Doing Action Research

A Guide for Post-16 Practitioners

This guide was written as part of the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) action research programme by a team from ccConsultancy: Vicky Butterby, Claire Collins, Andy Convery, Chloë Hynes, and David Prinn. ccConsultancy have been a delivery partner leading this programme on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation since 2017.

The idea of doing ‘research’ can make teachers nervous, as research can sound quite technical and best conducted by outside experts, but we hoped to persuade practitioners that research is very ‘do-able’, that we are all researchers, and that the action research we produce as practitioners of FE and post-16 learning makes a valuable and important contribution to educational knowledge. We aimed to write the guide in an accessible and straightforward way that we hope will help put aside any worries you may have about doing research. The guide is split into three parts:

  1. An introduction to action research
  2. Practical steps in the action research process
  3. Thinking more deeply about action research in FE

The guide includes: practical examples, templates, recommended reading, top tips, useful explanations and stimulating opportunities.

Read an online magazine version of the Action Research Guide or download it as a PDF

Click the link below to go to the OTLA page on the ETF website where this guide is exhibited. There you can also read more information about the OTLA programme.

Access Resources

“I think quite a lot of teachers, when considering doing action research might still think, ‘how is it different to just reflecting and adapting my teaching?’ but this really highlights why it’s so important, in language that will speak to teachers.”

-OTLA practitioner researcher and mentor