This course challenged me to get a better understanding of how to create an action research plan that will be used in my capstone of this graduate program. At the start of this course, we were tasked to read the book by Craig Mertler, “Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators”.
This book described the 4 stages of action research:
-the planning stage
-the acting stage
-the developing stage
-the reflecting stage
In our first assignment, we were asked to create an action research design outline where we identified an area of focus and developed a fundamental research question. This assignment created the opportunity to truly reflect on an area of study that would benefit my innovation plan. The outline also required me to choose the research design that would best fit my focus. In reviewing Metler’s book, I decided that my best option would be the qualitative design where I would be able to utilize focus groups, observations, and interviews. Completing the outline would also prove very beneficial in completing my final action research plan.
The next assignment, and probably the most intimidating, was the Literature Review. My Literature Review, Increasing Student Engagement in the Classroom Through ePortfolios will be used in conjunction with my action research plan to help support my implementation of my innovation plan, ePortfolios in the elementary classroom. I wasn’t surprised to see that there wasn’t a lot of information or studies focusing on the benefits of ePortfolios or PBL on students in the primary grades. I knew, being that this has been mostly only integrated into high school/ college courses, and just recently incorporated into many elementary classrooms. I was able to find enough sources, I feel, that helped support my view.
The last assignment, my Action Research Plan, Integrating the COVA Framework to Increase Student Engagement Through ePortfolios, would be the culminating result of lots of research planning and developing. The action research action plan tasked me to develop the path I will take in carrying out my study. I designed my plan to coincide with my pilot ePortfolio program of 4th and 5th graders. This will also provide me with beneficial information as I continue through full integration of my innovation plan. The timeline is set up so that it allows for adequate time for not only teacher preparation, but time for implementation, development, and progression.
The final component of every course in this graduate program is the reflection of my Contributions to my Learning and My Learning Community.