Data Collection and Analysis for Improved Student Learning

 

Data Collection and Analysis for Improved Student Learning

Introduction

Data collection, recording, interpretation, analysis, and present are the backbone to every successful profession since it seeks to understand its target market. Collecting and analyzing data regarding the behavior of the target market helps an organization determine how well it can offer its services, what products to improve, and what products to get rid of.

Education

Action research is an approach used mainly by professional practitioners. It is aimed at promoting study aspects of practice. Action research can be used to introduce new ideas and examine the efficiency of existing practice. It facilitates evaluation and reflection which helps to implement the needed changes in professional practice. Action research involves a cycle of self-reflective cycles of planning to change, acting and observing implications of change, reflecting on the implications and deplaning then acting, observing and reflecting again (Calhon, 2002). Action research is about researching one’s practice, improving, and facilitating change. It also involves bringing individuals who share a common goal together, analyzing, reflecting, problem solving, and action research is driven by a particular situation.

Working with colleague teachers

Teachers usually have a similar objective and that is to ensure students receive the best education possible. I believe that consulting with other teachers is the first step to improving my teaching skills. By working with other teachers and asking their opinion of my teaching practices will help me confirm what I should focus on when seeking to improve my practice. I plan to observe how other teachers react to my daily activities. Other teachers, through their body language towards me, speak a lot about my personality (Greene, 2010). When seeking to implement changes in my teaching practices, I plan to involve other teachers in this process to help keep me focused on the goals I set. Since we are all teachers, I plan to organize my colleagues to undergo action research as a group. Working together will help to keep group motivated and produces better results in the research that we decided on thus helping us all improve our practices. I also plan to involve other teachers in problem solving; I will do this by asking their advice on sensitive issues regarding my practice. Achieving my objective in action research will mean I let other teachers help me improve through seeking and following their counsel. Teamwork is very important when seeking to improve practices in any profession. It ensures the very best outcome is fashioned through positive criticism, peer-mentoring and holding each other accountable for producing change. It also portrays a good image of practitioners in a profession and fosters trust, respect and understanding (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2009)

Data collection methods

Data is categorized as qualitative and quantitative or structured and unstructured. Qualitative data is descriptive data that can be observed, but not measured while quantitative is numerical data that can be measured. Structured data is well arranged and organized while unstructured data is more disorderly and complied haphazardly. Data collection is defined as the gathering of information regarding a specific topic using different techniques. The choice of data collection method depends on the variable type, level of accuracy required, and the source and skills of the researcher (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2009). The relationship between all of these variables helps to choose the appropriate method of collecting data. My topic of wondering is how to improve student learning. My target respondents are my students; I choose them because they know how they want to be treated hence help determine where and how I can improve my teaching practice. The information I am investigating is qualitative. It requires students and other stakeholders to air their views on how I can improve my teaching to improve students.

Conducting questionnaires is a way of collecting this information. Questionnaires are forms with open-ended or closed-ended question filled out by the targeted respondent (Koshy 2005). Questionnaires I plan to use, should seek to find out the attitude of students towards learning, their thoughts about their abilities, and their perceptions about learning. I hope the information I collect from the questionnaires will help me understand the root of all learning related problems with students and how to deal with them. Direct observation is another method of collecting data. As a teacher, I should observe how students behave towards me and towards learning. If student have negative attitude towards me then it is my duty to use action research for personal evaluation. Behavior of students tells a lot and can be used to find solutions to improve their learning. Reporting is another method of collection. It requires teachers to record performance, attendance and discipline reports for students. The information in these reports can be used as a good reference to point out the kind of students I am dealing with. Collecting data through these methods entails knowing students on a personal level. Therefore, the only way to improve student learning is by finding out what they expect from their teachers.

Multiple sources of data analysis

Analysis of data comprises data reduction, data display, and data verification. Data reduction involves choosing, and transforming data into simplified form. Data reduction sorts, focuses, and organizes data (Meijer, Verloop & Beijaard, 2002). Data display involves presenting data in simplified forms like charts and graphs. Data verification involves the researcher being able to draw conclusions from presented data. Multiple source data includes all data that is concurrently obtained from many different respondents. Regression is a statistical analysis method that measures the strength of the relation between a dependent variable and other independent variables. Linear regression uses one independent variable while multiple regression uses many independent variables to predict the outcome of the dependent variable. There are regression-based methods in analyzing multiple sources of data (Koshy, 2005). Regression methods for multiple source outcomes entail a multivariate regression model where continuous data from all sources is concurrently analyzed. Regression methods for multiple source predictors are used in predicting an outcome. Triangulation is the use of different data collection methods to enhance confidence in acquired results. It is used to understand topic under study and increase validity of the study. Triangulation is of four types; theory, investigator, environmental, and methodological (Meijer, Verloop & Beijaard, 2002).

Methodological data collection involves the use of many qualitative data collection methods (Meijer, Verloop & Beijaard, 2002). In this case, I consider using questionnaires as well as systematic direct observations. I am more confident in the decision I make when supported by similar facts from both methods. Environmental triangulation involves collecting data over diverse environmental settings. The intention is to see if results are similar across all factors. Investigator triangulation means using many different people to carry out a study. In this case, I can use another teacher to observe the behavior of my students to verify my conclusions about the students. Theory triangulation requires the use of multiple perspectives to study a set of data. Teachers and parents can be used to study how to improve student’s learning. When both parents and teachers come up with the same way of improving learning in students then results are valid. Triangulation and regression basically analyze multiple sources of data to increase certainty in data. Discrepancies in data can be easily noted when a researcher analyzes data using multiple source methods. Very huge differences in the same data obtained using different methods means there are errors in data (Farmer et al., 2006). Using triangulation and regression, I would easily find discrepancies in data.

Methods of sharing research with others

The general reason of carrying out research is to share the findings with others. I plan on writing a report concerning how to improve student learning. The report will be submitted to relevant school authorities so they can share it with other stakeholders. I plan on writing a dissertation about the undertaken study. The dissertation is meant to show any reader my personal understanding of what should be done to improve student learning (Calhon, 2002). I also plan on creating a slide share of my research and findings. Slide shares are create using Microsoft PowerPoint and deliver information through brief, clear, and concise words. I will send this slide share to my fellow teachers to help ensure they in turn learn from my research. I will also blog about my research in the relevant blog spots. This ensures I spread the word globally to other teachers.

Implementation of action research

My plan is to improve learning in students. Through my research, I hope to show the importance of how creating a one-on-one relationship with my students will help to improve their learning. I plan on organizing weekly class meetings with my students. This will ensure I know more about my students and show them how much I care about them. I also plan on making learning interesting and fun by using societal examples in class to demonstrate a particular topic. Likewise I plan on appreciating my students’ extra-curricular talents as well as inspire them to pursue them. I will do this by organizing monthly talent shows and competitions for them, with permission from relevant authorities. Hopefully, this will make students relate freely with me and henceforth seek my guidance on educational matters. I plan to give motivational talks to students about the importance of learning. Through my talks, I will seek successful educationists and have them visit the school to encourage students. By hosting organized group discussions for students to cover the difficult topics of study. I also plan to push for implementation of a parents-teacher day. This will ensure parents and teachers discuss the performance of the students and how to help them perform better. Above all, I will adhere to all moral and ethical codes that promote better education (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2008).

Conclusion

Education is an important sector of society. Through it, illiteracy is eliminated and leaders are made. Learning never ends therefore it is the professional duty of all teachers to deliver the best to students. Apart from being a professional duty, teachers should strive to be the best out of love for the betterment of society. Action research is meant to enable solving problems and offers practical solutions to professional. All processes involved in action research have greatly enriched my experience. I have learned that reflecting on my practice coupled with teamwork is essential in professional development (Greene, 2010). Growth and professional development is a continuous process that knows no end. Therefore, I plan on undertaking action research more often to ensure I develop more personally and professionally. Data collection and analysis is the ultimate tool for evaluating how well a professional is doing. It is necessary for professionals to test their skills and constantly work using these methods.  Professionals should seek after professional development everyday in their fields of expertise (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2008).

 

 

 

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2013). APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=7

Calhoun, E. J. (2002). Action research for school improvement. Educational Leadership, 59(6), 18–24. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Education Research Complete database.

Center for Collaborative Action Research. (2010). Action research with students. Retrieved from http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ccar/projects.school.html

Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2008). The reflective educator’s guide to professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Dana, N.F. & Yendol-Hoppey D. (2009). The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research: Learning to teach and Teaching to Learn Practitioner Inquiry (2nd Ed.). Corwin Press: Thousand Oak, California.

Ethical Standards of American Educational Research Association (2000). (2011). AERA Ethical Standards. Retrieved from http://ethics.iit.edu/ecodes/node/3178.

Farmer, T., Robinson, K., Elliott, S. J., & Eyles, J. (2006). Developing and implementing a triangulation protocol for qualitative health research. Qualitative Health Research, 16(3), 377–394. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SAGE Premier 2010 database.

Greene, K. (2010). From reluctance to results: A veteran teacher embraces research. English Journal, 99(3), 91–94. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the ProQuest Central (Legacy Platform) database.

Koshy, V. (2005). Action Research for Improving Practice. New Delhi: Paul Chapman      Publishing.

Meijer, P. C., Verloop, N., & Beijaard, D. (2002). Multi-method triangulation in a qualitative study on teachers’ practical knowledge: An attempt to increase internal validity. Quality & Quantity, 36(2), 145–167. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SocINDEX with Full Text database.

 

Use the order calculator below and get started! Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.

[order_calculator]