Data Collection Cheat Sheet

Collecting Data

(Source: Mertler, C.A. (2009). Action research: Teachers as researchers in the classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.)

Qualitative data are narrative, appearing primarily as words.

  • Qualitative data are usually collected through observations, interviews, or journals or by obtaining existing documents or records.
  •  Observations involve carefully and systematically watching and recording what you see and hear in a given setting.
  •  Classroom observations may be structured, semistructured, or unstructured
  •  Unstructured or semistructured observations allow for the flexibility to attend to other events occurring in the classroom.
  •  Classrooms observations are usually recorded in the form of field notes, which may include observer’s comments.
  •  Interviews are typically formal conversations between individuals.
  •  Interview typically follows an interview guide, which may be structured, semistructured, or open-ended.
  •  Interview can also be conducted with groups of individuals in an interview knows as a focus group.
  •  Interview may also be conducted informally or via email.
  •  Journals may also be kept by both teachers and students in order to provide valuable insights into the workings of classroom.
  •  Existing documents and records, originally gathered for reasons other than action research, are abundantly available in schools and may be used as additional sources of information. These include classroom artifacts, such as student work.
  • It is important for teachers- researchers to establish the trustworthiness of their data. This includes the accuracy, creditability and dependability of one’s qualitative data.

Sample APA Classroom Research Proposal

Sample APA Classroom Research Proposal

Setting your word processor to help you with APA style

This quick activity will make your research life much easier!

Get prepared for getting started with your research!

A great resource for #SEACCR work.


We have a great group forming #SEACCR  representing a variety of interests, talents, skills, and perspectives, I anticipate wonderful work.

Edutopia published a report about the AERA (American Education Research Association) . conference in Vancouver last spring highlighting trends in research based education.  It includes examples of teacher-led projects that might inspire your thinking.

#seaccr I am looking forward to seeing everyone on September 10th.