Home Validating Ways to Enhance Learning

by Mark McKergow
Mark McKergow Associates

The purpose of this proforma is to provide an outline for 'research' submissions. These may range from fully fledged academic articles through pieces of practical experience in schools, colleges and corporations. We are keen to provide a point of focus, where our members' experience and learning can be collected, collated, studied, summarised, and made available to others seeking support and guidance.

The purpose of research is to provide a source of 'reliable knowledge' for the world to draw on. 'Reliable' here includes aspects of trustworthiness (making sure that the results were exactly as they are claimed) and transferability (is this something that always follows in any circumstance, or is this observation a special case). The simplest way to achieve this is to report your findings in a clear, concise and careful way, with an emphasis on what you did and the results you obtained — these are your personal contribution.

By following the guidelines in the proforma, you will be structuring your report in such a way as to maximise its usefulness to the accelerated learning community. We hope that the headings in this proforma will help you to set up and report your work in a way that will prove helpful, both to yourself and to others. We suggest you write as concisely as you can, without missing out anything important — there is no fundamental benefit to length for its own sake. A length of 3 to 10 pages should be enough to say quite a lot. Remember, there is no need to quote extensively from other published documents, books, etc., as long as they are obtainable elsewhere — concentrate on describing your own work and conclusions. If you have questions or queries, please contact Project Renaissance.

o NAME, AFFILIATION, CONTACT DETAILS (address, phone, email)


o SUMMARY. Summarise your work and findings in around 100 words — this helps those who are searching for relevant material to figure how useful your work will be for them.

o PREAMBLE. Give the context of your work — details of your organisation or school, the issues you are working on, what you are trying to achieve. What was the problem you were addressing? What have others said and written on the subject? Cite your references as you go along, rather than leaving them until the end, unless your paper is primarily a well-organised bibliography on a particular topic.

o WHAT DID WE DO? Include details of what you did — the methods you used, the ways you implemented them. Be careful to include the COMPARISONS you made — one method against another, a before/after comparison, one group who did something against another group who did not. It's always important, if you can, to take care to demonstrate that your results were indeed a result of the things you claim, rather than some other factor. For example, "I did a visualisation and the whole class got A grades" is not as compelling a piece of research as "I did this visualisation (script and tape attached) with the 1999 group, who scored 20% higher than the 1998 group who used rote learning methods only."

o RESULTS. What happened? Give numbers as well as qualitative factors like your impressions, what the students said about their experience. Be sure you measure the same things before and after, or with different groups. Keep as much the same as possible between the groups, other than your specific area of interest. Stick to the facts here — your thoughts about them come in the next section.

o DISCUSSION. How do you interpret the results? How could they be useful to others in your field? What do they tell you about learning? What else could be investigated now, following your findings?

o CONCLUSIONS. Summarise your findings and conclusions briefly.

o BIBLIOGRAPHY. Please cite any references in the body of the paper, unless the work is primarily a well-organised bibliography on a particular topic.

o OTHERS INVOLVED. Who else was involved? Whom could we ask about the work you did if we needed another view of it — for example, your supervisor or manager, colleagues, participants? Give credit where it's due.


o ATTACHMENTS. Attach any other information which might be useful — data forms, other substantiating materials like external reports or inspections, photos or other records of the work, other testimonials, etc.


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©2003-2004 Project Renaissance — Permission to copy these guidelines for personal use is freely granted.