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Understanding the environment: A systems approach
Understanding the environment: A systems approach

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2.2.1 Activities

This course engages you in the action learning process through carrying out substantial activities. The activities are divided into six sections according to the themes established in the readings. Each activity section provides a guide on how to engage with the various exercises and builds on the material in the readings and Diagramming Resource.

If you are lucky enough to have developed an active reading style where you create a mental dialogue with the written text (i.e. stopping every so often to question the content through correspondence with personal experience) then reading may be an appropriate learning technique. On the other hand, it is recognised that, for a lot of people, reading large volumes of text does not actually result in much learning:

Most people's eyes glaze over if you talk to them about 'learning' or 'learning organisations.' Little wonder – for, in everyday use, learning has come to be synonymous with 'taking in information.' 'Yes, I learned all about that at the course yesterday.' Yet, taking in information is only distantly related to real learning. It would be nonsensical to say, 'I just read a great book about bicycle riding – I've now learned that

Senge, 1990)

In order to engender 'real learning', there is a major emphasis on you carrying out substantial activities in this course. The idea is to encourage you to do lots of practical things that involve your own personal experiences, and to provide you with a space to keep a record of your learning and experience. You will be encouraged to develop your ability to develop plans of action, put these into practice and, finally, observe and evaluate the impact of your actions.

Each online study section will present you with a major challenge that you will need to explore. The learning aims of each section establish your study goals and the outline summarises the range of activities, readings and tools that you will be engaging with in order to address the challenge. You are strongly encouraged to keep a record of your learning experiences as you work through the activities, in your learning journal.