ccarwebCentersm.png = = =Open for Your Questions= Post any questions you have about action research. This community of action researchers will try to help you. Q:What information tools and techniques are most accurate in trying to quantitiatively determine demostratable results concerning the examination of behavioral actions and processes. If my Action is to improve my organizational communication practice. What tools are most effective for gathering accurate information that enables me to chart and demonstrate a quantifiable change? -Mitchel N. Townsend 1/15/07 A: Mitch, the tools for collecting evidence for action research are drawn from the general toolbox of researchers but some are used more than others. In general, action reseearchers draw from the qualitative and quantitative tools of sociologist and anthropologists to examine the way people interact with one another. These include observation templates used in actual settings or with settings captured in images, audiotape or videotape; surveys and questionaires, interviews, focus groups, and sociograms. Some action researchers have found creative indirect measures. For example, Karen Elinich compared how often and how long teachers in two workshops took breaks as an indirect sign of their engagement in their work. Michael Sweeney charted the nature and types of converstations that collegues initiated with him to look for shifts in the professional engagement of his peers as a result of his actions. Terry Bolduc-Adams analyzed the history of minutes of faculty meetings to understand the differences between a time when faculty reported a high level of success and the current time. There are many ways to collect evidence that will help you think through the effects of your action. Part of the challenge of action research, Mitch, is to find the methods that will work for you to help you analyze the changes. One of the reason for cycles in action research is your first guess might not be as effective as your second or third. Hopefully action researchers will list their methods on the analyze data space so that you will have some ideas from past researchers. -Dr. Riel 1/27/07