FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED
TS4301 ACTION RESEARCH REPORT
27 FEBRUARY 2014
This report follows the study of the effect of course preparation assignments (CPA’s) on the classroom involvement of learners within a higher education setting. By introducing lecture and seminar topics in advance in the form of homework assignments and by following the action research methods as outlined by McNiff (2002) I have been able to execute, review and measure the effectiveness of the intervention to involve learners to become self-directed and intrinsically motivated in their learning. Whilst delivering a semester module and over a four week period I have introduced the following week’s topic by setting a homework task. This task and its materials were distributed and explained to the learners. This task was then reviewed and analysed by the teacher using androgogy learner centred teaching tools and the involvement of the learners in the seminar session the following week. After each weekly session I reviewed and monitored the design and effectiveness of the intervention by adopting and analysing the data from a number of assessment methods including observations, questionnaires, interviews and encouraging informal learner feedback. Indications from this short research project show that learners reacted well to the intervention and became intrinsically involved to input proactively to the sessions.
The research conducted is to examine if CPA's and the activity of introducing topics in advance as a form of homework can increase the amount of engagement in a classroom of learners and self-direct them to become intrinsically motivated in their learning. In this report I will explain the justification for the study relating to advancements in teaching pedagogy and how the intervention was designed from personal experience and observationsin the classroom with learners and to develop teaching delivery methods, skills and tools. I will also explain the methodology behind the intervention and how it’s design was continuously reviewed and monitored and why and how a triangulation of review was adopted. I will explain the ethical considerations that were included in the intervention planning and the methods of communication that was adopted to convey this with the academic organisation and the subject learners. One of the main design areas of the intervention was the methods of data collection and their relevance to the study and subjects. These methods will be explained in more detail with their findings analysed. I will also reflect on the findings of the study for both developing learning and teaching.
The FE White Paper: Transforming Young Lives and Driving up Skills for the Future (2006) reports that learners with greater choice and control over their learning are more energised and empowered. It also observes that when learners are asked to participate in decisions affecting their learning experience they play a more active role which can in turn encourage the involvement of other learners. The teaching, learning and assessment policy of the education institution observed in this research paper indicates that an objective is to holistically motivate and challenge learners by providing flexible learning methods to maximise potential. My understanding of this is to vary the style of teaching to match the varied requirements of learners.
As a teacher I have observed and assessed in detail the varying levels of engagement displayed by learners in my classroom. From this I can conclude that individuals have very differing levels, dependent on the intrinsic motivation of the individual learner. I have also observed that for certain learners this engagement does not increase during the duration of the module taught. This makes it very difficult to measure and assess the level of learning and the ability to give and receive feedback from these individuals. The