A Short Guide to Action Research
4th Edition
Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D.
Minnesota State University, Mankato
www.OPDT-Johnson.com
Chapter 6: Methods of Collecting
Data
DATA COLLECTION
Action research is systematic
A plan in place before the research begins
Plan describes what data you will collect and when, how,
and how often you will collect them
Checklist to ensure regular data collection
Type of Data
Dates Collected
Individual quiz scores
8/18
8/25
9/2
9/9
9/16
Audiotapes
8/13
8/19
8/26
9/2
9/17
Student writing samples
8/17
9/9
10/1
Homework
8/17
8/18
8/23
8/27
9/2
Student journals
8/27
9/17
Small-group conference/focus 8/20
group
8/27
9/3
9/10
9/17
9/10
9/16
1. Data collection like taking soil samples
2. Like a television sports analyst, you are the lens through
which this bit of reality is perceived.
3. You must be unbiased, credible, and descriptive
TYPES OF DATA COLLECTION IN ACTION RESEARCH
1. Log or research journal
2. Field notes
3. Checklists
4. Rating checklists
5.Rubrics
6. Conferences and interviews
7. Video and audio recordings
8. Data retrieval charts
9. Maps
10. The arts
11. Archival data
12. Surveys
13. Attitude and rating scales
14. Online platforms and class journals
Weekly Checklist for September 2010
At the end of each class, put a tally mark beside any activities done in that session.
Generating/prewriting
Drafting
Revising
Editing
Conferencing/talking
Reading
Other
Writing topics:
Special skills learned or used:
Things I have questions about:
Writing Checklist for Second- and Third-Grade Students
Student: ____________________________
Describe the student’s progress using the following key: 3 = very much, 2 = some, 1 = very
little, 0 = not at all.
Attributes
1. Uses invented spelling to hold ideas
2. Can spell most words on the 100 MFW list
3. Uses capital letters for beginning of sentences
4. Uses periods and question marks
5. Displays a willing attitude toward writing activities
Words per fifty (WPF) spelling scores:
Observations or comments:
Dates
Teacher Checklist to Document Skills/Concepts Taught.
Key: I = introduced, L = learning, P = practice/reinforce
Dates Taught
Skill
10/13
10/15
10/30
11/1
SHORT VOWELS
a
e
i
o
u
y
P
I
L
L
I
Open-Ended Checklist
Writing Skills
Capitalization of
names
There versus their
Adjectives
Writing dialogue
Paragraphs
Commas
Explanation of How You Use Each Skill
Rating Checklist for Science Skills
Student: _______________________
Teacher: ______________________
Grade: ____________
Science Skills
Key: 4 = outstanding, 3 = very good, 2 = average, 1 = low
STUDENT
SKILL
Observe and describe
Create a graph
Weighing
Predicting
Organize data—create groups
Conclude
Use a lab report
Comments:
TEACHER
Rubric
4 = well above criteria
3 = meets all criteria
2 = meets some
criteria
1 = meets few
criteria
1. Eye contact
Maintains eye contact
with audience
throughout the speech,
focus includes all
audience members
Eye contact with
audience in most of
the speech, focus
includes most
audience members
Eye contact with
audience in some of
the speech, shifts
focus to include some
audience members
Maintains little eye
contact with audience,
shifts focus to include
audience members
2. Inflection
and pauses
Uses inflection and
pauses effectively to
maintain interest and
attention.
Uses some inflection
and pauses to
maintain interest and
attention.
Uses little inflection
and pauses to main
interest and attention
Uses a flat, monotone
voice with no pauses
throughout
3. Structure
Structure is very
apparent and is used to
organize ideas, all ideas
within a section are
related
Structure is apparent
and is used to
organize ideas, most
ideas within a section
are related
Some structure is used
to organize ideas,
some ideas within
each section are
related
Little or no structure
is used to organize
ideas, few ideas
within each section
are related.
4. Preparation
Draft looked like a
finished product, handed
in on due date, all
revisions were made
Draft was mostly
complete, handed in
on time, some
revisions were made.
Draft had some
important parts
included, handed in
near the due date, few
revisions were made.
Draft was incomplete,
handed in late, few or
no revisions were
made.
Product and Performance Assessment Form
Student:_________________________________
Age:__________
Grade:________
Type of Product or Performance: __________________________
Key: 5 = very high, 4 = high, 3 = average, 2 = low, 1 = very low
When compared to other students of a similar age, rate the product or
performance on the following criteria:
1. Creativity ____
2. Integration of ideas ___
3. Technical merit ___
4. Sophistication and level of detail ___
5. Aesthetics: artistic expression, emotion, feeling ___
6. Overall effect ___
Comments:
Writing Assessment Form
Writing prompt:
Key: 5 = very high, 4 = high, 3 = average, 2 = low, 1 = very low
content, ideas _____
mechanics: spelling, grammar,
punctuation _____
met deadlines; fulfilled
assignment requirements
_____
organization, structure _____
fluency, communication _____
appearance _____
Ideas or insights:
Skills to work on:
Checklist for Independent Research Projects
Key: 3 = trait is present to a high degree, 2 = trait is present, 1 = trait is present
to a low degree, 0 = trait is not present
___ A question was asked, a problem was identified, or an area of exploration
was defined.
___ Data collection was systematic.
___ Data was analyzed in a way that made it credible and trustworthy.
___ The results were described clearly and accurately.
___ Recommendations or conclusions were made based on the results.
___ The research project was linked to a theoretical context (or background
information).
___ The research was communicated in a way that was understandable.
___ Met all deadlines and requirements.
Research topic or focus:
Major results and conclusions:
Attitude Scales
Key: SA = strongly agree, A = agree, NO = no opinion, D = disagree, SD =
strongly disagree
Reading is fun. SA . . . A . . . NO . . . D . . . SD
Key: 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = no opinion, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly
disagree
1. Reading is fun.
5...4...3...2...1
2. I know how to use science skills. 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1
I like to read:
very much ,
some ,
little 
Key: 4 = often, 3 = some, 2 = little, 1 = not at all
1. I read at home each day. 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1
2. I watch TV at home each day.
4...3...2...1
3. I complete my homework at school. 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1
4. I use some sort of prewriting strategy.
4...3...2...1
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Chapter 6: Methods of Collecting Data - ar