June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Engineering Design Graphics
15.100.1 - 15.100.15
A Survey of Graphic Professionals Focused on Distance Education Trends in Technical/Engineering Graphics Education in the United States; Part II
Research was conducted in the fall of 2008 to explore emerging trends in technical/ engineering graphics education. The study surveyed Engineering Design Graphics Division (EDGD) members through a follow-up study that had been used in previous years to collect data on current trends and issues related to the field. This paper will discuss the overarching issues and trends currently in technical/engineering education and one significant area within the survey that dealt directly with new instructional strategies for graphics education (i.e. distance education). One section of the survey explored distance education in technical/engineering graphics education; as prior research suggested that changes had occurred in the instructional topics and practices of the field. Previous research also shows that instructors wondered if the same topics were being taught and the same technology was being used by graphics professionals as a part of their curriculum at other institutions. The study sample of fifty-six (N=56) graphics education instructors was selected from Engineering Design Graphics Division (EDGD) members that were listed in the 2007-2008 membership directory. The EDGD members were contacted via email and responses were collected by an online survey instrument. Overall, the results were checked for invalid responses and then compiled. The results indicated that respondents were interested in remaining up-to-date with changes to distance education technology and topics even though the field might not be as up-to-date as they would desire. Possible future trends identified in this study were an increase in professional development and a migration to online and distance education from traditional classroom instruction. The field’s interest and adaptation of distance education technologies and practices appear to be strong.
Introduction to the Study
Identified boundaries and limitations of technology and knowledge today may or may not be limits in the near future. Zuga and Bjorquist1 wrote: “There will be newer and smarter machines tomorrow, making the knowledge acquired about today's model very perishable. By contrast, the learned ability to develop ideas and create solutions will always serve the learner”. Changes in the types of work within the field of technical/engineering graphics education have led to changes in the curriculum. With constant change in the curriculum, efforts must be taken to ensure course content is updated with regards to technology2. Overturn in the subject matter has created barriers for technical/engineering graphics educators as instructors are responsible for retooling with relevant emergent technologies3. This responsibility supports the continual search for enhanced training methods and new research areas, such as distance education and professional development. Stevenson4 wrote “Although no one can predict the future, we have an obligation to identify evolving attitudes and practices and try our best to understand how they might affect the physical setting we use for learning”.
This research focused on professional technical/engineering graphics educators, who were located in the United States. Collected were data, thoughts, and opinions in relation to emergent themes in graphics education. The study was based on two previous research studies conducted
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