Action research is carried out by those participating in the research in order to improve and change it. It involves a scenario where a practitioner enquires about the effectiveness of his/her work from the respective audience. For instance, a teacher may make enquiries into the effectiveness of the teaching method used on the student’s performance. The action research envisioned in the paper revolves around identity crisis, goal ambiguity, and ambiguities in resource allocation. Residents who had lived in an area for a long time and newly migrated residents held differences in the meaning attached to the concept of school and community.
Rather than conduct interviews by phone in the first study, the researchers should have used open-ended questionnaires or face to face interviews with the samples of the population under research. The practice of recording interview on tapes was dangerous since it made data susceptible to loss. There should be back-up storage of the data. The role of collecting and organizing data codes was left to the principal investigator who categorized the data. This task should have been done by the entire research team in conjunction with each other.
Possible Limitations That May Occur from the Proposed Method
Limitations refer to the constraints experienced by an action researcher upon settling on a particular method of research. External and internal validity can be established from studying the limitations. One of the possible limitations that may arise from the method of research proposed include small sample size that may fail to effectively represent the entire population under research. The data may be unreliable or unavailable limiting the range of research conducted. Lack of conducting research on the issue beforehand may greatly hamper the action research project. This is particularly the case when there is no prior research conducted on the topic to avail sufficient literature review. The method used to collect data may inhibit proper analysis of the findings. Data reported by the researcher (Self-reported data) is also a limitation since it is impossible to verify it from external independent sources.Other limitations may include bias, language barrier and cultural beliefs.
Ways to Reduce the Study Effects on Validity or Reliability
The validity and reliability of a test are indicators of the importance and quality of a study. Reliability refers to the consistency of a study in measuring an attribute. A study that yields similar results from a particular characteristic over and over again is said to be reliable. Reliability is affected by the temporary physical or psychological state of an evaluator, factors in the environment, the form of the test, and use of several raters in the test. The reliability of the study is the degree to which study results are consistent and are not affected by errors in measurement. Validity of a study refers to the attribute being measured by the study and how effectively the study measures the attribute or characteristic. Validity attaches meaning to the results of a study showing a linkage between the research performance and the occupation performance. Validity gives the basis for making predictions and conclusions based on the study.
The effect on validity and reliability of the study can be reduced by conducting the process of criterion-related validation. It requires statistical evidence of a correlation between the results and job performance. This requires the use of all avenues of data collection including questionnaires, interviews, study of manuals and sufficient literature review of existing studies. To reinforce the validity, it is advisable to submit the action research for review by external independent third parties. Use of professional research is advisable since conducting validation is expensive. Professional validators also have a lot of experience in the field and the possibility of bias is eradicated.
Possible Participants’ Population
Participants were selected from a population including parents, members of the community who are not parents, students, teachers, educators and board members. The population consisted of old residents of the areas and residents who had just moved in.