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Online Learning Option For Business Students

University of Auckland

The University of Auckland Business School is offering students the chance to study anywhere, anytime with the launch of Executive Programmes’ first online courses.

Executive Programmes Executive Director Philippa Reed says the initiative is a carefully designed response to students’ needs.

"A lot of our students are in managerial positions. We have had requests from people outside the Auckland region who know about the quality of our programmes and want to study with us, but live too far away to attend regular classes. For others, their work sometimes requires them to be away from Auckland for extended periods of time, and this can disrupt their study schedules.

"By making the best use of technology now available for distance learning, we will provide a highly interactive learning experience."

Executive Programmes will initially offer online papers from its Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. The papers in 2000 will be: Marketing for Managers; Leadership and Organisation; Commercial Law; Operations Management; Accounting and Finance; and Economics.

Dr Reed is enthusiastic about the benefits of online learning, after having recently used the technology to study for an executive qualification from an Australian university.

"My own experience has given me extremely valuable insights. Initially I was worried about my ability to master the technology required for online learning. In fact, I came to terms with the new learning environment very quickly, and as a result have become far more confident about using information technology in all aspects of my work.

"Distance learning demands a different approach to classroom debate. I had a learning partner, based in Wellington. We communicated regularly by email and phone, and met face to face for the first time last month. I also gained regular feedback from my tutors, and have been able to network online with other students."

Dr Reed says the online papers will be identical to those taught on-campus. The main difference is that students will work to their own schedule, at whatever time or place they choose. It will be possible to complete the whole Graduate Diploma in Business Administration online.

"Most other tertiary institutions have adapted their existing correspondence learning programmes to the online environment. What sets Executives Programmes’ online papers apart is that they have grown out of on-campus courses. We engaged Active Learning Online, a company with a proven track-record in the use of new teaching technologies, to work alongside our lecturers during the development of our online courses.

"The programme provides contact between teachers and other students through learning groups, as well as bulletin boards and multimedia presentations that recreate the interactivity of classroom learning in the online environment.

"This is a new venture for Executive Programmes and we are determined that the quality of the learning experience will meet our exacting standards. We are only offering a limited number of papers in 2000 but have the capacity to expand if the student demand warrants it. Prospective students can test the water by enrolling for just one online paper at a time, if that is what suits them," says Dr Reed.

Executive Programmes’ online website can be viewed at: www.thebizschool.com


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