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Issue 480, 22 April 2002

Online debate among equals

The success of the University's only masters programme run exclusively on the internet is to be showcased for staff on May 1.

The online MA in Asia-Pacific studies began in 1999, and has twenty-three students from all over the world, mostly professionals who have spent many years living and working in the Asia-Pacific region.

Current students include the national co-ordinator of a human rights campaign, a Hong Kong police inspector and the vice-president of a Dutch bank.

The course is similar in content to the Leeds-based programme, but designed to fit students' work and personal commitments.

Lectures are posted weekly on the course website with seminar questions or tasks for students to consider, and which they then debate online. Teaching online is very different to traditional teaching, as course co-director Dr Joern Dosch explains: " The virtual seminars lack the traditional teacher-student structure and, given the wide knowledge of the students, are debates among equals, with the course tutor acting as moderator rather than a traditional teacher. It's an exciting and interesting addition to classroom teaching."

The online learning seminar takes place at 12-1.45 in the Edward Boyle Library conference room. To book a place, email Rebecca Williams on

See the course website at

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