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Research for Improved Practice




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University of Phoenix reserves the right to modify courses. While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

Course level: EDU Graduate

Learners examine the process of conducting their own classroom-based or school-based research. The course provides practical experience with action research components in the educational setting for everyday instruction. Learners will use research and data to select instructional practices that lead to gains in student achievement that promote lifelong learning. This course is not available for enrollment to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.


This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a Bachelor's degree. Be prepared to provide documentation during the checkout process.

What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Differentiate between traditional research and educational action research. 
  • Describe the process and components of action research
  • Compare the similarities and differences between critical and practical theories of action research. 
  • Articulate the purpose of action research and how it supports educational change. 

Week 2

  • Discuss the ethical use of data in educational decision making. 
  • Analyze the impact of technology on the ethical issue of confidentiality in educational research
  • Assess ethical considerations when publishing reports of a research study
  • Outline guidelines for conducting research using human subjects. 

Week 3

  • Examine the role of reflection on practice in generating ideas for a research focus. 
  • Determine a focus for a proposed action research study. 
  • Develop action-oriented, outcome-based research questions. 

Week 4

  • Examine ways to collect qualitative and quantitative data. 
  • Describe varied types of data that can be collected to answer research questions. 
  • Critique types of qualitative data (e.g., surveys, questionnaires, and rating scales) used in action research. 
  • Evaluate ways of ensuring validity, reliability, and generalizability in action research. 
  • Conduct a literature review to establish a theoretical context. 

Week 5

  • Analyze data using a qualitative method and a quantitative method
  • Explain the purpose of interim data analysis and its importance in action research. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of using data analysis and data interpretation to draw conclusions from data. 

Week 6

  • Develop goals and an action plan for an action research proposal. 
  • Formulate a data collection plan for a proposed action research project

Week 7

  • Implement accurate APA guidelines for scholarly writing in an action research proposal. 
  • Construct tables and figures that present data in an action research proposal. 
  • Evaluate an action research proposal based on specific criteria. 

Week 8

  • Apply what you have learned to create an action research proposal. 
  • Prepare an overview of the action research proposal for presentation.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts