EDET 636: Impact of Technology on Student Learning
Week 3 Blog
Essential Question: What will you have to know and do to begin your research?
To begin my action research in the classroom, I need to first identify the area that I will conduct my research in. I will try to have the focus to be on technology and how it impacts students and student learning in a high school Algebra classroom. Merriam and Tisdell recommend that when selecting a topic you should seek out what improvements can be made in your every day life or what are you curious about that would help you in your professional career. (2016) Sagor points out that this first step is very important because “Considering the incredible demands on today's classroom teachers, no activity is worth doing unless it promises to make the central part of a teacher's work more successful and satisfying.” (2000)
After the topic is identified, I will need to figure out what the research problem is so that I can seek clarity and ideas of solutions to the problem through research. Merriam and Tisdell explains that the area of interest or the topic of interest is not good enough for action research but rather a problem within that topic needs to be stated so that the research can recognize the problem and come up with a solution. (2016) These problems can be shared in a question format and it might be helpful to have more than one question or problem so that if the research is successful in answering the question, the research has room to grow into solving more problems.
Next, the researcher needs to discover the theoretical framework of the topic. Merriam and Tisdell define theoretical framework as “the underlying structure, the scaffolding or frame of your study” that consists of concepts or theories that will inform the researcher and the reader of the topic so that everyone is on the same page. (2016) It seems difficult to discover the theoretical framework but I find it necessary so that the research has a good base to start on. With this, it is necessary to seek out and discover the research that has already been conducted on the topic so that time is not wasted within the action research. If a method has already been found to be more effective than others, it would be best for the researcher to know this ahead of time so that more ground can be covered in the research.
Lastly, in preparation for research in the classroom, is to identify the sample of students that the research will be conducted on. I have already decided that this will be done with my Algebra 1 class mainly because I have the most difficult time with them when it comes to interest of learning mathematics. Soon I will have the topic I want to look at identified and I will begin my research into how the problem has been solved in the past by other educators or researchers.
Merriam, S. B. & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Franciso, CA. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding School Improvement with Action Research. ASCD. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/What-Is-Action-Research%C2%A2.aspx