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Athabasca University

Learning Contract

General Information about Reading and Project Courses

There are no course materials shipped to the student for MA-IS Reading courses or Project courses. Students will negotiate with their professor the readings required for the course and will be responsible for acquiring these readings either by borrowing them from Athabasca University, or from a local university or community library, or by purchasing the texts at a bookstore.

For some of our Reading Courses, we have arranged to have relevant materials, as identified by the professor, available in the AU library for loaning out to students. These materials are not automatically shipped to students, they must be requested by the student and returned to the AU Library after the loan period has come to an end. If they wish to purchase the materials, they may wish to check out or some other retailer of books.

Students in MA-IS Reading courses or Project course(s) are required to develop a learning contract with the course professor prior to registering in the course. The course registration will not be processed until the Learning Contract has been approved by the Supervisor and MA-IS Office

Learning Contract Guidelines

The learning contract is a letter of agreement between the professor and the student. The contract should provide the following information:

  • a detailed plan stating the work to be carried out by the student,
  • a list of learning outcomes,
  • the subject/s to be studied,
  • an explanation of how and in what ways the proposed project will fulfill one or more of the MA-IS program outcomes listed here.
  • details about the resources and strategies i.e. how you are going to learn about your subject area, where you will search for sources which points of view you will be developing,
  • a list of the source material for the proposed research, including key books, articles, videos, websites, and other materials, and details of how you will access them,
  • a rationale for the importance of the project in the context of the existing body of research in the area,
  • a brief account of how it might be disseminated – e.g. publications, conference presentations, etc. and a list of possible journals, conferences, etc. to which it might be submitted).
  • description of the role of the faculty supervisor,
  • plan for assessing the work undertaken, and
  • timelines/dates for completion of each stage of the course work (i.e. Draft 1 will be completed on XXXX date and Draft 2 will be completed on XXXX date).

Sample Learning Contracts:

Details of the learning contract should be negotiated on the understanding that further amendment may be made. If there are amendments to the original learning contract, students must submit a copy of these amendments to the MA-IS Office.

Students register in Reading and Project courses just as they would for any other MA-IS course. Including the Project Supervisor's name in the ‘Comments’ section of the MA-IS Course Registration Form will expedite processing. The fees are the same as all our other formal courses.

Updated January 23 2019 by Student & Academic Services

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