Archive for the ‘methodology reflections 13-14’ category

methodology reflections: about

This section of the report are a collection of posts where I reflect on undertaking this action research project.

You will find here reflections on the different aspects of undertaking an action research project.

a reflection on methodology: the research question

For a long time I struggled to pinpoint what exactly the research was, particularly in relation to a focus on the technology or a focus on the collaboration between the tutors.

What I didn’t have clear in my mind was whether the tutors involved in the project were the research question itself, or whether the tutors were the methodology I was using to collect data on using the technology.

I don’t think I have any concrete answers to how we can effectively use the technology. The technology is moving so fast and you become familiar with one tool and it disappears. This has been true in the past and is still true today, as I have invested a considerable amout of time on Ask3, only for it to be discontinued.

I can share what I have learnt this past year and I hope that this gives some inspiration for someone to explore something new, but the biggest thing that has supported my exploration throughout this year has been the people and the discussions. A huge part of this has been the tutors involved in the project, and I have learned something different from all of them.

a reflection on methodology: my voice in the project

One thing that I struggled with a lot during the data collection and data analysis part of the project was how I could include my experiences in this final project report. At one point I wondered if I needed to have someone come to interview me, in the way that I had interviewed the other tutors, but this didn’t feel right.

Recognition that a reflective journal was a valid data tool for action research came quite late in the project & drawing on posts from my own blog & more informal notes I have made throughout the year has been a really valuable data tool.

Having the support from my mentor at emCETT was really valuable to help me recognise what I had to contribute to the project. Although I had taken a lead in terms of coordinating the meetings and setting up the iPads, in terms of using the iPads in class with my students I was very much an equal with the other tutors. Read more ►

a reflection on methodology: student feedback

I was always aware that I needed to get student feedback and the importance of gathering data from the tutors’ students in terms of triangulation. But for a long time I really struggled with how to go about this.

First I wrote a questionnaire to try to get feedback from the Teacher Education trainee teachers, but on reflection I don’t think it was a very good questionnaire. I wasn’t too sure what it was I was trying to find out from them or how it fit within my project. I only got about four responses and I’m not sure what it tells me.

I also talked to the maths tutor about how she could get feedback from her students and whether a questionnaire would be appropriate, but I didn’t really pursue this so maybe on some level I was aware that this was not the best tool for data collection from students.

It was when I had my first 1-2-1 with my fabulous #emCETT mentor that I started to gain some clarity on the situation. We talked about some of the activities I had done with my ESOL students and how I had engaged them in the research process. She knew I was aware of the Reflect Approach to ESOL and she recommended that I consider using this kind of tool to get some data from the ESOL students. Read more ►

a reflection on methodology: tutor interviews

tutors and curriculum areas

tutors and curriculum areas

An unstructured interview was chosen as it allowed for the different approaches each tutor had taken to engaging with the class set of iPads. Depending on each tutor’s response the interview could evolve organically.

Another advantage of the unstructured interview, to be completely honest, was that in March/April when the interviews were scheduled, I was struggling to really get my head around the whole project. It felt quite big & I didn’t have a very clear picture about what I was looking for. I was disappointed that there hadn’t been more opportunities for the whole group to meet as this was something that I had really hoped would drive the project.

Therefore, the interviews were a genuine chance for me to meet with each tutor and discuss their projects and share ideas.

Looking back now, I think the interviews were an important stage of the project & there were several outcomes from them: Read more ►