Matching Data Collection Strategies to a Wondering

This week’s Learning Resources explore a wide range of data collection strategies and suggest how some strategies are better matched for particular wonderings. As Jack pointed out in this week’s “Dial-A-Researcher,” data collection requires the teacher-inquirer to be flexible. You might start with a plan to collect data using a chapter test and instead find that student-created videos are a better measure of students’ learning. Deciphering which data are relevant to student learning and which data are irrelevant and can be discarded is a critical component of data collection. In addition, it is important to be aware of any ethical considerations related to your research. Consider how the AERA and APA standards you reviewed might inform your data collection efforts and overall research process.

Based on these resources and your experiences with the action research process thus far, reflect on the data collection strategies you are considering. Which data collection strategies are best suited for your wondering? Which data sources will have practical value, and which will you discard? What ethical considerations are especially relevant to this type of research? What ethical principles—e.g., maintaining confidentiality, managing conflicts of interest, assuring informed consent—are most important in relation to research, and why?

To prepare for your post, brainstorm a list of all the potential sources of data you think would offer insights into your wondering. As you construct your list, reflect on your experience playing the “Data Tools Matching Game.” It should help you categorize the data sources from the most practical to least practical strategies.

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