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Change Begins with You: What Action Research Is and How to Fund It. Caroline Herbert, Chairperson NCSLMA Research Committee October 30, 2008. What is Action Research?.

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change begins with you what action research is and how to fund it

Change Begins with You: What Action Research Is and How to Fund It

Caroline Herbert, Chairperson NCSLMA Research Committee

October 30, 2008

what is action research
What is Action Research?
  • According to IMPACT: “Action research involves the in-depth study of one’s own classroom or school over an established period of time.”
  • From Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists: “Action research is the vehicle the library media specialist uses to analyze a situation and determine what needs to be done to address the issue.”
benefits of action research
Benefits of Action Research
  • Reflective practice leads to the further development and improvement of our programs.
  • It confirms that our programs promote student achievement.
  • It is a personal solution to problems in the school; problem solving at the local level.
disadvantages of action research
Disadvantages of Action Research
  • Data collection does take time.
  • Reliability and validity could be concerns.
  • No university backing.
so how do i choose a topic
So, How Do I Choose a Topic?
  • What’s your “itch”?
  • Does the topic revolve around student achievement?
  • Is the topic within your professional scope?
  • Does it just deal with the library program or the school as a whole?
  • Reflective writing can be helpful.
from itch to research question
From “Itch” to Research Question
  • Develop a problem statement.
  • Brainstorm all of the possible questions.
  • Choose the question that most matches what you want to achieve.
sample research questions
Sample Research Questions
  • How does a flexible schedule affect student achievement?
  • How does allowing students to place materials on hold affect library use?
  • What happens if the circulation period is changed from two weeks to four weeks?
  • How does Sustained Silent Reading impact students’ love of reading?
  • What instruction is needed to increase the use of online databases?
how will i collect the data
How Will I Collect the Data?
  • Collecting data from more than one source increases the reliability and validity of the study.
  • Possible sources of data: questionnaires, interviews, observations, and archival data.
  • Develop data collection methods to focus on your research question.
  • Quick and easy way to gather large amounts of data
  • Include different types of questions (what do you know, what do you think, how do you feel)
  • Questions can be open-ended or closed-response
  • Avoid leading questions
  • You are able to ask clarifying or elaborative questions.
  • You are able to collect information from those who would not or could not fill out a questionnaire.
  • Can be time-consuming.
  • Can unintentionally cause bias in answers due to lack of anonymity.
  • You can actively or passively observe.
  • You can use a checklist.
  • You can see what is actually happening not just what is being reported.
  • Data can be videotaped for later study.
archival data
Archival Data
  • Examples are data in cumulative folders, student test data, circulation statistics, etc.
  • Less subjective than other types of data.
  • Be careful to uphold the confidentiality of such records.
determining outcomes
Determining Outcomes
  • Take the analyzed data and plan your next steps.
  • How will this research be used to improve programs?
  • Can this research be generalized to other libraries or settings?
  • What recommendations can be made based on the findings?
tooting your own horn
Tooting Your Own Horn
  • Share your results!
  • Present the results to your staff.
  • Share your findings at a district-wide meeting.
  • Share your findings at a professional conference.
  • Publish your findings in a professional journal.
ok i think i m ready now what
OK, I Think I’m Ready! Now What?
  • The NCSLMA Action Research Grant
    • A brief history
    • Goal of the program
  • The Action Research Grant is up to a $1,000 grant to fund the Action Research project of one NCSLMA member per school year.
action research grant timeline
Action Research Grant Timeline
  • Jan. 2009– Request for Proposals is broadcast to the NCSLMA membership
  • Apr. 2009 – Proposals due to the Research Committee chairperson
  • May 2009 – Research Committee reviews and scores the proposals
  • June 2009 – Winner is announced!
  • Aug. 2009-May 2010 – Project is implemented, research conducted
  • August 2010 – Submit article to NCSLMA newsletter
  • November 2010 – Present findings at NCSLMA conference
useful resources
Useful Resources
  • Farmer, L.S.J. (2003). How to Conduct Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
  • Howard, J.K. & Eckhardt, S.A. (2005). Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists. Worthington, OH: Linworth Publishing.
  • Sykes, J.A. (2000). Action research: A Practical Guide for Transforming Your School Library. Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
useful websites
Useful Websites
  • Action Research
  • Classroom Action Research Overview
  • David V. Loertscher’s Website
  • Seven Stages in My First Action Research Project
  • Ask now!
  • Contact me later:

Caroline Herbert, Media Coordinator

Oak Grove Elementary School

3810 Wake Forest Rd.

Durham, NC 27703

(919) 560-3960, ext. 60235

[email protected]