Action research for graduate program improvements: A response to curriculum mapping and review

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Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education
There is a global trend toward improving programs and student experiences in higher education through curriculum review and mapping of degree programs. This paper describes an action research approach to program improvement for a course-based MEd degree. The driver for continual program improvement came from actions and recommendations that arose from an institutionally mandated, year-long, faculty led curriculum review of professional graduate programs in education. Study findings reveal instructors’ perceptions about how they enacted the recommendations for program improvement, including (1) developing a visual conceptualization of the program; (2) improved connections between the courses; (3) articulation of coherence in goals and expectations for students and instructors; (4) an increased focus on action research; (5) increased ethics support and scaffolding for students; and (6) the fostering of communities of practice. Study findings highlight strengths of the current program and course designs, action items, and research needed for continual program improvement.
Jacobsen, M., Eaton, S., Brown, B., Simmons, M., & McDermott, M. (2018). Action Research for Graduate Program Improvements: A Response to Curriculum Mapping and Review. The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 48(1), 82-98.