Developing Action Strategies
Using the Kuhne and Quigley model of action research, an action strategy is developed early in the research cycle, based on an analysis of the existing situation within the workplace context, and then observations are made and data is collected to either support or revise the intervention. In either case, the goal is to use the gathered data to refine the action strategy and build the most effective implementation plan possible to successfully address the situation.
There were two major factors that had an impact on the development of the action strategy in this workplace situation: my personal teaching and training experience and discussing the scenarios with colleagues. The development of this action strategy began with consideration of the situation based on my personal experiences as a teacher and trainer. This reflective process generated several feasible strategies to address the challenges facing the program. Once the options had been conceptualized in greater detail, the next step was consultation with colleagues.
Several colleagues familiar with both workplace essential skills and the concepts of action research were approached and provided with a brief summary of the current situation and workplace context. Many possible strategies were discussed, each one approaching the situation from a slightly different angle or perspective. Five key elements were identified:
Of all the strategies discussed, the only one that addressed all of the elements was the concept of developing a structure for instructor team-building and mentoring. The actual intervention designed to accomplish this outcome included a series of four team-building sessions:
Instructor Introduction Session designed to introduce all of the instructors to each other and the program. The session was informal and included several team building exercises to release tension and start the bonding process.
Procedures Development Session designed to provide a forum for instructors to discuss and design a common student tracking system that can move through the classes with the students, and discuss the development of general procedures to assist the instructors.
Professional Team-Building Training Session designed to provide a high level session for team building with a professional team-building consultant.
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