Ejump/Action Research/Extended Study Guide

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Module Title: Action Research Planning

Credits: 2.5 ECTS

Modul Leader/Module Team

Prof. Brian Hudson, Umeå University

Alison Hudson, Umeå University

Albert Sangra, Pedro Fernandez Michels, University of Catalonia

Satu Nurmela, University of Turku

Mart Laanpere, University of Tallinn

Oliver Popov, Iskra Popova, Sylwia Rudnik, CEENet

Sue Harrison, University of East London

Alfredo Soeiro, University of Porto

Anne Villems, University of Tartu

Jüri Lõssenko, Ene Tammeoru, EITF

Plus other members of the e-Jump 2.0 consortium

Study hours: 75-90 hours

Module Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course of study participants should be able to:

  • Critically analyse a range of theories about the nature of action research in order to adopt an informed position as an action researcher and to be able to address all associated ethical implications
  • Compare the intended educational development to similar work in the field by carrying out a literature review
  • Synthesise the findings from this review in order to refine their developmental goals and associated research questions
  • Design an action research project for conducting the educational development in practice, reflecting on action and evaluating its impact

Approach to Learning and Teaching

This module is structured around the process of action research planning that involves the identification of the key developmental goals and research questions, research methodology and methods, addressing of research ethics, review of relevant literature and an activity plan. There will be a number of moments through which participants will share their ideas and provide peer feedback to others. Each participant will have the support of a local supervisor organised by the local institution to provide one to one tuition and support.

The approach to the design of the course is based on a didactical design framework (Hudson, 2008) which extends the traditional instructional and learning design models by addressing the complexity of the teaching-studying-learning process1. In particular the aim is to focus attention on the design of teaching situations, pedagogical activities and learning environments. This approach is framed within a cyclical process of didactical design which involves analysis, design, development, interaction and evaluation. The learning outcomes are structured around this didactical design cycle and as such reflect the more advanced stages, in terms of the classification of levels of thinking of application, analysis, evaluation and creation, as outlined through Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. This is combined with an approach to development based on the cycle of action research involving planning, action, observation and reflection leading to a revised plan and the next cycle of action. Educational action research is seen to provide a framework for thinking systematically about what happens in teaching situations and learning environments, implementing action for change and evaluating the effects with a view to continuing the development for improvement.


The presentation of work for examination will be through the use of a digital portfolio. The work will be examined through the submission of:

  • a Literature Review of relevant literature (approx. 1500 words).
  • an Action Research Project Plan
  • an outline of how s/he has participated in all the module activities and a commentary in the form of a self assessment of how he or she has been able to meet each of the learning outcomes.

Course Literature

Carr, Wilfred and Kemmis, Stephen (1986) Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research. London: Falmer Press.

Elliott, John (1991) Action Research for Educational Change. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Hudson, Brian (2008) Didaktik Design for Technology Supported Learning, In Meinert A. Meyer, Stephanie Hellekamps and Manfred Prenzel (Eds.) Perspektiven der Didaktik: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, Vol 9, 139-158.

Kanuka, Heather and Anderson, Terry (2007) Ethical Issues in Qualitative E-Learning Research, International Journal of Qualitative Methods 6 (2) June 2007 http://www.ualberta.ca/~iiqm/backissues/6_2/kanuka.htm

Ponte, Petra (2002) Actie-onderzoek door docenten: uitvoering en begeleiding in theorie en praktijk/Action Research by teachers: performance and facilitation in theory and practice. Doctoral thesis. Apeldoorn/Leuven: Garant. ISBN 90-441-1240-6.

Schon, Donald (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.

Siraj-Blatchford, Iram (1994) Praxis Makes Perfect: Critical Educational Research for Social Justice. Education Now Books, Derbyshire, UK.

Kemmis, Stephen (1993) Action research and social movement: a challenge for policy research, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 1, 1. [WWW document] URL http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v1n1.html (Visited 19 Oct 08)

Walker, Melanie (2001) Higher education, critical professionalism and educational action research, Debates in Higher Education, University College London. [WWW document] URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cishe/seminars/dhe_papers/MWpaper.doc (Visited 19 Oct 08)

Web resources

Jean McNiff, Action Research for Professional Development [WWW document] URL http://www.jeanmcniff.com/booklet1.html#ite (Visited 19 Oct 08)

John Elliott on Action Research [WWW document] URL http://www.viddler.com/explore/dominiklukes/videos/10/ (Visited 19 Oct 08)

Problem based School Development, Karlstads University, [WWW document] URL http://www.pbs.kau.se/In%20English/english_index2.htm (Visited 19 Oct 08)

Teacher’s Guide to Action Research, The Northeast Florida Science, Technology, and Mathematics Center for Education [WWW document] URL http://www.nefstem.org/teacher_guide/intro/index.htm (Visited 19 Oct 08)

Link to Action Research Project

This module will provide the basis for conducting an Action Research Project and the production of a written report. The project will be supported by supervision from local tutors and all reports which meet the quality of threshold of ‘pass’ will be published on the e-Jump 2.0 web site. Reports that meet the quality of threshold of “pass with distinction” will be considered for publication in a Compendium of Action Research Reports by an editorial board established through the e-Jump 2.0 Consortium.