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A Holistic Approach for Enhancing Distributed Education with Multi-Campus Course Delivery Methods

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Technical Session 7: Online and Distributed Learning

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Mahmoud K Quweider University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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M K Quweider is a Professor of Computer & Information Sciences at the U. of Texas at UTRGV. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science (Multimedia and Imaging Specialty) and B.S. In Electrical Engineering, M.S. in Applied Mathematics, M.S. in Engineering Science, and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering all from the University of Toledo, Ohio. He also holds a Bachelor of English and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Brownsville. After graduation, he was employed at several corporations including Pixera, a digital multimedia processing company in Cupertino, CA, 3COM, a networking and communication company in Schaumberg, IL, and Mercantec, an E-Commerce company in Naperville, IL. He has more than 40 publications in the field, and has served as a reviewer/moderator for several scientific and educational journals and conferences. He joined UTB in the Spring of 2000. His areas of interest include Imaging, Visualization and Animation, Networking and Cyber Security, Web Design, Computer Graphics, and Linguistics.

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Ala Qubbaj University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley

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Ala Qubbaj, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Engineering & Computer Science 
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Dr. Ala Qubbaj is the Dean for the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and the Principle Investigator (PI) for the UTRGV’s ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF); which focuses on increasing the representation and advancement of women in STEM fields. He is also the PI on an NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) project/Symposium for ADVANCING STEM Latinas in Academic Careers.

Prior to his Dean position, Dr. Qubbaj served as Senior Associate Vice President/Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Diversity at UTRGV. He is also a full professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Qubbaj received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma with specialization in combustion and energy system. His research has been sponsored by NSF, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

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Liyu Zhang University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Liyu Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He received his Ph. D. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in September 2007. Before that he received his M. S. (2000) and B. S. (1997) from Fudan University, Shanghai , China, both in Computer Science. His research interests are in theoretical computer science and its applications, with emphasis on computational complexity, complexity-based cryptography, and design and analysis of algorithms. Dr. Zhang’s research has been sponsored by National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education.

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Fitratullah Khan The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Professor Fitratullah Khan has been teaching computer science courses since 1992. His areas of expertise are computer architecture, networking, database systems, computing platforms and languages. As the director of Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and Networking (ITNet), and later as a Chief Technology Officer, at UT Brownsville, he implemented state of the art networking using campus wide fiber ring with redundant links. He established diskless computer labs to provide uniform computing platform across campus, and modernized classrooms to make them congenial to online learning. He was the PI on NSF funded BCEIL (Beowulf-based Curriculum Enrichment Integrated Laboratory) and Co-PI on NSF funded MCALL (Multimedia based Computer Assisted Learning Lab).

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Hansheng Lei

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Abstract To create an emerging research institution, a regional university was created that spans multiple campuses within a radius of more than one hundred miles by merging at least three current institutions. The merge allowed the university to pool its human and technical resources. Students can now pursue new degrees that were not available before at one campus or another, take a newly available technical or specialty courses, and even select their own preferred professor when a course is offered by many faculty. In order to serve students at multiple campuses that are geographically far a part, the university instituted policies to facilitate accessibility of courses to all students while meeting prerequisites and minimum enrollment requirements. This paper chronicles the policies, procedures, and faculty efforts in creating a sustainable framework for implementing a distributed campus course delivery that is acceptable by the university/college administration, the department, the faculty, and most importantly the student. Our experience shows that a successful framework should address many issues, including: - Logistics o Where to offer the courses; one campus, all campuses. o Is transportation provided for student at a convenient time o Etc. - Scheduling o Schedule classes so that student can attend all their classes on-time without conflicts o Coordinate scheduling among campuses - Faculty incentives o Maintain good faculty-to-student ratio o Provide formula for workload computation o Provide teaching/grading assistance o Home campus course Attribution - IT support o Provide Interactive TV with high bandwidth o Allow for faculty-to-student interaction o Provide state-of-the-art class podium o Allow for class recording o Allow for in-office tutorials or Q/A session through collaboration - Course Management System Delivery Methods o Enable many productive tools in the course management system o Allow proper notification for the student - Assessment and student participation o Maintain interaction with student on daily and weekly basis o Compare results from both campuses to avoid any emerging issues. The paper will present our efforts in each of the above areas, showing that despite the challenges faced, a distributed delivery system can be successful when the above issues/factors are adequately addressed. The results from our courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels show that students assessments don’t show any significant difference across campuses or based on where the home campus of the faculty is. By presenting our study, we hope that other institutions who are considering distributed education can benefit from our experience by adopting best practices while avoiding pitfalls. Keywords Interactive TV, Distributed Education, Course Management Systems, Video Conferencing, Social Media

Quweider, M. K., & Qubbaj, A., & Zhang, L., & Khan, F., & Lei, H. (2019, June), A Holistic Approach for Enhancing Distributed Education with Multi-Campus Course Delivery Methods Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--31961

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