Action Research focusing on Learning and Instruction (Elective)

Action Research

Nay-Ching Nancy Tyan, Ph. D.

Thoughts when design this course

When I designed this course, I tried not to repeat myself with your other courses. I had these facts on my mind.

  1. All of you had taken Research Methodology from Prof. Dora last semester.
  2. Andrew & Ruth had learned to write Literature Review from Prof. Yi-Hwa Last semester.
  3. Michelle, Sansar and Vuu already had a Master degree.
  4. All of you are taking Learning Assessment and Advanced Educational Statistics this semester.
    Dr. Jenny Bergeron will be giving a presentation from 5.25~5.27, 3 days*6 hrs.
    Director of Educational Research and Evaluation from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning, Harvard University.
    Please mark on calendar, 2 sessions off from each course this semester.
  5. 8 need-to-take mini on-line courses from Center for Taiwan Academic Research Ethics Education (REE), self-learning and considered as one class session.
  6. 2 wonderful movies which illustrates AR: Lorenzo’ Oil, Freedom Writer. Watch and discuss together.

We need to have a good balance between your practicum (maybe even thesis) and this course. And I want to hold high academic standards of NTUE.

Some important discussions

  1. Your plan for your thesis so far: possible direction, research methodology, time and space . . .
  2. Michelle, Sansar and Vuu’s first theses (What was it about, which research methodology did you use and who/what were your research participants?)
  3. Action Research was one among the twelve topics in Prof. Dora’s class. What do you remember about AR?

Course Objectives:

Students will be able to

  1. understand AR is in everyone’s daily life and workplace.
  2. conduct an action research study to solve a problem in your practicum and write a 20-25 page report on it, and
  3. critique other action research reports.

Course Schedule:

  1. Week 1 (2/28) National holiday (No Class)
  2. Week 2 (3/7) Introduce the course; Discuss p1 & 0418; Discuss practicum plan; PPT: AR in everyday life
    Students: Locate a problem in your daily life and try to solve it. (Problem=the discrepancy between reality and desire)
  3. Week 3 (3/14) AR film & discussion (Lorenzo’s Oil, 1992, 129 minutes)
    Students: Library
  4. Week 4 (3/21) Elise in charge for the 1st period (Get an REE account and start to learn a topic or two.); Introduce AR theses directed by Prof. Nancy; AR topic transformed from the problem (E.g., Using  oo to promote/improve/other verbs XX)
  5. Week 5 (3/28) Introduce the content of a Master thesis and the process of writing it (Ms. Yeh’s thesis); The writing of ch1 (AR topic: Research Background (RB), Research Motivation (RM), Research Purposes (RP), Research Questions (RQ), Definition of Terms (DT), Limitation of the Study (LS).)
    Student: Report your daily life action research with concrete evidence (2-3 slides of ppt, 5-10 minutes @)
  6. Week 6 (4/4) National holiday (No Class)
  7. Week 7 (4/11) The writing of Ch2; Research Structure (topic, RP, RQ, DT), draw one; APA style
  8. Week 8 (4/18) Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL, IUB); Peer tutoring for EBSCOhost & ProQuest)
    Student: 2 groups of volunteer: one teacher and one teacher’s aid.
  9. Week 9 (4/25) AR film & discussion (Freedom writers, 2007, 123 minutes)
    Student: Library
  10. Week 10 (5/2) No contact hour
    Student: REE (One session)
  11. Week 11 (5/9) A
    Student: Locate a problem in your practicum
  12. Week 12 (5/16) The content and writing of Ch3; One to one discussion of your final
  13. Week 13 (5/23) The content and writing of Ch4 & 5; One to one discussion of your final
  14. 5/25~5/27 Dr. Jenny Bergeron’s presentation (Two sessions off: A, B)
  15. Week 14 (5/30) B
    Student: Submit final report draft
  16. Week 15 (6/6) One to one discussion with professor 
  17. Week 16 (6/13) Making of proposal defense PPT
    Student: same as week 7
  18. Week 17 (6/20) One to one discussion with professor (oral PPT)
    Student: Submit final report paper*2 (Nancy & your critique partner)
  19. Week 18 (6/27) Simulated oral defense: report & critique (15 minutes & 9 minutes); Celebration of Learning
    Student: Submit reflection paper


*3-6 extra points for 4/18 volunteer teachers and aid.

  1. (25%) certificate of 8 REE courses (as below)
  2. (60%) Final AR report (20-25 pages)
    15% Quality of oral report and defense
    40% Quality of the written proposal
  3. (10%) Quality of your critique on classmate’s proposal (1 page, list and suggestions)
  4. (5%) Final reflection


Teaching Materials:

  1. AR maual
  2. Ms. Yeh’s AR thesis
  3. AR films
  4. APA style
    Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
    NTUE library 7th floor (808.06615 P976)
  5. Online sources: JoSoTL, NTUE databases
  6. Online sources: REE
    Eight courses from Center for Taiwan Academic Research Ethics Education (REE) (20-min@)
    A. 0104 Research Misconduct: Definition and Types
    B. 0105 Research Misconduct: Fabrication and Falsification
    C. 0106 Research Misconduct: Plagiarism
    D. 0108 Academic Writing Skill: Quoting
    E. 0109 Academic Writing Skill: Paraphrasing and Summarizing
    F. 0110 Academic Writing Skill: Referencing
    G. 0114 Basic Concepts of Privacy
    H. 0115 Principles and Practice of Human Subject Protection


Final AR report:

The structure of the report and recommended numbers of pages:

  • Abstract (1 page)
  • Table of contents (2-3 pages)
  • List of tables (1 page)
  • List of figures (1 page)
  • Ch 1 Introduction (2-3 pages)
    Research Background (RB)
    Research Motivation (RM)
    Research Purposes (RP)
    Research Questions (RQ)
    Definition of Terms (DT)
    Limitation of the Study (LS)
  • Ch 2 Review of Literatures (3-5 pages)
    Tied up with Research Structure, Topic, Terms.
    Review 3 literatures
  • Ch 3 Research Methodology (5-7 pages)
    Research Structure
    Context of Study
    Data Collection/Analysis & Research Questions
  • Ch 4 Research Findings & Discussion (2 pages)
    Tied up with Research Questions, one RQ one section. Dialogue with the literature
  • Ch 5 Conclusion & Recommendation (2 pages)
    Recommendation for future practitioners
  • References (1-2 pages)
    APA style
  • Appendices (depends)
    List with names
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