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EDL 554 Research & Evaluation in Schools

This guide will provide students with an introduction to action research and the research process within the field of education.

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#1 -- Research Proposal Idea

Possible Initial Proposal: (a) What would be the topic of your mini-study? ; (b) What is the overall problem that is connected with your mini-study? (Apply your 1st APA reference here); (c) What type of research do you want to conduct: surveys or interviews? (Apply your 2nd APA reference here i.e. Mills); (d) Who will be the participants in your study?; (e) How many participants will there be?; (f) Draft one broad overall research question that you want to find out using a question that may begin with "How" or "Why"?

#2 -- Actual Proposal-Creating a Question

Firming Up your Proposal: (a) Explain the Purpose of your mini- study (is it to investigate; to explore; to survey; to interview; to compare?); (b) In more detail, explain the background of the problem that you will be basing your study upon (Now: Apply 2 APA references here); (c) What type of Methodology will you be using (Is it quantitative or qualitative?) Include the Mills book as a 3rd APA reference here in regard to your proposed Methodology; (d) What will be your Proposed Methods (i.e. surveys or interviews?); (e) Where will your mini-study take place (i.e. the Location or Context of your mini- study); (f) Describe the specific characteristics and or the diversity of the participants in your mini-study; (g) What is your stance as a researcher (positivist/structuralist or interpretivist?)

#3 -- Literature Review & Reference Page

Conduct a Literature Review of your topic with 5 APA referenced empirical articles. Explain each of the articles in 5 separate paragraphs each, and then synthesize or summarize all 5 articles in a 6th paragraph explaining and comparing the similarities and/or differences of the 5 APA referenced empirical articles. In separate paragraphs, include information about each study, in regard to the purpose of each study, its methodology and methods, the number and characteristics of participants, the location or context of the study, importance, and limitations, and the results of each study (based on the 5 APA referenced empirical articles).

 #4 -- Sample Questions

Compose your 20-25 interview Questions and submit to Moodle. Keep a copy for yourself OR Compose your 15-20 positively aligned survey questions (i.e. demographic questions; multiple questions according to a 5-point Likert scale, and open-ended questions), and submit to Moodle. Keep a copy for yourself. The instructor will contact you regarding your questions, and give you specific feedback.

#5 -- Sample Pilot

If you are doing:

qualitative interview sample pilot research: (a) Describe the person you are interviewing (without naming the person) regarding the person's gender, race or ethnicity; (b) give the person a pseudo name; (c) what does this person do in regard to the field of education or educational leadership; (d) where did you conduct the interview?; (e) how long did the interview last; (f) discuss the interview after you transcribe it by relaying what happened during the interview?; (g) relate whether you were satisfied with the interview, and how you asked the questions? (h) Were you satisfied with the answers you received, (i) If you could change anything about the interview, what would it be?

quantitative survey sample pilot research: Please explain what happened while you distributed and collected your (5) pilot surveys; (a) Where and (b) how did you distribute your surveys? (c) When did you distribute your surveys; (d) Who did you distribute your pilot surveys to; (e) Were all of your surveys distributed during the allotted time period? (f) Were all of your surveys returned to you? Why or why not? (g) How many were returned; (h) Will you have to change any of your questions? Why or why not? (i) Did you encounter any problems please explain; why or why not? If not, why do think your survey pilot research evolved so smoothly?

Very Important: You will need to include a signed Consent Form.

Completed Interview with Signed Consent Form Or Survey: If you have decided to do a Qualitative Mini-Pilot Research Study based on Interview protocol, then you will need to Conduct and Submit the 1 completed Transcribed Interview (lasting approximately 1-hour) with approximately 20 -25 Questions and 20-25 Answers out of a total of 3 interviews that you will conduct during this course.

If you have decided to do a Quantitative Mini-Pilot Research Study based on Survey Research, then you will need to distribute your 15 Surveys (out of 20 to 25 total surveys you will distribute for this course). Surveys must conform to a 5-point Likert Scale. You will be quantifying or tallying your survey questions with descriptive statistics.

#6 -- Conducting Your Mini-Pilot Study

#7 -- Action Research Presentation

Briefly discuss the story of your research (a) What were the themes that emerged from your qualitative interviews or what were the themes that emerged from your quantitative surveys; (b) Briefly explain your results or what you found out from your mini-action-research pilot study? (c) Did you get the results you expected? Why or Why not? (d) Can you draw any conclusions or make any recommendations regarding your study? (e)What do you think is the importance of your mini-action-research study? (f) What would be the next steps of your study if you or another researcher were to continue your study? (g) What limitations or biases if any were present in your mini-study?; (h) What did you learn from your research; (i) What would you do next if you could continue your research or advise another researcher to do if your study was continued; (j) What would your action-plan be in order to find a solution to the original problem if you were Principal of a school?