Development workers studying at the graduate level benefit from exposure to the great variety of cultures and worldviews. In the Australian National University’s Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD) program, peer learning is giving current and future development workers in the field and in the classroom the chance to exchange knowledge, experiences and ideas that bring theory into sharp relief. The program offers flexible and blended delivery options, and has recently focused on using online discussions to nurture the exchanges among on- and offcampus students. Students working alone in development settings as diverse as remote Australia, East Timor, Egypt or Afghanistan can thus interact with their peers in the program to compare their day-to-day experiences of social development, conflict, justice, exploitation, gender or environmental issues, as they attempt to apply theory to practice. Using survey feedback from MAAPD students, this paper examines how the online discussions supported peer learning and provided opportunities for more shared engagement in critical thinking about issues of concern.
Recommended CitationBeckmann, E. A. and Kilby, P., On-line, Off-campus but in the Flow: Learning from Peers in Development Studies, Journal of Peer Learning, 1, 2008, 61-69.