1. After reading the article by Patel, Smith, Fitzsimmons, Kara & Detmer (2012), reflect on the data collection methods and the analysis strategies that were used to assess the data. Address the following questions in your post: What were the key data collection methods used, and how did they align with the focus of the research? What were the analysis strategies used, and how did they align with the type of data that was collected during the study? What do you feel are the particular strengths of the data collection and analysis of this article? What do you consider the weaknesses of this approach? References Patel, N., Smith, R., Fitzsimmons, K., Kara, M., & Detmer, E. (2012). Utilizing goal setting strategies at the middle level: Helping students self-regulate behavior. Networks: An On-line Journal for Teacher Research, 14(2), 1-9. 2. Data Collection As you consider the construction of your data gathering instruments, use the following questions and explanations by Sagor (2011) to guide you. What are three data sources will you use for your AR? Do you need a matrix for data triangulation? Is the process I am using to answer my question clear enough that my students (clients or participants) can understand it? When collecting and analyzing data, action researchers can do a great deal to ensure the validity and reliability of their findings by using a process called triangulation. The term triangulation refers to the use of multiple independent data sources to corroborate findings. The purpose and necessity of corroboration is the same for the action researcher as it is for the trial lawyer. A trial lawyer knows that to convince a jury of the accuracy of a legal theory, it helps to have more than one witness; the more individual witnesses whose testimony supports the theory, the more credible the theory becomes (Sagor, 2002, p. 16-18). Educational action researchers usually have a wide variety of data sources available to them. Some of the most common data sources are the following: Existing data School/teacher records Referrals to the principal Attendance records Tardies Classroom behaviors (talk outs/negative behaviors) Number of detentions (per student) Number of suspensions (per student) Student work/portfolios Observation data Photographs Videotapes Diaries, logs, journals Rating scales/rubrics Data obtained by shadowing students through the school day Probes Tests Surveys Interviews Focus groups You, as the researcher, will describe the instruments and data gathering techniques used. You must establish criteria for selecting the data as they relate to the scope of the problem. A helpful tool for planning data collection and triangulation is a triangulation matrix—a simple grid that shows the various data sources that will be used to answer each research question. The matrix provides the action researcher with some assurance that the potential for bias (which is always present whenever a single source of data is used) won’t take on undue significance. Figure 2.3 illustrates how a completed triangulation matrix for a study on student editing might look. Figure 2.3. Triangulation Matrix—Study on Student Editing Issues to pay attention to when trying to answer research question Data Source #1 Data Source #2 Data Source #3 What is the relationship between student enjoyment of writing and the quality of their editing? Student survey Analysis of first, second, and final drafts Comparison with work on previous assignments In what ways will providing students with a copy of a scoring rubric impact the quality of their finished papers? Student interviews Contrast between revisions made in assignments without rubrics and ones with rubrics Third-party assessments of finished products To what extent are the finished papers different when students use peer editors? Student interviews Contrast between revisions made in assignments without peer editing and ones completed with peer editing Third-party assessments of finishe…

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