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Select a possible solution for the action research project.

In this step, you will need to take a look at the brainstorming list and select a possible solution for the concern. You will need to formulate a hypothesis about the possible source of the problem and how to address it. The choice of the solution must be one that is obtainable.

Along with your strategy for a solution, you should also consider what you will be measuring or collecting to determine success.

Educational Research Designs/Methods

Main Categories: 
Uses numbers and statistics; designed for objectivity
: Analyses words and documents; acknowledges subjectivity

Many subcategories exist. 

Quantitative Designs:  Identifies a research purpose or question, often in the form of a hypothesis or prediction. Quantitative designs are Designs that manipulate variables (attributes that can change and be measured)---

Between Groups:

  • Experimental-comparison of “treatment” effects on groups; random assignment to groups

  • Quasi-experimental- comparison of groups; uses intact groups

    • Example:  compares the effects of two teaching strategies on mathematics achievement

  • Factorial-studies interaction effects

    • Example: looks for differential impact of teaching strategies on sub-groups of students


  • Time Series:  studies effects of one treatment on one group over time

    • Example:  impact of feedback on group achievement

  • Repeated Measures:  studies effects of more than one treatment on one group over time

    • Example:  impact of feedback and group discussion on achievement

  • Single subject designs-studies impact of intervention on one student or small group of students

    • Example: study impact of behavioral intervention

Designs that relate or summarize variables---

  • Correlation: finds relationships among variables

    • Example: relationship between self-concept and achievement

  • Survey: finds attitudes, opinions, or behaviors; looks for trends; uses questionnaires or structured interviews; often includes demographic information

    • Example: assess student attitudes toward science

Qualitative Designs:

  • Collect data based on a “central phenomenon” to be studied, as the interactions in a third grade classroom or lunch room behavior

  • Does not manipulate variables

  • Uses observations, open-ended interviews, analysis of documents, analysis of audio-visual materials

  • Applies codes to long text documents and lets themes emerge

  • May result in theory development (grounded theory), description of culture (ethnography or case study), stories

  • Researcher acknowledges his/her role in study

  • Sampling is purposeful rather than random


Action research is a practical, dynamic process that an educator uses to improve his/her practice.   It is practical and often collaborative.  Action research may “mix methods”  for analysis.





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