Maryland Technology Consortium
Professional Development Planning Template
Name: Action Research Date:
School District: MCPS
Professional Development Provider: Catherine Long, Andrew Miller
Audience: Teachers in target schools
Dates of Training: 2002 - 2003
Duration of Training: August – May
Description of the Professional Development Activity
Participating teachers from Montgomery County were taught the principles of action
research and technology integration.
Teachers attended 3 full-day and 5 after-school professional development sessions where
effective technology integration was modeled. In addition, the teachers participated in an
online learning environment using the web-based system Blackboard.
Teachers utilized the action research process to investigate the question: “How does
technology integration improve reading and writing?” They collected data from a
wide range of sources for analysis. Teacher findings were used and will be used to inform
future instructional decisions. They submitted an action plan that outlined their project, a
PowerPoint presentation summarizing their project, and completed an online database
with details of their project. Each teacher presented findings at a conference. Teachers
are encouraged to present at other conferences.
Stage 1: Identify Desired Results
Teacher engagement in the action research process and ongoing analysis of student
work improves teaching practices and student performance.
The integration of technology supports the teaching and learning of reading and
How do data collection, data analysis, and reflective practices guide instructional
How does action research influence the teaching and learning process?
What is the action research process?
What reading and writing strategies are effective when teaching in the content
What is the appropriate use of technology?
Key Knowledge and Skills:
Participant will be able to collect appropriate data.
Participant will be able to analyze collected data.
Participant will be able to use reflective practices to design instruction.
Participant will be able to successfully conduct action research.
Participant will be able to integrate appropriate technology into reading and
Participant will be able to share data and present results.
Participant will be able to utilize online resources.
Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence
Pre-assessment: Teachers were surveyed on their skills, understanding, and
implementation of technology integration and action research. The survey contained a
combination of Likert scale and open-ended responses.
Post-assessment: Participants were required to present their findings to peers and other
school system personnel. Presentations included visual displays and a Microsoft
PowerPoint presentation. Additionally, findings were posted to an online database.
Stage 3: Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
“How to Conduct Collaborative Action Research” by Richard Sagor
“Guiding School Improvement with Action Research” by Richard Sagor
“How to use Action Research in the Self-Renewing School” by Emily Calhoun
“Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching” by M.D. Roblyer
Binder of articles and reference materials
MCPS Blackboard site
Action Research database
ERIC online database: www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/index/
Teachers engaged in a warm-up activity designed to introduce the participants to one
another. After this activity, participants were introduced, using a PowerPoint
presentation, an action research text, and handouts, to the principles, goals, and benefits of
action research. Finally, participants reviewed and signed a memorandum of
understanding that outlined the expectations of the project.
Session 1 (full day):
The project expectations, schedules, and benchmarks were introduced
Participants were introduced to the principles of action research
Initial training was conducted for Blackboard as a tool for online learning
Participants were exposed to a variety of technology-enhanced strategies for
teaching reading and writing
Participants explored various pieces of software and evaluated them for use in
their action research project.
Session 2 (full day):
Participants were provided time to create and discuss an action research question
that was in alignment with the MTC banner question “How does technology
integration improve reading and writing?”
The web-enabled test and survey creator, TestPilot was introduced as a tool for
The online research tool Ask Eric was demonstrated. Participants were able to
begin background research for their action research projects using Ask Eric.
Session 3 (half day)
The MACRO action research database was demonstrated and participants began
preliminary data entry. The database was explained as a tool for guiding the
participants throughout the action research process
Participants worked continued to refine their action research questions with peer
review and specialist assistance
An overview of data sources was presented and participants began to identify and
evaluate potential data sources for their action research project.
Session 4 (full day)
Participants were introduced to the online discussion forums in Blackboard. The
expectations were established that the participants would participate in the forums.
Excel was introduced as a data collection and analysis tool
Data collection procedures were presented and time was given for the participants
to refine their action research questions and establish data sources.
Resources and techniques for creating rubrics were presented and modeled with
time for the participants to create rubrics.
Session 5 (half day):
Participants entered project data into additional sections of the online database
Techniques for analyzing and presenting action research data were presented with
examples. Participants were able to begin analyzing and organizing their
Each participant created a data collection and analysis tool with Excel. They were
guided through the process of extracting data from a school database and creating
a customized data collection tool.
Session 6 (half day):
Participants reviewed a sample action research plan and evaluated the plan for
question validity, data source appropriateness, and overall quality
Participants were provided guided work time to complete sections of their action
Participants entered project data into additional sections of the online database
Techniques for using the Excel data tool to analyze data were demonstrated
Session 7 (Half day):
Participants met with specialists to discuss analysis and presentation of data.
Participants conducted a peer review of action research projects
The final sections of the action research database were completed.
Session 8 (optional half-day)
Participants completed and rehearsed their presentations with specialist assistance
Final meeting with instructional specialist to clarify any remaining questions or
Independent Sessions (3 Full days)
Participants were compensated for independent sessions. The expectations for the
independent sessions were that the participants would be actively working on their
action research project and participating in the online discussions.
Unit Synopsis: Participating teachers from Montgomery County learned the principles of
action research and technology integration. Teachers learned to improve reading and
writing instruction with the integration of technology. Teacher findings were used and
will be used to inform future instructional decisions.
Implementation (monitoring evidence):
Each session ended with an assessment of process, content, and context. When needed,
group discussions (both online and face-to-face) were held to facilitate change and
growth. Instructional specialists monitored participant progress through ongoing
observations and meetings.
Participants submitted the following evidence of progress and understanding.
Draft and completed version Action research plan.
PowerPoint slide show of the process and results.
Posted action research plan and results to the online database.
Complete the section below after implementing the professional development unit plan.
Stage 4: Educator’s Evaluation/Reflection of the Plan
A Reflection on the Effectiveness of the Plan: This section will be reviewed after the
conclusion of the project.
Appropriate Next Steps for Instruction:
Changes to the Plan for Future Use: