Classroom Interrupted: Understanding Investment Through Action Research in the Time of COVID-19

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Through a social constructivist lens, and the use of an action research methodology, in this study I sought to answer the research questions: (1) What aspects promote and increase student investment in my business communication classroom? and (2) How can I positively impact student investment? These questions arose as a result of noticeable changes in student behaviour within my business communication classrooms, including: increased absenteeism, reduced completion of homework tasks and submission of assignments, waning participation in classroom discussions and activities, and an overall decline in course and program completion. This study provided an opportunity for all participants (students and myself) to grow in understanding what factors encourage students to invest in the practices of the classroom. There were three phases of action research in this study where I utilized the methods of student journaling, my personal reflection journaling, and my lesson plans as data sources. The classroom and the study were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the findings of the study. Active learning, teaching style, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were identified as the aspects that most impacted student investment in my business communications classroom, and the aspects of active learning and teaching style were predominantly within my control as the instructor to influence and thereby impact student investment in a positive manner. The significance of this study rested in the co-construction of an understanding of investment in this specific adult learning context. Investment has the potential to bring understanding and meaning to the actions of individuals beyond the reach of the language learning context from which it originated, thereby adding value to a multiplicity of disciplines.
Investment, Action Research, Active Learning, COVID-19, Adult Learning, Polytechnic
Daniel, M. (2022). Classroom interrupted: understanding investment through action research in the time of COVID-19 (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from