Extension of use of action research as real and applied research for improvement of teaching and learning at Unitec
Citation:Smith, M. (2012). Extension of use of action research as real and applied research for improvement of teaching and learning at Unitec [Unpublished Unitec Research Committee Research Report].
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1877
The Action Research Project in 2011 involved a cluster of 12 action research (AR) projects across 6 departments at Unitec – Languages, Sport, Te Puna Ako, the Library, Foundation Studies and Music. Each project was an individual piece of action research, had specific research questions relevant to the project topic and had its own findings. Each was subject to the normal ethics approval process at Unitec. A meta-evaluation of the effectiveness of action research as a professional development strategy was also carried out. It was encouraging to see so many first time researchers taking this initial step into investigating their teaching and learning. The results of the meta-evaluation indicated the benefits of this sort of professional development. The other main aim of the project was to ensure that literacy and numeracy interventions were designed and implemented in a step toward ensuring these became business as usual. This was achieved across all the projects. Another achievement of the project was the cross-disciplinary nature of much of the research. Breaking away from silos saw collaboration between music lecturers and literacy experts, automotive mechanics and academic advisors, lecturers and e-learning advisors, the Departments of Architecture and Languages, Te Puna Ako and the Department of Sport. Finally, because of the number of projects, a layer of mentors was created to ensure that assistance was available to all researchers. This built capability in the Academic Literacies team which has allowed the project to continue in 2012 despite the departure of Eileen Piggot-Irvine.