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Athabasca University

Project Courses: A Tutorial

Doing the Work

At this point I was pretty sure that I had an idea that had potential. What I wanted to do was to research as much of the field as possible to understand the parameters of the issue. I spent hours combing the web and reading reports. It was great to have the support to become immersed in my subject. At the time I had little idea of where it would eventually lead, or whether all of the pieces would ever fit together neatly. The process of working through the research and the added incentive of assigned reports with deadlines meant that I focused more clearly and specifically on exactly what I wanted to know about this topic.

My Course Supervisor was available to bounce ideas off. My hours of study went by quickly.

SOLO started to have a life of its own because I was able to use the documents and research that I had done to gain support for my idea. I had approached several experts in the field during my research phase, and after working with some, asked them to join an advisory board for SOLO. These professionals have proven invaluable. Their wisdom and feedback enriched the project. Support for SOLO developed as the result of my talking up the idea up in their networks. Soon they were discussing the idea too.

Another aspect, not of project courses, but of university education that I found helpful when designing SOLO was transfer credits. Use them. I found on the Internet a link to a conference at the University of Victoria. It had a profound impact on the Project. In August of 2000, U. Vic. and the UIERCE hosted an international Institute on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, (CRC). This institute offered a credited option that I enrolled in for transfer credits to my degree. This course was supervised by Dr. Philip Cook who is an expert in the CRC. The CRC values, which I'd known about before, but not fully understood, have proven to be a solid baseline for the philosophical development of SOLO. When using university education to develop an idea or project, consider browsing your local college or university for particular courses or seminars that you may be able to use towards your degree. The variety is helpful. In addition, you might get another library card!

Updated February 18 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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