Course details

Sp 14, Sp 15, Sp 16, F 16, Sp 18
Course number
READ 581
Course title
Action Research in Leadership in Literacy
Course description

This course is an introduction to educational research primarily focusing on “teacher conducted research” called Action Research. The purpose of this course is to develop the educator’s knowledge and skills in teacher research to assist them in becoming literacy leaders. Students will learn how to use action research as a reflective tool in assessing the effectiveness of their literacy instruction/school literacy programs in relationship to student learning outcomes. This course will focus on the following phases for conducting action research: identifying an area of focus, comprehensive review of current research, qualitative data collection methods, data analysis, and formulating an action plan. Students will develop an action research proposal to address a literacy need in their schools or classrooms and which may also be appropriate for submission to grant agencies for funding.

Rebecca Olien
Instructor bio

 Rebecca Olien, MET, taught kindergarten and fourth grade in the classroom for over 20 years and is currently an education specialist and instructional designer. She is the author of over 50 books for children and teachers, including the design of interactive eBooks with National Science Teachers Association.  She designs curriculum and instructional materials for a variety of publishers, as well as  teaches online courses for several universities. She earned her BS at Michigan State, her MA at the University of Wisconsin. and her MET at Boise State.


There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to elementary and/or secondary students.


6.1 Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2 Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
6.3 Candidates participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
6.4 Candidates understand and influence local, state, or national policy decisions.

Practical applications

Students will conduct a literacy-focused action research project in their school setting.

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and assignments). This course is online and does not require in-person attendance. Assignments are completed on the learner’s time schedule and are due as posted.


A textbook is required for this course. Please check with SOU’s ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

Spring 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Fall 2008