Collecting and Analyzing your Data
As you collect your data you begin your analysis depending on what kind of data you are collecting, as we discussed in class. Read Chapter 7 of our Hendricks text to review analysis processes. For some data you will immediately begin to analyze using the constant comparative process, sorting for themes and categories. You can keep your own notes/journal to think about what you are seeing with your data. This will be useful for the “Discussion” section of your paper. Remember to date all of your data so you can review sequentially. Figure out ways that make sense to you to organize all of the data in a way you can continue to access it and add to it.
Be sure to analyze all data sources. If in your methods section you listed several types of data that you are going to collect, analyze each. If it became unworkable to follow through on some of the data collection methods mentioned in your Methods section, revise what you are doing and analyze what you can get. Sometimes the best laid plans just don’t work as expected! You will address the changes you made.
Writing the Last Two (new) Sections of your Project
Results (section 4)
Here you will clearly be reporting the results of your study after analysis, not interpreting or offering discussion about your results/findings (yet – this will go in section 5!).
Start with an introductory paragraph that gives an overview of what you will tell in this section and reminding the reader of the research question/topic.
Organizing the results: this is often done tool by tool (ex: results of surveys, results of anecdotal notes/observations…etc.). So you would have subheadings that parallel the data collection subheadings in your methodology section. Another way to organize if you have focused on a few students is to offer all results of student A, then all results of student B, etc.
Summarize results with cross-case analysis or how data/themes were supported through triangulation (ex: all sources of data showed such and such, or data from this showed such while data from that showed such.)
Highlight interesting or key findings with charts and graphs. Insert student quotes or works as examples of the results. You want to present the data as “richly” as possible to give the reader a “feel” for the results.
Discussion, Conclusions and Implications
Here you will talk about (discuss) the meaning of your results. You can go back to first person language (I think…). Be sure to compare your results to the research you presented in your literature review making specific references to the literature cited. What aspects of your study were like their work, what was different, what added to the body of knowledge about the topic? Tell the “why’s” (why do you think this occurred) and the “what else’s” (what else do you think could have occurred given more time with the study? What else do you think affected the results of your study and the situation?) You can offer examples from your results including student quotations or work to support what you are discussing.
Draw conclusions about your study that explicitly connect to your research question. Support these conclusions by citing evidence from your results.
Importantly, you will draw implications about your work as your findings connect back to your teaching. How will this affect your use of these approaches in future teaching and learning? What do you feel you need to continue to learn about? What other studies or questions do the outcomes and results of this study lead you to? How will you share your findings with others (colleagues, parents, administrators, the teaching field)?
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