The application of ALAR to facilitate the adult learning experiences of Indonesian international students in an Australian university


  • Amina Omarova The University of Adelaide


action learning, action research, adult continuing education, international students, double-degree Master’s programme, eLearning diary


There is a clear challenge to ensure that the learning experiences of international students are significant as well as successful. Generally they have to adapt to different ways of thinking and learning, with greater emphasis placed on self-direction and personal empowerment. This was the case with a cohort of early-career Indonesian public servants employed by the Ministry of Industry.

In a joint-partnership between The University of Adelaide  (UofA) and the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) a double-degree Master’s programme combined studies in agricultural science and technology with innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship. A key feature of UofA programme was an applied research assignment on downstream product development.

The focus of the paper is on the application of Action Learning and Action Research (ALAR) to structure student’s new learning experience while doing the applied research assignment. During the process their learning experiences were documented through an interpretive investigation. Their positive learning outcomes underlined the value of ALAR as a tool for facilitating both group and individual learning. ALAR emerged as an effective means of enabling international students to competently manage the new experiences associated with self-direction and personal empowerment; hallmarks of Andragogy as a school of adult learning principles to practice.