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Action Research Proposal-MAED Capstone

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Accounting

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Running head: MAED CAPSTONE 1
MAED Capstone Action Research Proposal

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MAED CAPSTONE 2
MAED Capstone Action Research Proposal
The future of distance learning suggests a need for greater research into different modes
of instructional delivery that facilitate greater interactive communication exchange and social
learning opportunities for diverse eLearning communities. This aspect of teaching and learning
in distance learning settings is causing educators to reflect on changing teaching practices to
accommodate diverse learning preferences. Change is a central aspect of differentiated
instruction. Some educators hesitate to integrate differentiated instruction into their teaching
pedagogy for fear of common barriers such as time needed to implement instructional changes,
needed professional development to enhance teaching skill for successful implementation,
concerns for peer support, how to manage the instruction after implementing changes, and the
need for models of successful implementation to follow. Nonetheless, differentiating instruction
is an excellent strategy to implement change. These discomforting factors about implementing
changes to instruction can cause educators to reflect on their teaching competences, their
professional image, their teaching efficacy, self-esteem, teaching motivation, and commitment to
their teaching profession. As educators reflect on effective instruction, they should consider the
ever increasing diversity of 21st century learners as a clear indication that a one size teaching
strategy does not fit all learning preferences and styles. Growing diversity in student populations
emphatically indicates the need for differentiated teaching strategies that effectively
accommodate the needs of each individual student by providing multiple pathways to learning
(Carolan & Guinn, 2007). Change is a normal aspect of teaching and learning; moreover,
forming learning communities to conduct action research for school improvement initiatives is
one means of becoming a reflective change agent. The growth of interactive and social learning
technologies in distance learning indicate a need for changing teaching strategies; moreover,

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MAED CAPSTONE 3
considerations must be made that impact the decision making for the appropriate technologies to
support such changes.
Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this study is to conduct inquiry for a future action research proposal that
seeks to utilize the best teaching strategies and education technologies to foster greater
interactive communication exchange and social learning opportunities for Microsoft Excel
distance learners. For the benefit of student learners, the rationale for conducting this study is
that the growth of interactive and social learning technologies in distance learning indicate a
need for distance learning educators to conduct further action research that guides the way to
improving instructional designs, change existing teaching practices, and creating new ways to
support flexible learning experiences for diverse student populations using newly designed
teaching methods and modes of eLearning delivery. For the benefit of teachers desiring to
improve future teaching practices, this research should be conducted to improve decisions about
student learning and achievement, to make teaching practices more responsive to student needs,
to elevate an educators self-efficacy while practicing the profession, and to develop ways to
make an educators vision of teaching and learning a reality. One perceived issue or problem
regarding the lack of interactive and social learning opportunities in distance learning regards a
commonly known reality that traditional classrooms allow for spontaneous, real-time, interactive
and social communication exchange between groups of students and educators; however, the
ability to create effective social and interactive communication exchange where students have
opportunities to connect, share, converse, collaborate and manage digital content in distance
learning settings is an existing problem for which this action research proposal attempts to find
solutions.

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