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An Internet And Windows Based Approach To Distance Learning

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.99.1 - 5.99.4



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Paper Authors

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Shahriar Emami

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Fazil Najafi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Internet and Windows based Approach to Distance Learning

Shahriar Emami, Ph.D. Senior Staff Engineer, Motorola Inc., Plantation, Fl 33322

Fazil Najafi, Ph.D. Associate Professor, University of Florida, Dept. of Civil Eng., Gainesville, Fl 32611

Abstract- A number of distance learning approaches have been proposed and practiced over the last decade. A good example of them is FEEDS video delivery system by the state of Florida University system. With the advent of Internet and Web, educators and students have shown interest in Internet based approaches. Many flavors have been presented over the past few years.

Here, we would like to present and describe a Windows-based approach that takes advantage of Internet, multi-media (audio and video playback capability of computers) and computing environments. Microsoft Windows (98 or NT) help files allows one to create a document with access to other applications. We propose a course development method using Windows help files. A course is divided into a number of lessons. Each lesson is placed in a Web site and is made available to the students in a timely manner. Each lesson is basically a Microsoft Windows help file enhanced with audio and video clips, graphics and computing capabilities. For important concepts of each lesson a video clip taped by the instructor is included in the lesson. The audio visual nature of video clip is believed to enhance the teaching and make it more personal. Then the concept is repeated in textual form. Audio clips are utilized to present the summary of a section and the conclusions. When an equation is presented, it is linked to a computing environment (such as MATLAB or Mathcad). A default file is made available with typical values for each parameter of the equation. Students can calculate and graph parameters of interest. They can also make changes to parameter and see the results in a numeric or graphic form. At the end of each lesson there is a quiz. Students are quizzed on a number of key points within the lesson. If their score is below a threshold, they will be told to review the section. A different quiz is made available to the students this time. A number of Internet references are given in the form of hot links. Finally, an email link is placed at the end of each lecture, so the students can send their questions to the instructor. The most common questions are repeated and answered in the beginning of the next lesson.

Audio visual nature of our proposed course development approach makes it personal and effective. Additionally, the computing capability of it makes the approach hands on. We believe this method of delivery, which utilizes the multi-media, graphics and computing capabilities of Internet and computers, can provide high quality education for students around the globe.

I. Introduction

Science and engineering have advanced remarkably over the past forty years. With the fast pace of change in some areas of engineering, it is crucial to keep the working engineers up-to-date. Virtually all universities, both public and private, already offer distance education courses. Students at nine U.S. Colleges, including the University of Maryland, the New York Institute of Technology, and the University of Phoenix, can obtain full degrees without setting foot on campus [1]. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to bring them from around the country to the classroom on a regular basis. However, it is to the employers and employee’s benefit to keep the engineering force up-to-date on the advances in their

Emami, S., & Najafi, F. (2000, June), An Internet And Windows Based Approach To Distance Learning Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8496

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