ETEC 543 - Action Research Project
My group observed lack of attendance for professional development workshops in higher education for our research topic. We then narrowed down our focus to address two questions;
What factors may affect faculty attendance in face-to-face technology workshops at CSUSB?
Will having synchronous Zoom sessions increase faculty attendance in technology workshops at CSUSB?
We then gathered information pertaining to professional development workshops in higher education, contributing factors for lack of attendance and delivery method options. We also reviewed related articles to find similar issues relating to the topic and research questions to find a common them. Our group then developed a plan to conduct two workshops on two different days and different times with the addition of adding a synchronous Zoom session.
We then conducted to face-to-face workshops offering the optional Zoom session to see if attendance would increase. After the workshops were conducted, the qualitative data collection technique we utilized was a Qualtrics survey built with 7 questions and 1 sub question. We surveyed a small sample of faculty members to find out their attitudes and opinions towards professional development workshops and preferred delivery methods. For the quantitative data collection, we collected the participation lists from the face-to-face workshops as well as the Zoom participants. We then analyzed our qualitative data by categorizing and identifying common themes or key findings. We then analyzed the quantitative data by descriptive statistics of summarizing our attendees of both face-to-face workshops and Zoom participants.
During this stage, we identified several contributing factors to low attendance which included; inconvenient date/time, no time for professional development and lack of knowledge that we provided workshops. We also identified that offering a synchronous Zoom session did in fact increase attendance.
At the end of our Action Research we reflected on limitations including; faculty knowledge of utilizing online video conferencing software and lack of advertising. Other reflections included factors to examine for future research including; self-paced training effectiveness for convenience, quality of online workshops and quality of engagement among participants.
My Course Reflection:
Throughout this process of Action Research, I gained a lot of knowledge of the different stages of research. The planning stage definitely was a big portion of the paper that needed constant revisions. It was hard to really narrow down a focus that was measurable. Also, identifying common themes from previous articles and trying to make a connection to our own research was the toughest part. While beginning the study, we started with a clear focus, but at the end we did not leave with a clear answer. We left with several options to take the future study to, which was exciting. Conducting the research with the topic that we chose, opened more questions up for discussion at the end, which I feel will allow our study to continue and improve our professional focus. Even though we completed our project, I still feel that I am learning stages of the program and will continue to drive myself to fully understand the methods and analysis of action research.