DAR group at AREOL

From out of my Action Research ad hoc discussion at CPsquared’s Web2.0 workshop came strong recommendations for Bob Dick’s AREOL course.

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 Southern Cross Institute of Action Research

The course begins sometime this month so the timing is just right to continue the conversations and further develop the ideas of communities of practice and action research, which coincides closely with the central idea of DAR – Distributed Action Research.

Let me try and explain a bit better so that you can evaluate whether you might be interested in taking part.

* Action Research is a methodology (or possibly a group of methodologies) which combines action for improvement with systematic research methods, and has proved to be a useful way for practitioners to develop and share best practices. Some AR is practiced in developing countries, in rural environments, some in educational institutions and more recently – some entirely on the internet.
* Bob Dick is a leading exponent of Action Research and he runs a regular email course on the subject, which runs out of a University in Australia but is open to anybody.
* Myself, some members of CPsquare and others have decided to register for the course which starts in February, and we will form a small learning group within the wider course.
* This particular group will focus on Action Research in the context of Communities of Practice.
* Communities of practice are groups of people who share a domain, a practice and a community and the term is used these days to refer to online communities when they also meet those criteria. Online COPS are sometimes called distributed COPS or VCOPS ( for “virtual”)

So there are people who have been thinking about and developing strategies for working with COPS for ages, but have perhaps not consciously deployed the methodology of action research. And there are people who have been studying and practising action research, maybe including online learning communities, but have perhaps not encountered the living theory nor had the pragmatic experience of working with real communities of practice. It may be mutually beneficial to bring these together.

If you’d like to join us then please register as soon as possible by following the simple intructions here:

It might help when you send the email to Bob to mention that you’d like to part of the COP/DAR group.


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