Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 2, Page 8 Winter 1992 All credits, no debits for this international course When Fred Stiner, associate professor of accounting, asks his students to hand in their homework, some students send in their assignments via electronic mail from Japan. Stiner is teaching an experimental course, "Reading Foreign Source Material," with colleague Ichiro Shiina at Gakuin University in Chiba, Japan. The two professors, who met at an international accounting conference in Kyoto, and Stiner's wife, Susan, an assistant professor of accounting at Villanova University, coauthored The Accounting Profession in America, which is the textbook for the new course. The seven juniors and seniors enrolled in the course through Gakuin University use an international electronic network to send and receive corrected class exercises. According to Stiner, Japanese accounting professors emphasize principles and theories, but there is a need for pragmatic courses that prepare students to work in the field. Stiner and Shiina's course provides that practical experience and also familiarizes the students with computers. "We think of Japan as ahead of our country in the use of computers, but our students are more comfortable with computers and are more computer-literate at an earlier age," Stiner says. The course, which began last April, continues until this March. The students communicate with Stiner via Japan's BITNET Association, which is part of a global network that links 1,000 universities, including the University of Delaware. Students read and translate foreign source material before class. Once a week, the students submit papers to the Stiners, who correct the students' English, comment on their opinions and offer advice and remarks. The papers are returned electronically to the students, who correct the English in their compositions and write replies to the professors' suggestions. Student reaction has been good, Shiina says. They believe they have a better grasp of American English and greater insights into economics and business in the United States.