June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.72.1 - 14.72.10
A New Breed of Interactive and Distributed Classroom Environment for Freshman and Sophomore Level Technology Courses
A Synchronous Distance Delivery (SDD) of a course provides a pseudo live classroom environment, and it is a reasonable compromise between a live classroom and an asynchronous distance education. Synchronous Distance Delivery also allows a learning environment for the course that requires laboratory activities and utilization of software tools due to real time interaction between the instructor and the students. For a multi-campus institution, an SDD course offered by an instructor allows the institution to meet the minimum course enrollment requirement, thus avoiding cancellation of required courses for a degree program. The institution can count the total course enrollment by adding enrollment at all its campuses. SDD courses are also attractive to students because they allow students to take required courses at the campus location nearest to their home or workplace. At Purdue University Calumet (PUC), with two campus locations, all the departments within the School of Technology (SOT) actively pursue SDD for all freshman and sophomore level courses, especially for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program. This paper discusses the strategies related to technology, course schedules, technical support, and the cohort-based enrollment that leads to successful offering of SDD courses and corresponding enrollment growth in the ECET program. This paper also presents assessments data and use of this data which have improved the SDD courses and student learning.
Purdue University Calumet (PUC) is primarily a commuter campus with 9500 students. Additionally, 1400 students take classes at its Academic Learning Center which is 17 miles away from the main campus. Seventy percent of the University students work more than 30 hours a week and many of these students are enrolled for courses scheduled for evening hours.
To accommodate more of its students by delivering course work at an accelerated rate, PUC has initiated distance delivery of ECET courses by using Synchronous Distance Delivery (SDD) method.
“The term synchronous implies that the distance learning environment is real-time: students at the host and remote sites are able to hear and see the instructor and the equivalent of the instructor’s blackboard in real-time. They can ask questions and hear responses from the instructor regardless of the campus at which they are located. In contrast, the asynchronous mode of distance delivery involves video streaming or DVD- based delivery of classroom content. Students view transcripts of class sessions whenever they choose; the live interaction with the instructor and ability to have physical interaction with classmates is absent.”1
One of the biggest disadvantages of asynchronous delivery of freshman and sophomore level technology courses is the lack of professor-student interaction in a classroom environment.
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