Friday, November 18, 2011

Action Research

After the past two weeks of working with developing my action research project, I have to admit that I'm excited about this opportunity. Until this class I had never heard of action research and now that I have, I have learned so much about what it takes to develop an action research and what it means to do a meaningful one that will give you good feedback and information. The three topics I am leaning towards are:
  1. One action research that I would like to do is find out if holding class in a learning lounge, rather than a classroom environment, is beneficial for the students. This year, my school developed a learning lounge for the teachers to reserve and hold class in. The learning lounge is what we are calling the 21st century classroom. Instead of sitting in desks and using florescent lighting, we have big bean bags, lean back chairs, sofas, end tables, lamps and natural lighting. I want to find out if students learn better in this type of environment, rather than using a classroom setting with desks and the stand-and- deliver type lesson. This research would help the teachers to see what environment students feel they learn best in, as well as, what students are wanting when being educated. 
  2. A second idea for an action research project is finding out how effective teachers think the integration of “Bring your Own Technology” is within their classroom. At the beginning of the year our district put into effect that students could begin to bring in their own technology devices into the classroom. Some teachers were extremely apprehensive of this new policy and were unsure as to how it would all work. Others were excited about this open door of exploration that could begin to occur within their classroom. I would like to find out how effective teachers think “BYOT” has been within their own classrooms and what improvements they feel could be made. This would also provide suggestions and ideas that teachers have found to be effective and ineffective within the classroom. By knowing this information, we could utilize this to help new teachers or teachers who are reluctant to follow the “BYOT” policy year to year.
3.    A third idea for an action research project is re-evaluating the master schedule and determining if including a study hall or tutorial period into the school day is beneficial for students and teachers. This past school year, my school recently made a major change to the schedule and took out our built-in study hall/ tutorial period. This year, we have had some major concerns because of this missing time. I would like to identify other schools within the district that have possibly made this change to their schedule as well, or those that currently still have it, to determine the positives and negatives of each. I would then like to conduct research from my own school, but asking teachers and students their opinions about this decision and discuss the issues and positives that they have noticed without having tutorials. This information will inform administration of both sides of having a built-in tutorial period.

      I'm thrilled to say that my action research project is going to be over "BYOT," and how effective it is within the classroom. I look forward to seeing what my findings are.

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