The action research design framework gives you a structured way to evaluate your actions, but it can also limit the scope of your evaluation if you use it without considering what’s not included in it. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when deciding on an action research design framework and how it can affect your outcomes and success.
What is Action Research Design Framework?
The Action Research Design Framework is a four-step process for designing the research process. The steps are 1) establishing the problem, 2) generating solutions, 3) implementing the solutions, and 4) evaluating the solutions. It is important to remember that the design process is always cyclical.
You may go back to step two or even step one if you find that your solution did not work as expected. Action research is basically an ongoing cycle of thinking about problems and coming up with potential solutions until the issue has been resolved. Action researchers take initiative in their own projects instead of waiting for someone else to do something.
They make changes in their environment based on what they see needs changing instead of waiting for someone else’s intervention. They put in the time, effort and resources needed to solve the problem themselves. As such action research can be thought of as participant research where researchers become participants in the change they want to happen. Action researchers are at the forefront of social transformation because they do not wait for institutions or other individuals to lead the way. Instead, they act when necessary and appropriate to create better circumstances.
Unlike traditional research methods, action research does not ask “What happened?” but rather asks “What should happen?” In order to determine this, it is imperative to first establish the problem. From there, ideas can be generated which can then be implemented into our daily lives with the help of those who are affected by the same issues. For example, if students feel like school doesn’t offer enough opportunities for student involvement, then starting a student council would be a great idea.
Once a student council is established, its effectiveness can be evaluated by gauging how many members have taken an interest and have continued attending meetings. A follow-up survey might also be given to the original participants to measure their levels of satisfaction with the new situation (i.e., being involved in school activities). Overall action research seeks to answer the question What should happen? in ways that encourage people to be active agents of social change.
Advantages of Action Research
There are several advantages to using an action research design framework. All in all, action research helps one not only understand the problems they’re facing but also make plans to solve them. With action research, it is possible to find out what needs to be changed in order to change the outcome, which is impossible with other types of research.
Other advantages of action research include that it can be conducted by anyone who wants to take ownership of their own problem. For instance, if someone wants to reduce littering in their city, they could conduct the study themselves without any outside help or influence. Additionally, people learn through doing rather than just watching so having students act upon their findings means that they will retain more information from the process.
Furthermore, they are more likely to apply what they learned when making decisions about solving a real-world problem after completing an action research project. Action research has been successful in social work education as well because students feel like they are working towards making positive change within their community and have knowledge about where to go for further support when needed. Lastly, action research’s interactive approach creates a sense of empowerment among participants, allowing them to feel like part of the solution instead of being powerless onlookers.
Disadvantages of using Action Research
The main disadvantage of using the action research design is that it can be challenging to control the variables. It is difficult to pinpoint a specific cause-and-effect relationship because there are so many factors in play. A person may come up with a theory, but they will not know if their theory is accurate or not until they test it out in the real world. This makes it difficult for them to continue with the research process since they would need to wait for an opportunity to occur that could be used for experimentation.
For this reason, it is important for researchers to think critically about what needs to happen in order for their project to succeed. They also need to keep track of what is happening during the course of action research so that they have something tangible with which to work towards results.
Other disadvantages include the idea that too much time can be spent on gathering data instead of actually doing anything. Some people might see this as a major drawback, while others might find it motivating. There is also the idea that experiments will take longer due to having to involve participants at all stages of progress rather than just providing data from one group at a time. However, some might argue that this promotes better communication among different teams and gives each member more responsibility overall.
Action Research Advantages and Disadvantages: Final Remarks
Action research is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools for evidenced based change. It combines the strengths of research, which are rigour, objectivity, and measurement with action-oriented solutions to organizational problems.
Despite its potential for large-scale change, it has several drawbacks that need to be considered before implementation. The key is understanding when these drawbacks may impede progress or success and how to overcome them.
Researchers must also remember that their role in this type of design is not passive, but rather act as they are not only conducting research but participating in the process of solving a problem through a collaborative effort. As such, researchers should consider themselves action researchers instead of researchers because they have taken on a new role as both researchers and co-creator in this process.