Conducting Educational Research
Step 21: Implement Results in Educational Practice

Now that you have successfully completed a research project, do not let the only outcome of the project be a written report that collects dust on the bookshelf. Indeed, completing a research study is only the beginning of improving the quality of educational practice. Find ways to implement the important results of your study in educational practice. Recall that the Purpose of Educational Research is to improve educational practice. Therefore, creatively find ways to distribute the results of your study to relevant stakeholders, and to make the findings useful to educators in general.

To be perfectly honest, very few people will read your research report, whether it is a journal article, conference presentation, or thesis. It is very easy for educational research to exclusively be an academic exercise, only producing papers that go toward furthering educational qualifications or personal promotion. However, educational research should impact education - and conducting research is just the first step. A second step is to think about how your results can contribute to promoting quality education, something that you started thinking about as you were writing the recommendations. However, now you must be more practical: How will your educational practice be different by what you learned from the results of your study? Finally, the third step is to communicate your research findings in a way that is understandable to the average stakeholder in education.

Therefore, spend some time thinking about what you will change in your educational practice based on the findings of your research. Set goals for specific steps you want to take to improve your educational practice. Then, creatively find ways to communicate the results of your study to relevant stakeholders and to make the findings useful to educators in general. Some ideas for communicating your research include giving a presentation at a faculty meeting or PTA meeting, writing the key findings of your research for a popular news source (e.g., newsletter, magazine), incorporating the findings into trainings for other educational stakeholders, or writing a blog post to put on the internet.

Finally, continue conducting educational research. When writing the final Discussion and Conclusion sections, you developed a number of other questions that need to be answered through empirical research. Conduct those other research studies with the goal of continuing to improve educational practice. The field of education should be continually changing and improving based on the solid foundation of high quality educational research.

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