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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Final Reflections on Action Research Course

Final Reflections:
  I truly have enjoyed this course and have learned so much in these past five weeks.  At first I thought, that online college would be difficult, but I find that I have learned a greater deal than I did when I took a masters course in a building.  Not to say that that was not great, I just find this online class more interactive. Using the blogs and discussion boards, email and even face book, I feel that I have connected and communicated with a large amount of students and professors.
I enjoyed all the lectures, but the ones that stood out were the ones from Week two.  Principal Johnny Briseno from Angleton ISD really made an impression on me and served as a great model implementing an action research situation.  He seemed totally available and approachable for all his teachers.  Mr. Briseno mentioned to use the internet to help aid in solutions for problems that may arise on your campus.  The solution may not be an exact fit, but at least will guide you in knowing what worked and what did not work for some campuses.  Basically he was talking about the transfer-ability of previous research inquiry without actually using those words.  I took his advice and did a Google search on my action research inquiry.  I found some interesting dissertations related and unrelated to my topic that I plan to use in my inquiry research.
The web conferences were a huge help as well.  Questions were answered promptly and the sessions felt very intimate and like we all knew each other as if we were in the same physical classroom.  Being able to discuss what we were doing made the assignment more clear.
What I have learned from action research is that it is a cyclical method and that even though you may get to a stopping point, your research doesn’t end.  One may choose to research another aspect that has come up and/or begin researching another pondering. In learning about action research, I realized that my principal has done this on several occasions and is still doing this. I learned that the most important thing an administrator can do is to build an inquiry stance.  Not so much to complete one or two action research inquiries, but to make inquiry a part of administration.
The discussion boards and blogs provided great insight as to what others were doing and the unique and universal situations going on at their campuses.  It also provided opportunities to have colleagues comment and question our positions.  This helped make our stances or beliefs stronger and clearer.  It was fascinating to see how suggestions helped and refined our action research plans to be the best that they can be.
I felt that the assignments followed a sequential order and built on what was previously learned.  The textbooks for this course were very easy to follow and read.  I plan on keeping these textbooks and putting them in my professional library.  I am excited about continuing my action research plan full force and this course has provided me the tools to do just that.   

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