Action research (AR) is a class of methods for research carried out in a participatory way in collaboration with community partners, stakeholders and participants. Whilst a definitive definition of AR is not fully agreed, there are however core values and principles that identify research as AR and offer guidance for the conducting of this type of social enquiry (Hayes 2011). AR has at least 3 common features (Gray 2009 p313); the participants are co-researchers (Burian et al 2010) engaged in a democratic partnership with the researcher, the research is “seen as an agent of change (Gray 2009 p313), and there is a direct relationships with the co-researcher participants which leads to data (also known as participatory action research (PAR) (I am not sure this covers it enough). Having participants as co-researchers means that they have involvement at every stage of the research, from conception of the issues, to collection and analysation of the data, through to designed interventions and reflection periods, in an immersive fashion, where they can not only add to the knowledge gathered but validate it. This egalitarian approach has been used to deal with issues that are personal to participants and as such has been used in research for under voiced groups. The research uses prolonged engagement that allows for deep seated issues to be raised and the uncovering of tacit knowledge that are difficult to obtain in studies that have single focus group or interview sessions only. AR within human computer interaction (HCI) can be used to address human issues through computing solutions (Hayes 2011). The artefacts designed within the research are created to address the problem and as a means for accomplish...
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...ow for all involved to contribute their view. Whilst in the past the focus of music technology has been in a music therapy setting and the downfalls of technology explored within the experience of the music therapist (link to the reviews) there is space to move into other areas of music technology usage that can focus on the everyday use of music within the lives of the people involved in the research. AR allows for a team to be developed that includes a wider reaching contingent of people involved which can then feed back into the areas already explored and create and awareness of developing tools that fit a situation from a more multidisciplinary action. AR has a reflexivity (Scrivener 2000) in its iterative cyclical form that could help when responding to users with complex needs and their requirements allowing for response to issues that could not be foreseen.
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