Friday, June 16, 2006

A good, free professional development course

The next round of AREOL is coming up soon. I'll let Bob Dick explain it himself; suffice it to say I thought it was an excellent learning opportunity when I took the first edition years ago, and I've heard good words about subsequent editions.

Dear colleagues

The 24th areol program begins in about a month. Brief details and
a subscription form are included below.

Cheers -- Bob

_____ __ ___________ Southern Cross Institute __________________
/ \ of Action Research
/ /\ ____/ /_/ AREOL 24 __ action research and evaluation on line ____
A free on line course in action research offered as a public
service by the Southern Cross Institute of Action Research at
Southern Cross University


Areol 24 begins in mid to late February 2006. Conducted over four
months or a little less, its 14 sessions (or thereabouts) will
provide you with basic information about one form of action

As with earlier programs, the theme of areol 24 is the integration
of effective change with rigorous research. In some respects, it
is a combination of the principles of community and organisational
change with those for change-oriented qualitative research,
sometimes with use of quantitative research too.

The program does not attempt to cover all varieties of action
research. Nor does it analyse the philosophy of action research
in any depth. The main intention is to allow participants to
understand some processes which combine action and research, and
which can be used in practice.

Later sessions briefly describe an action research approach to

The on-line sessions are supplemented by archived files on various
aspects of action research and evaluation.

There is no charge (apart from your usual connect charges, if any).
This is provided as a public service by the Southern Cross Institute
of Action Research, SCIAR, at Southern Cross university.

You can examine the areol materials on the web. You'll find an
index page at

This will give you an idea of the contents and style of the course.
You can also work through these web materials at your own pace, if
you wish. This is an alternative to the email version. It doesn't
include the discussion group and learning groups of the email

If you wish to subscribe to the email version of areol 24, please

A. read the following description,

B. then send answers to the questions (below)

You may also wish to check the responses of areol 13 and areol 14
subscribers to the final evaluation. You'll find them, uncensored,


A. The commitment you are undertaking:

By subscribing to areol 24 you are undertaking a commitment to:

o read the sessions

o take part in the accompanying general discussion list each

o help evaluate areol at about the middle of the program, and
again at the end

o agree to your posts on any of the areol lists being
analysed as part of an action research project

If you have little time, you can take part in areol with a time
commitment of about one hour a session (sessions 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.)

(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.)

In addition, an evaluation of areol takes about 15 minutes.

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.


B. Subscription details

1. Name:

2. Brief bio (about two or three sentences about your interest
in action research). This will be placed in a public

3. Which, if any, of the following interest groups do you wish
to join? (It is not a requirement that you join any of them.
However, in joining an interest group you are committing
yourself to taking part in the discussion in those groups):

_ 3a. Novices' interest group. This is intended primarily
for people who do not make much use of action research
in their work so far, and would appreciate a mutual-aid

_ 3b. Practitioners' interest group. This in intended
primarily for people whose interest in action research
is to improve their practice

_ 3c. Academics' interest group. This is intended
primarily for people who are more interested in the
research or philosophical aspects than in the
practitioner applications of action research

_ 3d. Thesis interest group. This is intended primarily
for people who are using action research or related
methodologies for thesis purposes, or are supervising
such theses

4. Are you willing to helping to facilitate the interest group?

5. Are you willing for any email you post to areol and the
associated lists to be analysed as part of an action research

(Your anonymity will be protected unless your specific
permission to identify you is sought and given. There is no
particular research currently planned; this is to keep that
possibility open.)

(the associated mailing lists accept email only from addresses in
its subscription list, so choose the address you are most likely to
use to send email to the areol lists)



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