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Center For Collaborative Action
Pages and Files
TI: Overview of Action Research
T2: Understanding Action Research
T3: Your Research Question
T4: The Context
T5: Plan For Action
T6: Cycle 1 in an Iterative Process
T7: Collecting Data
T8: Analyzing Data
T9: Reflecting on your Actions
T10: Cycles of Change
T11: Writing your Action Research Report
T12: Your Identity as an Action Researcher
Click the globe to see our 3-D
Action Research Neighborhood
AR Sharing Overview
Sharing AR syllabi
Cycles of Actions
Reports & Portfolios
Rubrics for Assessment
Evaluating Student Work
Journal for publishing Action Research
Q and A
Sharing Outcomes from
Doing Action Research
Overview of Outcomes
AR World Map of SITES
action research process
Tutorial 11 Resources for Writing your Action Research Report
A. Learning From Others
Reading Examples of Action Research Reports from university programs will help you think about the many ways in which people have organized their writing about their action research. It is a good way to get past writer's block. You have done the work, now you need to share your story in the most compelling way you can. Read a few examples from different universities and see what style seems right for your audience.
Center for Collaborative Action Research, Pepperdine University
The Center has collected Action Research Portfolios that serve as effective models. The model portfolios are categorized in two groups:
School Action Research
for projects that help improve instructional practices and
Community Action Research
for projects in University, Corporate, and other Community settings.
Center for Practitioner Research at National Louis University
Their online journal features original practitioner research studies, theoretical articles pertaining to practitioner research, descriptions of practitioner research centers and book reviews.
Inquiry in Education Journal
Educational Journal of Living Theories
Action Research Projects
a range of studies published in the journal
Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
Many examples of -
Moravian Action Research Projects
some of which focus on the improvement in the arts
Washington State University, Vancouver
Wisdom of Practice: An online journal of (freely accessed)
action research projects
B. Using Templates and Rubrics to Guide the Writing
In the activities, we have provided a template to help you write your action research report. There are many other templates to help you use a particular style to write your report. Journals or magazines will also have advice as how they want submissions to their publications to be formatted. If your school or editor suggests that you use American Psychological Association (APA) style, you will find that
Purdue Universitie's Online Writing Lab
(OWL) will have the best information. Here is their
annotated so you can understand the conventions they suggest.
Reading through a writing rubric can help you think through the process of writing. Writing one as a group will help you think through the process of doing action research and can be a great exercise before you engage in writing. We include some rubrics here to provide ideas but it is best if you develop your own as a group.
We have developed this
web portfolio rubric
to evaluate the action research eportfolios and/or papers. We use a shorter scoring rubric for evaluating the e-portfolio and a presentation. You are welcome to use this to develop your own document.
If you are working in a group, it is great to have each of you use the scoring sheet to give feedback to your peers on their e-portfolios and their practice presentations.
You can find examples of scoring sheets for the e-portfolio in the
C.Developing an Online Portfolio of Action Research
Some of you will chose to share your ideas and work over the internet in e-portfolios. Your work might be linked to university, school, district, state or global networks. To publish your work in this way you will need to make use of color, design and multimedia material. There are many online journals for publishing action research. You might want to consider publishing your work on the
Social Publishing Foundation
. For developing your website, here are some considerations:
Weebly Web Sites
1) Opening "splash" or home page: This page should present the major topic or problem of your action research and yourself as the action researcher. "My Action Research Project" is not a very descriptive title and something like "Seeing Below the Surface: Using video and peer feedback to improve coaching" is more informative. Your name and links to more information about you are important to include on the page. The page should be graphically clear with images that communicate clearly about the nature of the problem you are exploring. The use of an appropriate metaphor (pieces of a puzzle, seasonal changes, transportation, lenses, magnification) can often help communicate your ideas in an engaging way. A video of you giving a short overview of your project (the elevator pitch) might invite your readers to continue exploring.
2) The site should have a very clear navigation bar that helps the reader find the different parts of your work. These should be clear on every page so that the reader does not get lost in exploring your work. Suggested tabs and pull down menus might look like this:
3) Pay attention to color and design. You don't want to use so much vibrant colors and images that you lose the sense of your work. On the other hand, you do not want to waste the potential of the web by only posting text.
Web Journals (blogs) and Portfolios and Wikis (quick websites)
, livejournal, wordpress.com), phone blogs (moblogs at blogger)
Jot (for short verbal reflections using your cell phone and have it transfer it to text)
Blogs and Education
(many good k-12 examples)
(not a blogging platform but good for web creation for eportfolios)
Good website creation and blogging tool
Google Sites for wiki-web sites that can integrate all of the many google suite of applications
Google blog site
Choosing a color scheme
(quick access to popular color schemes based on topics)
(create a color scheme and see it in action)
(use your logo to get the right color scheme)
D. Developing your Conference Presentation
Some of you might chose the conference format for sharing your action research with peers. In this format you will be given an amount of time and you will need to carefully consider what you can include in the time frame. You will want to make sure you give enough time for each part of your talk. You don't want to spend all your time telling stories about what happened and not get to your analysis of data or reflections on change.
Here is a guide for the amount of time on each of the elements. If this was a 10 minute talk, you can read the percents as minutes.
- 10% -
Opening-- Introducing the problem and why you care about it.
- 20% -
Setting the Background (what you learned from reading and from what you know about the setting)
- 10% -
Your Action Research Approach and plan
- 40% -
Reporting on your Iterative Process (cycles of research)
- 20% -
Overall Reflections on learning
You can find examples of scoring sheets for presentations in the
D. Publishing Articles on Action Research
If you plan to submit your writing to a journal you will need to match your work to their format. If you are writing a report to share with colleagues, you have more flexibility in the way you describe your work. We include a listing of journals that accept action research reports.
Listing of Journals for publishing accounts of Action Research
E. Exhibitions of Teacher (and student) Learning
Watch an example of an exhibition of action research:
5th Annual Action Research with Technology Conference
which was held June 18 & 19 2013. The session has been video streamed. You will see keynote discussions and the presentations of four learning circlesl.
Making Learning Visible
provides resources and tools to support learning in groups in the classroom and schools. The tools are mostly intended for teachers, professional development designers and coaches, and administrators. Almost all of the tools emphasize greater intentionality combined with careful looking and listening. The site includes five kinds of tools and resources:
Supporting Learning in Groups in the Classroom
includes practical tools with suggestions for creating learning groups at the beginning of the school year, forming study groups in classrooms, and promoting a culture of dialogue. provides tools for forming adult study groups, hands-on activities for adults to explore learning groups and documentation for themselves, and conversation structures for discussing and reflecting on student learning.
Supporting Learning in Groups in the Staffroom
provides tools for forming adult study groups, hands-on activities for adults to explore learning groups and documentation for themselves, and conversation structures for discussing and reflecting on student learning.
Documenting Individual and Group Learning
includes resources for understanding, creating, and sharing documentation with students and colleagues. Some tools will help you think through the purpose of your documentation; others provide guidelines for gathering or sharing documentation via video, computer, photographs, or powerpoint.
Engaging Families in Supporting Student Learning
offers resources to inform families about visible learning, involve families in supporting their children’s learning, and communicate with families about learning. Tools range from a refrigerator reminder to guidelines for parents interested in forming their own study group.
Making Learning Visible beyond the Classroom
provides tools and templates for creating bulletin boards, documentation panels, visual essays, and schoolwide exhibitions that make learning and learners visible, with examples from preschool-high school.
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