Dr Taneli Kukkonen is co-ordinating a University of Otago
course being taught over the space of a week. Photo by
A teaching format allowing students to cram a semester's
worth of lectures into a week is being tried at the University
The format, which involves having an intensive week of
lectures and then completing course work throughout the
semester, is being tried for a religious studies paper
introducing students to the scriptures of Islam, being taught
by Dr Zainal Bagir, from Indonesia.
Course co-ordinator Dr Taneli Kukkonen said holding all the
lectures over a week next month allowed the university to
attract the services of Dr Bagir, a ''world-class'' expert.
Having more than 20 hours teaching time in a week was also
great for people from out of town or in work, who were not
able to make it to lectures each week.
''But then for Dunedin campus students it can also give them
a notion of getting a full paper under their belt
He also hoped the intensive nature of the course would get
students excited about the topic.
''This kind of week-long intensive is nice in that it really
gets the students' minds churning.''
Students who took part in the course would also be able to
contact the lecturer using Skype throughout the semester.
Tutorials would also be held ahead of assignments.
''The students actually get as much contact time with their
lecturer as they would during a normal semester paper.''
If the format - which had been used before for theology
papers - was successful, it would be used in religious
studies courses again in the future.
Dr Bagir's visit to New Zealand was funded by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade, which supported the joint Otago
University and Victoria University Centre for the Study of
Islam and Muslim Cultures.
Registrations for the course - RELS 222/322 Qur'an and Hadith
- were still open.