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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

EFPM312: Action Research

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

The module introduces you to the principles of action research alongside current thinking in the teaching and learning within your own field of interest. The module can be studied either online only or face-to-face supported with online elements. Key elements of the module include:

  • Online lectures to explore Action Research methodology, research design, data collection and analysis, and communication of research.
  • Face-to-face (on two taught days) or online workshops with a lead tutor and cohort of students to explore and discuss the lecture material in depth, facilitated with resources developed by the lead tutor.
  • Face-to-face (on two taught days) or online seminars with a seminar tutor and smaller group of students to explore key principles of action research in relation to the specific contexts and substantive topics of interest to the students in the seminar group.
  • Online peer group support facilitated through directed tasks related to your developing action research.
  • Online tasks for self-directed study and assessment related to your personal learning plan following an initial needs analysis.¬†

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities4Online preparatory lectures watched through ELE
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Face-to-face or online workshops and seminars facilitated by lead/seminar tutors
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities3Individual supervision by academic tutor, with face to face or distance options.
Guided independent study12Independent Study using online directed tasks to study key aspects of action research methodology with self-test quizzes.
Guided independent study3Completion of a research skills audit which will be used by tutors to advise on use of online study support modules
Guided independent study8Preparatory reading to prepare for workshops and seminars (approx. 8 articles)
Guided independent study40Preparation of notes on Action Research design for formative assessment. Task includes reading about methods and the substantive research topic, discussion of project with relevant school staff and possible pilot work as well as drafting notes.
Guided independent study60Data collection and analysis for first Action Research cycle
Guided independent study10Preparation of a poster about first Action Research cycle for peer and tutor feedback
Guided independent study148Completion of Action Research project for summative assessment. Task includes data collection and analysis of second phase of Action Research, further reading in relation to focus of the project, synthesis of material and drafting/redrafting the final piece of work.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

p/t MEd pages on ELE (

Smith, M.K.(2007) ‘Action Research’, the Encyclopedia of Informal Education,