Week 4 Discussion
Research supports the contention that formative assessment has a direct impact on student learning (Volante and Beckett, 2011) which is also a goal of action research. Formative assessment of data is a reevaluation process that is conducted by the researcher for the purpose of continual improvement (Buczynski & Hansen, 2014). The function of this practice is to help researchers and leaders make adjustment that will best inform and change educational outcomes (Mills, 2014). This research, paired with the successful exercise of leadership practices improves the teaching and learning process because it causes us to respond to the needs of the educational environment. In this discussion, you have the opportunity to think about this iterative process of your research process.
Initial Post: Buczynski and Hansen (2014, p. 31) share important points to consider regarding effective leadership practices that yield results in the differentiated learning environment. This is affectionately termed, the change leader which is what you are becoming! Here, you discuss the status of your action research implementation focusing your discussion on the following questions:
• Are you closer to answering your research question(s)? Why or why not?
• To what degree are your data collection instruments yielding the information you’d hoped for in answering your research questions? Why or why not? and
• How have your leadership skills been put to work specifically, as you have participated as a researcher?
Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers. In your responses, consider asking questions of your peers about their responses to encourage further conversation. Consider selecting a peer whose response or experience differs from your own experiences thus far in the field. Provide feedback regarding your peers’ reasons for identifying these observations and provide thoughtful suggestions for their continued implementation of their research. Use your text and other resources to support your responses. How might you contribute to your peers’ analysis of the formative data, leadership, or other decisions that will be made about their findings? Though two responses is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you including the instructor to further the conversation while also giving you opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real world experiences with this topic.
Ashford 5: – Week 4 – Assignment 1
Formative Evaluation – Interpretation
In EDU671, you identified the type of data, the frequency of collection, tools and have also explored topics related to ethical consideration of this information. You are in the process of collecting data for your action research in the field at this time.
Be reminded that you’re the approved Action Research Informed Consent allows your implementation of this action research intervention or innovation in a specialized setting as follows:
• Those currently employed in a classroom setting.
• Those currently employed in a non-classroom or educational setting.
• Those not employed but implementing the intervention or innovation with family members, yourself, or your own children
You are also in the final week of your action research intervention. Through this process, your experience reinforces action research as being cyclical (Buczynski & Hansen, 2014; Mills, 2014) and for the best outcome we must engage in critical reflection of the data (Volante & Beckett, 2011).
Vital to the process of collecting data is the continual alignment to your research question(s). Equally important is how you will systematically collect multiple sources of data and present the finding to arise at comprehensive conclusions at the termination of your study. The quality of your data analysis is a strong predictor of the ease with which you can manage the data but how you can develop sound findings at the end of your study. Consider: How will you triangulate this information? How will you continue to build upon this information in order to make sense and correlate your data to your outcomes?
The focus of this assignment is to reflect on the data and to prepare for how to analyze in order to answer the research question. We want to answer the question of “So what?” (Mills, 2014, p.132) This is a critical stage of your action research! In this assignment, you evaluate the main themes emerging from your data thus far and how they are or are not supporting your research questions. For example, depending on what you are seeing in the data, you may have assessed that your research question should have been stated in a slightly different manner in order to more authentically capture the specific data. Or, perhaps the data tells you that one of your questions was irrelevant or that an additional question with a slightly different focus should have been asked.
Construct your assignment to meet the content and written communication expectations below.
• Themes (2 points): Describe the themes emerging from the data collection.
• Personal Experiences (2 points): Analyze how the preliminary findings relate to your personal experiences using specific examples.
• Implications. (3 points): Describe the implications of your data that can be used to answer your research question(s).
Written Communication Expectations
• Page Requirement (.5 points): Three-to-four pages, not including title, references, and appendix pages.
• APA Formatting (.5 points): Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment.
• Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
• Source Requirement (.5 points): Use no less than two scholarly sources in addition to the Buczynski and Hansen (2014) and Mills (2009) textbooks, providing compelling evidence to support ideas, and if applicable, reference to original project if enhancement of existing project occurred. All sources on the reference page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.
Next Steps: Review and Submit the Assignment
Review your assignment with the Grading Rubric to be sure you have achieved the distinguished levels of performance for each criterion. Next, submit the assignment to the course room for evaluation no later than Day 7.