|Module 3: Your WBL project|
|Developing your inquiry||Introduction | Getting started | Action research | Develop your proposal | Summary|
Ask the right questions
What you want to explore will be embedded in your aims for your inquiry. Having identified what you want to explore, it is important to write this into a form of inquiry statement, that sets the scene. Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself:
- What is the general area of the proposed inquiry?
- What is the challenge that exists?
- What needs to be explored?
- Who or what is the focus?
- Where is the investigation to be undertaken?
- To what period of time does your inquiry apply?
- How feasible is the inquiry and what resources and access to information are needed?
- What support is needed and who might this be needed from?
- Why is the inquiry significant and to whom and why? What communities of practice exist, what are the range of professional interests impacting on your inquiry?
- What are the ethical considerations that are needed to be thought through and attended to? How will you handle conflicts of interest between the partners and that challenge spoken of earlier about dual roles? Are there any detriments in undertaking your inquiry in anyway?
- What practical outcomes are needed?
Write aims and objectives
Once your statement is developed, you can produce your aims and objectives. At this point you will need to think about how to undertake the inquiry. You will need to have a way of addressing these aims and objectives, and this is your methodology.
There are several methodologies that can be used in undertaking wbl inquiry, these can all be found and read within the literature. Many workbased learners choose to have as their methodology a mix of appreciative enquiry and action research. These methodologies are often chosen because they allow for recognition that the organisation brings ideas , strengths and needs to the inquiry, and secondly because the cyclical nature of action research allows for emergence of understanding that will impact on the next phase of the cycle. The process of ongoing questioning and exploring leads to an unfolding of learning. Practitioner research often may lead to more questions than answers!
Regardless of what methodology you choose, you will need to think about boundaries for the project. This might result in a series of refinements to your aims and objectives. The more you reflect and engage in conversations with colleagues the more clear the real focus of the inquiry will emerge. This is likely in turn to impact on your inquiry statement, so be comfortable that inquiry statements often involve iterations.