupils for a week-long lesson. She also she wanted to know the effect of this method on the academic performance of the pupils from results of the diagnostic and achievement test.

II. Statement of the Problem

This study determined the effectiveness of conducting DI to Grade Four English class. Specifically, it answered the following.

1. What is the performance of the two groups of respondents in the pretest?

1.1. Control group

1.2. Experimental group

2. What is the performance of the two groups of respondents in the posttest?

1.1. Control group

1.2. Experimental group

3. Is there a significant difference between the pretest scores of the control and experimental group?

4. Is there a significant difference between the posttest scores of the control and experimental group?

5. Is there a significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the control and experimental group?

III. Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

  1. There is no significant difference between the pretest result of the experimental and control group.
  2. There is no significant difference between the posttest result of the experimental and control group.
  3. There is no significant difference between the pretest and posttest result of the experimental and control group.

IV. Methodology

This action research utilized the experimental design since its main purpose was to determine the effectiveness of DI and its possible effect to the mean gain scores on achievement of pupils on a one-week lesson in Grade 4 English.

Two groups were taught the same lessons for one week. The control group was taught using the single teaching with similar activities approach while the experimental group was taught using DI with three sets of activities and three sets of evaluation and facilitation for the three groupings of pupils for the one-week duration. Two regular sections were included in the study out of the five Grade 4 sections that the school have.

Both groups were given the diagnostic test on Friday, September 25, 2015 to identify the classification of pupils whether they belong to the above average group, average group, and below average group. The achievement test was administered on Monday, October 5, 2015 the following week using parallel teacher-made tests. The number of pupils was again identified to know whether there was change in their classification. The results of the pretest and the posttest were compared to determine whether using DI is effective or not.

Data Gathering

After seeking the approval from the principal, the teacher-researcher started the experiment for a week.

The scores of both the pretest and the posttest were taken and these data were coded, tallied, and were statistically treated using the mean, standard deviation, and t-test of significant difference.

The mean and the standard deviation were used to determine the level of performance of control and experimental groups and the classification of pupils, while the t-test was employed to determine the significant difference of the mean scores on pretest and posttest of both groups.

V. Results and Discussions

The following are the results and the analysis done from the data.

A. Performance of the Two Groups of Respondents in the Diagnostic Test (Pretest)

The result of the pretest of the two class groups is presented in Table 1.

Diagnostic scores reveal that the control group has a mean of 11.76 (Sd=4.06) while the experimental group reported a mean score of 12.07 (sd=3.56) which is a little higher.

Table 1

Pretest Results of the Control and the Experimental
Groups Prior to the Experiment

GroupsNMeanStandard Deviation
Control Group4911.764.06
Experimental Group5112.073.56

The variance results of 4.06 and 3.56 are not that big which signify that both classes are heterogeneous; meaning the pupils were of differing level of intelligence. This is indeed a good baseline since the results suggest that the two sections included in the study are almost the same in the manner that the scores are scattered. This means that the pupil’s grouping are mixed as to their abilities.

Tomlinson (2009) claimed that pupil’s differences should be addressed and the two groups became an ideal grouping for which the experiment was conducted concerning DI.

B. Performance of the Two Groups of Respondents in the Achievement Test (Posttest)

Table 2

Pretest Results of the Control and the Experimental
Groups Prior to the Experiment

GroupsNMeanStandard Deviation
Control Group4913.823.53
Experimental Group5116.452.34

The level of performance of the two groups in the posttest is presented in Table 2.

The experimental group of pupils who were exposed to DI obtains a mean score of 16.45 (Sd=2.34) while the control group who were taught using the traditional method obtain a mean score of 13.82 (Sd=3.53).

The result showed that the posttest scores of the experimental groups taught with DI is remarkably better as compared to those which were taught the traditional approach. Looking at the standard deviation scores, it signifies that the variance of the experimental group was smaller than that of the control group which suggest that the pupils’ intellectual ability were not scattered unlike in the pretest result.

The finding is supported by Stravroula’s (2011) study on DI where was able to prove that DI is effective as it positively effects the diverse pupils characteristics. Stronge’s (2004) contention that DI can enhance motivation and performance also supports the result.

C. Classification of Pupils in the Control and Experimental Group Based on the Pretest and Posttest Scores Results

Table 3

Classification of Pupils Before and After the Differentiated Instruction

Table 3 presents the grouping of the pupils both in the control and in the experimental group As per classification of students based on the mean and standard deviation results, a majority of the pupils were on the average group for the control and experimental group prior to the treatment. However, after the experiment, there was a big increase in number of pupils for the average group for the control group and a larger number now belongs to the above average group. There were no pupils reported to be in the below average group for both the control and the experimental group.

Data suggest that both approach in teaching increased the achievement but remarkable increase was noted in the group taught with DI.

D. Classification of Pupils in the Control and Experimental Group Based on the Pretest and Posttest Scores Results

Table 3.1

Classification of Pupils Before and After the Differentiated Instruction

Table 3.1 shows that as per classification of students based on the mean and standard deviation results, a majority of the pupils were on the average group for the control and experimental group prior to the treatment of using DI to the experimental group.

It could be noticed that the percentages of classification are not far from each other. The idea presented by Tomlinson (2009) that differences of pupils should be addressed by the teacher in the classroom is good and according to Robinson, et.al, the teachers are the best facilitators of learning for pupils of diverse background and abilities.

Table 3.2

Classification of Pupils After the Differentiated Instruction

Table 3.2 presents that after the experiment, there was a big increase in number of pupils for the average group for the control group and a larger number now belongs to the above average group. There were no pupils reported to be in the below average group for both the control and the experimental group.

Data suggest that both approach in teaching increased the achievement but remarkable increase was noted in the group taught with DI. This improvement in the classification or grouping of pupils in both groups assumes the principle that both groups who are taught by the same teacher with the same lesson could normally have a change in aptitude especially if the teacher has addressed the differences as averred by Anderson (2007). However, the notable changes in the experimental group is surely brought about by the DI exposed to them as supported by Stravroula (2011), Subban (2006), and Stronge (2004). With the DI, the teacher’s approach to the teaching and the activities may have affected very well the acquisition of the learning competencies as was mentioned by Wilson (2009). Specifically however, in English, the contentions of Sevillano (cited by Robinson et al, 2014) directly supports the result.

E. Results of Significant Difference Between the Pretest Scores of the Control and Experimental Group

Table 4

Significant Difference Between the Pretest Scores of the Control Group and Experimental Group

Table 4 presents the significant difference in the pretest scores of the two groups.

The computed t-ratio of 0.8109 is lesser than the tabular of 1.9845 at 98 degrees of freedom. Hence the hypothesis of no significant difference is accepted. There is no significant difference in the pretest scores of the class groups.

This result is good since the baseline data prior to the use of DI suggest that the pupils have similar intellectual abilities which will be very crucial for trying out the experiment in the teaching approach. The data suggest that the groups are very ideal for the experiment since they possess similarities prior to the experiment.

F. Significant Difference Between the Posttest Scores of the Control and Experimental Group

Table 5 presents the significant difference of the posttest scores between the control and the experimental group.

Table 5

Results of Post-test the Control and Experimental Group

From the data, it is very clear that the difference in scores in the achievement favor the experimental group which was taught using DI. Hence, it is safe to say that DI is effective based on the data generated.

G. Significant Difference Between the Pre-test and Post-test Scores of the Control and Experimental Group

Table 6

Significant Difference Between the Pretest and Posttest Scores of the Control and Experimental Group

Table 6 presents the comparison of the pretest and post test scores of the control and the control groups.

Clearly, for the control, there is no significant difference as signified by the computed t coefficient of 0.09 which is lesser than the tabular value of 1.9850 using 96 degrees of freedom. However, for the control group, it is very obvious that the calculated t-ratio of 1.02 is greater than the tabular value of 1.9840. Hence, the hypothesis of no significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores for the control group is accepted but is rejected for the experimental group.

The results are very significant since the group exposed without DI did not report difference in score unlike in the group taught using DI which showed significant difference. This then makes it safe to conclude that DI is effective in teaching English.

VI. Findings

The following are the findings of this action research.

  1. The mean scores of both control (11.76, Sd=4.06) and the experimental (12.07, Sd=3.56) groups do not significantly differ based on the t-coefficient result of 0.8109 which is lesser than the tabular of 1.9845 at 98 degrees of freedom.
  2. The mean scores of the control (16.45, Sd=2.34) and the experimental (13.82, Sd=3.53) significantly differ which favor the use of DI from the t-ratio of 3.423 is greater than the tabular value of 1.9845 at 0.05 level of significance using 98 degrees of freedom.
  3. During the pretest, majority of the pupils are average (control group, 35 or 71.43% and 37 or 72.55%). After the treatment, however, majority of the pupils in the control group became average (34 or 69.39%) and above average (35 or 68.63%).
  4. There is no significant difference between the control group’s pretest and posttest scores based on the computed t coefficient of 0.09 which is lesser than the tabular value of 1.9850 using 96 degrees of freedom but significant difference exists for the experimental group as signified by the calculated t-ratio of 1.02 is greater than the tabular value of 1.9840 using 98 degrees of freedom.

VII. Conclusions

Based on the findings, the following are the conclusions.

  1. The pretest scores of the control and the experimental group do not differ significantly.
  2. The posttest scores of the groups significantly differ resulting to higher scores for the experimental group.
  3. No significant difference exists in the pretest and posttest scores of the control group, but significant difference is noted for the experimental group.
  4. There is an improvement in the groupings of pupils both in the control and experimental group but significant improvement was shown for the pupils taught using DI.
  5. Use of DI is effective considering the higher scores of the experimental group compared to the control group.

VIII. Recommendation

Based on the above findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are suggested.

  1. DI should be used in teaching pupils in English especially in heterogeneous classes because it improved their classroom performance.
  2. Teachers should be given in-service trainings on DI for them to gain more knowledge and clear understanding of the approach.
  3. Although tedious on the part of the teachers, they should be encouraged to prepare and use DI to motivate pupils to participate in class discussions.
  4. This action research should be continued.

IX. References:

Anderson, K. M. (2007). Tips for teaching: Differentiating instruction to include all students. Preventing School Failure, 51(3), pp. 49-54. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database. (Accession No. 24944365)

Butt, M. & Kausar, S. (2010). A comparative study using differentiated instructions of public and private school teachers. Malaysian Journal of Distance Education, 12(1), pp. 105-124. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database. (Accession No. 78221508)

K to 12 Curriculum Guide, www.deped.gov.ph

Robinson, L., Maldonado, N., & Whaley, J. (2014). Perceptions about implementation of differentiated instruction: Retrieved October 2015 http://mrseberhartsepicclass.weebly.com/

Stravroula, V. A, Leonidas., & Mary, K. (2011). investigating the impact of differentiated instruction in mixed ability classrooms: It’s impact on the quality and equity dimensions of education effectiveness. Retrieved October 2015 http://www.icsei.net/icsei2011/Full%20Papers/0155.pdf

Stronge, J. (2004). Teacher effectiveness and student achievement : What do good teachers do? Paper presented at the American Association of School Administrators Annual Conference and Exposition, San Francisco, California.

Subban, P.(2006). Differentiated Instruction: A research basis. International Education Journal, 7(7), pp. 935-947.

Tomlinson, C. A., (2009) Intersections between differentiation and literacy instruction: Shared principles worth sharing. The NERA Journal, 45(1), 28-33.Retrieved from Education Research Complete database. (Accession No. 44765141)

Tomlinson, C. A. (2004a). Differentiation in diverse settings. School Administrator, 61(7), 28-33

Wilson, S. (2009). Differentiated instruction: How are design, essential questions in learning, assessment, and instruction part of it? New England Reading Association Journal, 44(2), pp. 68-75. Retrieved from Education Source database. (Accession No. 508028374)

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