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Self Reflection

Shawna Peterson
University of St. Thomas
EDUC 6327
Dr. Bieler


Self Reflection

The definition of action researcher is, A process of uncovering solutions through

progressive problem solving activities. The outcome is intended to improve practices and address
issues. Often performed by a group of participants, the process involves investigation through
activity rather than theoretical response (BusinessDictionary, p.1, 2015). I believe throughout
this course I have become a better action researcher by developing a better understanding of
what qualitative and quantitative research is, creating appropriate survey questions, as well as
becoming more familiar with what t tests are.
Qualitative research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an
understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations and used to uncover trends in
thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem (Wyse, p.1, 2011). Qualitative research
usually involves focus groups, individual interviews, and participation/observations. The
qualitative research I used in my project was a focus group of students; four from three different
grade levels. This was in order to get a broad overall spectrum of students. I also chose an even
amount of females and males so that gender would not be a biased result. Finally, the students
also had to all receive As in their courses, so that the focus group could be considered high
achieving. All students were interviewed at the beginning and end of the testing year.
Quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical
data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes,
opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables (Wyse, p.1, 2011). Quantitative data is always
measureable, structured, and formulate facts. The quantitative data I used in my project were
surveys and test scores. All students were given the same survey questions before and after the
Tests were administered. One of the surveys requires students to answer questions based on


their stress levels during the six week tests and during the standardized STAAR test. The second
survey asks students questions based on how prepared they felt for either one of the tests. I
would take all responses and put them into an organizational document such as excel to compare
all test scores and survey answers side by side. I would be looking to find correlations between
students who took the six weeks tests and students who took the STAAR test. I would imagine I
would see better results from the six weeks tests, but that is to be determined.
In addition to having a better understanding of quantitative and qualitative research, I
continued to improve upon my MLA citations. I fixed the same errors I had made in the previous
semester. Reflecting upon the whole semester, the hardest part was the research plan, because
there was a lot of new information I had to learn. I had never seen or heard of the t tests before.
In order to understand them, I used all the resources provided through my learning modules, as
well as extended research on my own in order to calculate the right information. I found out that
putting the information into Excel kept me the most organized and was the easiest transition into
the t test calculator. In order to feel like an intermediate with this type of data research, I would
need more practice. However, I am pleased I was introduced to it.
In conclusion, I believe this semesters research course was more eye-opening due to the
actual collection of data I had to obtain. It was also interesting to create surveys so that I could
interview fellow classmates. I enjoyed receiving their opinions on the topic of remedial courses. I
became a better researcher by learning how to create questions to cover all aspects of my
interviewees experiences. Some educators that were interviewed had zero knowledge on
remedial courses, while others had a fairly affluent understanding of them. I realized the
questions had to cover all spectrums in order to get opinions, or information regarding these



"What Is Action Research? Definition and Meaning." BusinessDictionary.com. 07 Dec. 2015.

N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved from <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/action
Wyse, Susan. 07 Dec. 2015 "Difference between Qualitative Research vs. Quantitative
Research." Snap Surveys Blog. N.p., 16 Sept. 2011. Web. Retrieved from