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 Vicky, Claire, Andy, Chloë and associate David Prinn. ccConsultancy were a delivery partner leading on the OTLA programme on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation from 2017-2022.

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.

This resource is currently exhibited on the OTLA page on the ETF website, read as an online magazine and can also be downloaded as a PDF below.

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