Action Research Plan

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ePortfolio Action Research Outline

I’ve been working with student for nine year now and the one flaw that I notice in education, is the focus on learning the curriculum and not on learning the learning process. With the major stressors of passing assessments, the significant goal has been pushed to the side.  With the implementation of ePortfolios, students will learn how to learn.  Student will learn major life skills and become lifelong learners.  Students will be prepared for their future.  Below is in an outline on how I plan to complete my action research plan.

I. Topic of Action Research:

Over the course of my master’s program and teaching career, I’ve realized that the main goal of teacher students is to teach them how to learn.  Through the use of ePortfolios, students will be able to learn about the learning process. In return, students will learn to become lifelong learners  The focus of this action research is on student created ePortfolios, to prepare high school them for their post-secondary lives

II. Purpose of Study:

Due to all the recent push for testing in schools, the real purpose gets lost.  The purpose of this action research is to determine if the use of ePortfolios improve the following, in order to prepare students for their post-secondary lives: reflection, problem-solving skills, desire and ability to learn how to use 21st century tools.

III. Research Question:

What are students’ perceptions of the benefits of e-portfolios in preparing them for post-secondary lives? I will research all high school grade levels and all subjects.  I will track data collected in my classroom, as well as all of the other classrooms in the school.

IV. Research Design:

The design is both a qualitative and quantitative approach.  I’d observe how ePortfolio implementation is going, but I’d also get feedback from those using them and who have used them.

V. Data to be Collected:

To measure the results of the research question, student work will be collected and analyzed.  Surveys will also be sent out to students currently using ePortfolios, teachers currently using ePortfolios and students that have used ePortfolios and are now in a post-secondary setting.

VI. Measurement Instrument(s):

I will use student work, observations and information provided by surveys. In order to judge the reflection process, posts will be analyzed for growth on reflecting on learning experiences and problem solving to improve.  Surveys will also provide the students’ insight. Students that have graduated will be able to provide “real life” evidence of the uses of ePortolios, in the future. Students will demonstrate understanding of 21st century skills, through observation.

VII. Focus of Literature Review:

The literature review will provide an overview of the importance of becoming a lifelong learner and acquiring these skills to be successful in their post-secondary lives. It will also touch on the rate at which new technology is being introduced into the workplace and schools.  The main focus of the literature review is going to look at the ePortfolio and how it allows students to improve on the important lifelong learner skills, such as: reflection, problem-solving skills, desire and ability to learn how to use 21st century tools. It will focus on the students’ perceptions of ePortfolios and if they assist them with the learning process, to be successful in the future.

 

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Action Research Paper 

For an action research plan to be successful, one must have evidence to back up their plan.  It is crucial to complete a literature review, on the topic of interest.  This literature view includes reviews of articles and journals that give information about ePortfolio usage with high school and college age students.  It included feedback on students’ perspectives on eportfolios and how it has helped prepare them for their post-secondary lives.

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Action Research Timeline

Our job as educators is to prepare our students to be successful, independent individuals in their post-secondary life.  We need to give our students the tools and teach them the skills, in order to achieve this goal. The original implementation plan outlined the tentative schedule of the use of ePortfolios, during the 2020-2021 school year. After creating my action research documents, I thought that it should extend after my tentative plan.

Phase 1: Planning and Preparation

January 2019

  • Share the Innovation Proposal with Dr. Earley.
  • Provide an ePortfolio survey to teachers via Canvas.
    • Ask teachers how ePortfolios can benefit students, in the classroom.
    • Ask teachers how ePortfolios can benefit the curriculum.
    • Ask teachers how they would incorporate an ePortfolio into the classroom.
  • Provide an ePortfolio survey to students via Canvas.
    • Ask students how they think ePortfolios can be used in the classroom.
    • Ask students how they think ePortfolios can be used in the future.
    • Have students give reasons why creating and developing an ePortfolio is important and how it can benefit them.
    • Have students think of a personal goal for creating and developing their ePortfolios.

 February 2019

  • Review the information from the surveys, completed by the teachers and students.
  • After reviewing, relay findings to administration, in the form of a presentation. During this presentation include the Literature Review , as a reference.
  • Share the Innovation Plan Outline with Dr. Earley.

 March 2019

  • Host a weekly get together to answer questions, discuss any information related to ePortfolios, discuss the survey results.
    • What is an ePortfolio?
    • What is the purpose of an ePortfolio?
    • Prior to meeting, what did teachers think about ePortfolios?  What did students think?
    • What evidence is there to support the use of ePortfolios?
    • Uses for the ePortfolio in the classroom.
    • What are the goals?
    • Who is interested in being a part of piloting program?

 April 2019

  • Select teachers, from a range of courses and grade level, to take part in the piloting program for the 2019-2020.
  • Have the initial meeting with the piloting teachers.
    • Enforce that key guidelines: ePortfolios should be student lead and student centered, reflection is a required part of the process.
    • Share personal ePortfolio, as a reference.

 May 2019

  • Identity and get administrative approval of ePortfolio platform.
    • Determine the budget, from the school, for the purchase of the ePortfolio platform.
    • Look at the licensing policies per platform.  Then determine how many licenses would be needed for the school.  
    • Analyze different ePortfolio programs, while keeping interests in mind.
    • Determine which platform can meet the needs, interests and budget limit.
    • Narrow from that list to the top two ePortfolio platforms.

 June-August 2019

  • Share the ePortfolio platform with the piloting teachers.
  • Teachers will create their own ePortfolio.  (If teachers are asking students to create an ePortfolio, they should be doing it themselves as well.)
  • Hold office hours for any teachers in need of assistance.

Phase 2: Piloting Year

August 2019

  • Pilot teachers will hold a classroom discussion with their class.
    • They will discuss what they can use it for and why they are using an ePortfolio.
    • The pilot teachers will emphasize the learning and reflection process and the role it has in the ePortfolio.
    • As a visual, the pilot teachers will show their ePortfolio.
    • They will discuss the acceptable use of ePortfolios.
  • Pilot the use ePortfolios in the selected classrooms.
    • Get signed permission from parents, for students to create accounts.
    • Send home an acceptable use policy for both parents and students to agree and sign.
    • Send home information on discounted internet, for low-income families.

September 2019

  • Share goals and expectations with students.  Have students share their personal goals.
  • Students will create their ePortfolio.
  • Students will be asked to create an “About Me” section on their ePortfolio.
  • Pilot teachers will teach the reflection process.
  • Pilot teachers will allot time at the end of each week to allow students to add any evidence of learning and reflect.
  • Students will be required to reflect on their learning once a week.
  • Pilot teachers will monitor that the reflection of learning is taking place.
  • Pilot teachers will arrange for administration observations, to get feedback and concerns about the use of ePortfolios in the classroom.  This should take place at least once per marking period.

 October-November 2019

  • Students will continue to add evidence of learning and reflections to their ePortfolio.
  • Pilot teachers will continue to monitor the students’ progress.
  • Pilot teachers will incorporate peer reviews.  Students will meet in groups and provide feedback and offer advice on each other’s ePortfolios.

 December 2019-January 2020

  • Students will continue to add evidence of learning and reflections to their ePortfolio.
  • Pilot teachers will continue to monitor the students’ progress.
  • Pilot teachers will continue to participate peer reviews.
  • Students will be required to have a total of four pieces of evidence per marking period, as well as weekly reflections.
  • Ask students in piloting classrooms to complete a survey about the ePortfolios.

 February-April 2020

  • Piloting classrooms will continue to use ePortfolios.
  • Review findings of the effectiveness of ePortfolios in the classroom, after a  period of piloting, with administration.
  • After administration approval, review my ePortfolio piloting journey with staff.  This can be done during a faculty meeting.
  • Present and reviewing my findings at the school board meeting, for approval to continue with the implementation plan.

May-June 2020

  • Prepare staff for the implementation of ePortfolios, for the following school year.  
    • Provide all staff with a username and login for the ePortfolio platform.
    • Set up “office hours” for any staff that may need assistance when exploring and using the platform.
    • Determine and share the plan/goals for ePortfolio use, for the 2020-2021 school year.

July-Beginning of August 2020

  • Continue to support staff.  
    • Communicate to teachers, that assistance will be available over the summer, for any ePortfolio needs.

Phase 3: School-Wide ePortfolio Use

End of August 2020

  • Meet with students, during beginning of the year meetings, to review the relevance and incorporation of ePortfolios in the classroom.
    • Share the reason for the use of ePortfolios, in the classroom.  Also share the plan for the year and goals for incorporating this platform.
  • Teachers will hold a classroom discussion with their class.
    • They will discuss what they can use it for and why they are using an ePortfolio.
    • The teachers will emphasize the learning and reflection process and the role it has in the ePortfolio.
    • As a visual, the teachers will show their ePortfolio.
    • They will discuss the acceptable use of ePortfolios
  • All students will receive permission forms and acceptable use policy forms.
  • Students from low-income families, will be given discounted internet forms.

September 2020

  •  Students will create their ePortfolio.
  • Students will be asked to create an “About Me” section on their ePortfolio.
  • Teachers will teach the reflection process.
  • Teachers will allot time at the end of each week to allow students to add any evidence of learning and reflect.
  • Students will be required to reflect on their learning once a week.
  • Teachers will monitor that the reflection of learning is taking place.
  • Teachers will get observed once per marking period. This should take place at least once per marking period.
  • “Office hours” will be available all year, for ePortfolio needs.

October-November 2020

  • Students will continue to add evidence of learning and reflections to their ePortfolio.
  • Teachers will continue to monitor the students’ progress.
  • Teachers will incorporate peer reviews.  Students will meet in groups and provide feedback and offer advice on each other’s ePortfolios.
  • Request for feedback from teachers sent out each marking period.

December 2020-April 2021

  • Students will continue to add evidence of learning and reflections to their ePortfolio.
  • Teachers will continue to monitor the students’ progress.
  • Teachers will continue to participate peer reviews.
  • Students will be required to have a total of four pieces of evidence per marking period, as well as weekly reflections.
  • Teachers will get observed once per marking period. This should take place at least once per marking period.
  • “Office hours” will be available all year, for ePortfolio needs.
  • Request for feedback from teachers sent out each marking period.

May-June 2021

  • ePortfolios will continue to be used in the classroom.
  • Get feedback from students and teachers.

Phase 4:  Data Collected and Action Research Plan Developed

2021-2022

  • Results and feedback from the 2020-2021 school year will be collected and analyzed.
  • Results and feedback from the 2020-2021 school year will be shared with teachers, guidance counselors and administrators. 
  • The results will then be shared with students and their parents. 
  • A plan for this school year will be formulated.
  • All classrooms will continue to implement ePortfolios into their classroom.

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Reflection

Starting action research has really made me think more about make this plan become a reality.  When I was asked to create an action research plan outline, I needed to formulate a question.  I was told that my question was a bit broad.  That’s when it hit home to me that this plan needed a more work, to become a reality.  After making the change, I realized it helped me in the long run.  It has helped me with finding specific sources, for my literature review, to support my plan.  It has also helped me to formula assessment tools.  Now that I have narrowed down my plan, with my research question I feel I will be able to make more progress.  Below are ideas that I had based off of my reflection:

  • Adaptions will continue to be made to the plan, based on the results of the students performance and of the surveys sent out.
  • Training sessions, both group and individual, must be available to all school staff and students, if the ePortfolios want to be a permanent fixture.
  • Updates should continue to be communicated to the entire school and parents.

 

Appendixes

Appendix A: Teacher Surveys

The teacher survey will ask the following questions (via Google Forms):

Before ePortfolio usage:

  • How can ePortfolios benefit students, in the classroom?
  • How can ePortfolios benefit the curriculum?
  • How they would incorporate ePortfolios into the classroom?

After ePortfolio usage:

  • How were ePortfolios used in the classroom?
  • Did ePortfolios benefit students? How?
  • What did you learn from using ePortfolios?
  • What did the students learn from using ePortfolios?
  • Were there any difficulties, observed, when implementing ePortfolios?
  • What suggestions do you about, about using ePortfolios in the classroom?
  • Do you believe ePortfolios will help students with being successful, in their post-secondary lives?

 

Appendix B: Student Surveys (Current Students)

Before ePortfolio usage:

  • How do you think ePortfolios can be used in the classroom?
  • How do you think ePortfolios can be used in the future?
  • How do you think creating and developing an ePortfolio is important? How can it benefit you?
  • List a personal goal for creating and developing an ePortfolio.

After ePortfolio usage:

  • What did you learn from using ePortfolios?
  • What are the benefits of using ePortfolios?
  • Were there any aspects,of ePortfolios, that were difficult?
  • What suggestions do you about, about using ePortfolios?
  • Do you believe ePortfolios will help you to be successful, in your post-secondary live?
  • Did you achieve your personal goal? If so, give an example.  If not, give an example? 

 

Appendix C: Student Surveys (Previous Students)

  • What did you learn from using ePortfolios?
  • What are suggestions you have for using ePortfolios?
  • Did ePortfolios prepare you for post-secondary life? How? How not?

Appendix D: Observation Form

Teacher Observation Form

***All surveys will be sent via Google Forms.***

References

Pixabay. Free images. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/

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