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 ALARA, The Action Learning Action Research Association Inc.
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.
Also, the email version is revised regularly and extra material is added. In comparison the web version is less up to date and contains less material.
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) or a little less: 20 minutes to read the weekly session; 20 minutes to access the relevant archived resource files; 20 minutes to try at least some of the weekly activities. (Some activities are "thought experiments" you can do without leaving your computer.) You can pare this time 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. If you do no more than read the weekly sessions thoughtfully, it will take about 20 minutes or so.
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. There's no upper limit. If you really wish to understand action research, developing a modest change project will add enormously to your learning.
Maintained by Bob Dick; this version 10.00w; last revised 20140105
The URL of this document is http://www.aral.net.au/areol/areol-session01.html