In the action stage, you collect evidence before, during and after enacting your new approach. Decide how you can document current conditions and changes in conditions after the approach is tried. Collect the data and prepare to analyze it and learn from it.
Before enacting your plan, gather data and information about the population you are teaching.
Some possible pre-assessment strategies may include pre-tests, student interviews, and teacher observations.
A pre-test is an evaluation of students prior to instruction to determine what level of knowledge, skill or aptitude they are bringing to instruction. Student interviews allow the teacher to ask the student questions to determine their present knowledge or aptitude level prior to instruction.
A teacher can also conduct student observations to collect information about the students. This can include notes taken during class time to help gauge the prior knowledge of the group.
After completing the pre-assessment strategies, it is now time to implement the Action Research plan with the pre-determined group of learners. It is important that the Action Research plan be implemented over an extended period of time. We suggest at least four to six weeks of implementation. The exact length of time should be determined before implementing the plan. The teacher should record observations of student behavior, reactions and progress during implementation. This may include notes written by the teacher regarding positive and negative aspects during the implementation, anecdotal records or an audio recording of class activities. Another suggestion is to videotape lessons including footage of the teacher and students at various points during the implementation.
The final step of the Action phase is to look at the effects of the Action Research plan by possibly using a post-test or formal assessment, student interviews, student portfolios or reviewing video footage.
A post-test, which may be the same test as the pretest, is used to measure gains in student knowledge after the implementation process. Student interviews can be used to determine if the student has mastered course or unit objectives. Student portfolios are an electronic or paper collection of student work samples used for evaluation.
Finally, the teacher can review videotape footage as a means of self assessment to determine whether or not the plan was effective and to determine where improvements can be made.