Action research begins by the group or individual selecting a focus or subject of inquiry. This is followed by the development of research questions, and then data collection- involving active engagement with community members. After data is collected, the results are analyzed and reported to the community by the participant-learners. After results are shared, informed action can then be taken in response to the results.

 Another important aspect of action research is that the learning process is responsive throughout. Perhaps the participant-learners will begin on a certain track, but after collecting actual data, they determine that their initial research questions can be refined in response to the direct needs that have been expressed. It is then up to the group to make the necessary adjustments to their process.