Action research and evaluation on line:
the required time commitment
Areol, action research and evaluation on line, is a 14-week public course offered each semester as a public service by Southern Cross University and the Institute of Workplace Research Learning and Development.
It is your decision how much time and attention you wish to give to areol. Based on the experience of other people who have subscribed to it, the following description will give you some indication of the time commitment if you wish to complete the program with a reasonable conceptual and practical understanding of action research.
There are some benefits in undertaking the email version. You can then take part in discussions on an accompanying discussion list. You can raise questions about issues that aren't explained clearly enough, or that you think are in error. As well, you are able to join special interest groups.
If you have little time, you can take part in areol with a time commitment of about one hour a session (sessions in the email version are mailed about weekly): 20 minutes to read the weekly session; 20 minutes to access the relevant archived resource files; 20 minutes to take part in the accompanying discussion list. (You can pare this back a little by being selective about the archived resources you read.)
If you are one of those people who are taking areol for credit at either Griffith University or Southern Cross University you can probably add at least another two hours a week to meet the assessment requirements.
If you enrol in the email version you will be asked to agree to the following commitment ...
- reading the sessions (emailed weekly)
- taking part in the accompanying general discussion list each session
- helping evaluate areol the end of the program
- agree to your posts on any of the areol lists being analysed as part of an action research project (nothing specific is planned, but it makes sense for us to research our own practice).
(Evaluations of past areol programs suggest that this is a heavier commitment than some participants anticipate. The sessions, each of about 7000 to 8000 words, are mailed out weekly. The comments of past participants suggests that, if you do not set aside time each week you will find it hard to keep up with the material.)
If you choose to join one of the learning groups, this may add about another 20 or 30 minutes each session to your commitment.
Beyond this, there are many further opportunities for involvement. Most sessions describe relevant activities, suggest further reading, and identify archived files which expand on the material.
Maintained by Bob Dick; this version 9.05w; last revised 20061021
The URL of this document is http://www.uq.net.au/action_research/areol-des.html