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.