Developing Action Strategies
First, I needed to educate myself as to which topics in the study of statistics might be useful when carrying out a Six-Sigma quality control project. I studied the learning materials being used by the Green Belt learners in their training workshops, and I attended the May 23-24 Green Belt training workshop which introduced the various statistical tools and tests of significance. In an effort to engage the learners, an electronic message went out to every participant in the Green Belt training. The contents of the message notified them of the support training; suggested possible topics; invited their input on the selection of topics that would be offered; and invited them to attend a meeting where details of the support training could be negotiated. This meeting helped to determine the time, dates and topics for training sessions.
Training took place over the course of seven sessions between May 28 and June 12. The actual topic presentation took place from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. In addition, the instructor was available for an hour prior to and an hour following the formal presentation, to answer any questions and address individual needs. Handout material consisting of summary notes and practice questions with guided solutions on the topic of instruction were also provided to learners.
Monitoring the Results and Reflecting on the Action Research Project
Data Collection Phase 2
Throughout the delivery of the Green Belt Statistics Support Training and afterwards, I drew upon several sources of data to reflect on the effectiveness of my action research strategies, as well as how they might be refined and improved. As a participant-observer, I kept field notes and anecdotal records during the Green Belt Statistics Support Training. In the final session of this training, I conducted a round-table discussion with participants asking for verbal feedback. Following the training, the Learning Centre sent out an electronic evaluation survey to all program participants asking for structured as well as open-ended feedback on the Green Belt Statistics Support Training. I also continued to search the literature, and found the writings of Grow (1991) to be particularly useful.
Making Sense of the Data Phase 2
As the research evolved, I realized that my initial area of focus needed to be broadened. Readiness on the part of the learner was only one dimension of a complex set of circumstances influencing the effectiveness of a learner-led model for instruction in a particular situation. As I reflected on my findings, I discovered some key points I had previously overlooked.
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