Course 9: Action Research for Professional Development

This course is part of the Online Professional Development Certificate Program

 Research-Based Reading Instructions and Interventions: Elementary Level

About this Course

This course describes and demonstrates how to use action research for teacher professional development.


Course goals:

As a result of taking this course, students will be able to -

1. Understand the action research process.

2. Connect research-based ideas directly to classroom practice.

3. Design an action research proposal.

4. Implement an action research study to study some aspect of school or classroom practice.

Get Started


Video Mini-Lectures


The Proposal

For this course, you will submit a proposal and complete a short action research project. 

1. Identify your action research topic or area of interest.  You are encouraged to work with another teacher or group of teachers here.

2. Conduct a short literature review. Plan to review 3 sources.  These can be textbooks, journal articles, or other academic sources.  Peer-reviewed academic journals are best.  Read and take careful notes.

3. Describe 3 things learned from your review of the literature

4. Put your research interest in the form of an action research question.

5. Identify and describe at least 2 data sources.

6. Describe your initial plans for collecting data.  What data will you collect?  When?  How?  How often?  Where?

7. When is your initial starting date?

8. When is your planned check-in data?  Here you will analyze and describe your data.  (Use inductive analysis to describe groups or categories and numbers within each group or category.)

9. Describe each element of your proposal on FlipGrid (see link below).  


Action research short-form proposal

Participant:                          Grade:

1. Area of interest:

2. Sources for your literature review:

3. Three things you learned from the literature review:




4. Action research question:

5. Data sources (at least two):

6. Initial plans for collecting data (what, how, when, and where):

7. Starting date:

8. Check-in date:

Link to online teacher group:

The Product (paper)

For this course you do NOT have create a written product or paper.  However, you are encouraged to do so.



Problem or topic: Describe the problem or area of research.  Then, put it in the form of a question.


Literature review: Briefly describe what the literature says about your research topic.


Methodology:  Provide a general description of the grade level and participants in the study.  (Use past tense here.)  This will include the number of students, age, and the general setting or conditions.  However, when you do this, you must be sensitive to students’ privacy.  Describe how you collected the data.  Describe the measures or materials used for collecting data, and how often data were collected.  Describe the specific strategies used for instruction.  Then tell us how the data were analyzed, evaluated, and organized.


Results or Findings: Here you describe the data.  What data did you collect?  If you are using inductive analysis, report the categories and numbers without in each category.


Conclusions: What can you conclude from the data?  What recommendations do you have?


Action Plan: What plan of action will you take based on your conclusions and recommendations?



The Presentation

For this course, you will briefly present your project on Flipgrid.  You have a 5-minute limit here.  For your presentation, describe the same six elements as in a paper: (a) problem or topic, (b) literature review, (c) methodology, (d) results or findings, (e) conclusions, and (f) action plan.


• Also, view and respond to one other FlipGrid presentation.  You can use the the discussion web responding guide (below)

Discussion Web Responding Guide

1. Interesting.  Find and describe some part of the entry that you like or find to be interesting or useful.

2. Question.  Find and describe some part of the entry about which you’d like more information or have questions.

3. Extension or application.  Identify and describe other ideas, applications, or extensions you might have related to the entry.

4. Other.