Designing & Implementing the action plan

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OVERVIEW Action research is not an activity that stretches over a long period of time it is better that we clearly describe what we intend doing. This will help us avoid confusions and give a definite structure to our course of action. Once the hypothesis is formulated we need to decide on the course of action for testing the hypotheses. In this chapter you will know how to design your plan of action. You will also come to know the different aspects to be kept in mind while preparing the action plan. THE TIME FRAME Action research aims at finding out solutions to immediate problems. So once the problem is pinpointed we need to specify a time frame for the action. We propose to take. The period allowed for an action research project usually should not exceed more than three months. Within the specified time we need to further describe which work would be over when for example, the investigator is expected to specify in the action plan when the ‘treatment’ to a pinpointed problem begins and how long it continues. It is very important that the investigator keeps up to this time frame. THE INPUTS Once the most likely cause for a given problem is identified, the investigator will have to decide the kind of ‘treatment’ to be given to overcome the problem. The inputs may be given to overcome the problem. The inputs may be in the form of material resources like the use of some electronic media. They could be activities to be conducted during the ‘treatment’. The investigated should mention the kind of experiences to be provided to the group during the action. COLLABORATION Action research is basically a group activity. The investigator may consult experts, discuss with colleagues or even involve some outside agency in the work. It is necessary to decide before hand who are going to be involved in the action. An investigator should inform these people about their involvement and take them into confidence while decision making.

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES When we undertake an action research project we have to collect data to see if the ‘treatment’ given has had any effect. We may have to use a variety of tools and techniques for this purpose. An action plan must describe the tools and techniques to be used the work. You will read more about tools and techniques in the next chapter. REPORTING Reporting of the outcome of an action research project is needed for two reasons. (a) It is a process of sharing information, which might benefit others. This also helps in reflecting and re-planning our strategies. (b) The funding agency has to know what happened in the project. The action plan should specify the way the report is going to be written, the number of copies to be made. The persons to whom copies need to be sent. This will help in budget estimation too.

THE PROPOSAL Keeping all the above in mind the proposal for the action research has to be written. You will read more about the format of an action research proposal in a separate chapter. SUMMARY l An Action Plan describes the course of action in an action research project. l The following aspects should be considered in writing an action plan. l The time frame l The inputs l Collaboration if any l Tools and techniques l Reporting

TRY IT OUT Write a plan of action for solving a problem that you have identified. See if you need to include any other aspect other than those discussed here.