1. Action Research
• How do we describe and explain what we are doing?
• Critical reflection on own practice
• Explaining how and why things work
• Checking things are as they should be
• Providing evidence that things are working
• Making changes and improvements where they’re not
• Practice informs theory and theory informs practice
Used by practitioners:
• to investigate own work/practice
• to create own theories of practice
• ideally to inform policy as well as own practice
2. Theoretical basis
• Not only an abstract body of knowledge ‘out there’
• Located within your own practice
• Your knowledge and expertise = your theory of practice
• Practice informs theory and theory informs practice –
they are always transforming
What makes something action research?
(rather than everyday good practice)
• Production of evidence (authenticated and validated)
• Making claims public
3. Developing and Implementing
Your Own Teaching Innovation
• Working in small groups of 2 or 3
• Identify an issue you are trying to address
• Discussion and development – today and next week
• Implementation – semester 2
• Evaluation – assessing impact
• Dissemination – written assignment
4. Questions you might ask
• What is my concern? And why am I concerned?
• What kind of evidence can I produce to show why I am
• What can I do about it? And what will I do about it?
• What kind of evidence will I produce to show that what I
am doing is having an influence?
• How do I evaluate that influence?
• How do I make sure the judgments I make are reasonably
fair and accurate?
• How do I modify my practice in the light of my
5. Deciding what to investigate?
• Address the tension when values are denied in practice
• Or when personally held values and those of the
organisation or ‘system’ are at odds
Try to identify something challenging and potentially
transformative – not just an alternative way of achieving the
6. Who Takes Part?
• Research participants
- source of data, not objects of study
- it is about what you do, not what they do
• Collaborative colleagues
- getting others involved, working collectively
• Critical friends, validators and advisers
- a sympathetic person offering critical feedback
• Interested observers
- other students, tutors – invite comment
7. Data and evidence
• Collect a variety of types of data
• Qualitative/quantitative/both? – appropriate to research
• Records – field notes, observations, record sheets
• Interviews, questionnaires, marks, work produced
• Diagram the process and map the activity
• Think about how the work is communicated
8. Possibilities to consider:
• Opportunities for risk taking and playful exploration
• Development of new skills and techniques
• Learning from other disciplines
• Exploration of collaboration and group working
• Peer/student-led learning
• Encouragement of discussion and debate
• Reflection on feedback and assessment
• Self-appraisal and judgement
• Challenging power relationships
• Developing visual literacy and communication
• Enabling autonomous learning
What are you hoping to achieve?
9. Next week:
Next week’s Seminar will take place in room 14.12
Also taking place next week is the RAUM Symposium
‘Dialogue on Design-Based Learning’
We will fit in opportunities during the day to join in
There is also a lecture on Thursday evening as part of the
Symposium – try to attend this