Action-oriented research for master’s level dissertations: an opportunity to improve practice
As academic staff become familiar with the qualifications framework of the UAE and work towards demonstrating alignment between learning outcomes, teaching/learning strategies and assessment, this is an opportune time to revisit traditional masters’ dissertation guidelines and methodologies to ensure students demonstrate mastery of a topic via achievement of a capstone project. Such a project is an opportunity to demonstrate both a contribution to knowledge and an improvement in practice.
This discussion document takes the view that formal master’s level programs can miss this opportunity to use rich experiences of working professionals to produce knowledge and learning. An action-oriented approach to research is proposed as contributing to level 9 learning by its capability of generating practical learning and producing actionable knowledge. One example is outlined of a successful action-oriented project in the UAE, which formed part of a master’s program.