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Tutorial 1:  About Action Research

Tutorial 3:  Your Inquiry Question

Tutorial 3 - Activities

The activities in this tutorial use values as a way to locate a problem in your context.  You may want to try other strategies, or you may already have a problem situation in mind. Once you have framed your inquiry question, you are ready to write your first draft of the opening text to your action research report or e-portfolio. Templates are provided to help you with these activities. Then you will be ready to continue to the next tutorial - "Planning your Action Research."


A. Values Search

We all live by core values. Some of these are more personal, and others are shared in our professional workplace. When looking for a way to get started with action research, many find it helpful for thinking through their most important values.

In your Action Research Blog respond to the following questions:




B. Core Values:

1. Make a list of 10 values that are important to you.


2. Combine or rank order until you have three values.


3.  Using your first value,  think of a personal story

that shows why this value is important to you,

how you have lived it in the past, or how it has set

the stage for how you want to live in the future.


4. Share that story with others you are working with

or share it on Facebook with other action researchers. 


5. If you see a story written by someone else, take a

few minutes to reflect on how you react to that value. 







C. Reflecting - Searching for your Inquiry or Guiding  Question

Transform your values into questions. For example, if you value equity, your questions might be: How do I create a classroom climate where all students are able to learn in ways that engage them? Or if a core value was creative problem solving, you might ask: How can I create a workplace culture where people find and solve problems without being told to do this? If social justice was the value, you might want to think about what could be done to reduce the rate of recidivism among prisoners.
Here are some possible project questions:


  • How can I inspire people in our office to work more collaboratively and efficiently on projects?

  • What changes to my leadership approach might create a more involved and engaged team?

  • How can I share my passion for learning with my students?

  • How could I better prepare nurses to provide the level of care that will heal patients in both mind and spirit?

  • What can I do to create a more collaborative and innovative culture among my colleagues?

  • How can improve my skills as a global educator?


This activity will continue in Tutorial 6  when you move from your inquiry question to your 

cycle 1 question.




D.  Writing -  The Opening to your Action Research

Once you have decided on the problem you are tackling and why you are doing this, you are ready to write the opening paragraphs of your report. The opening is where you make the case for the importance of the problem and how you might develop new skills or strategies to approach a solution to the problem. This draft is likely to change as the way you see the problem naturally shifts as you start the dialogue with others and their viewpoints might alter yours. However, it is good to have a page of description of the problem as a placeholder for the beginning of your report. You can make your final report a website or a paper or a more visual framework. However, it is important to begin sharing what you write with others as this is a critical part of doing action research.




  • What drives you?

  • What challenges you?

  • What keeps you up at night or appears as the most critical issues when you think about going to work?

  • What are you deeply curious about?

  • How would you like to change?

  • What are the changes that you would be most proud of?

  • If you could be more of an expert in one area, what would that area be and why?

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