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Computer Integrated Experimentation In Electrical Engineering Education Over Distance

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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

5.164.1 - 5.164.10



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Oguz A. Soysal

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

Session 3542

Computer Integrated Experimentation in Electrical Engineering Education over Distance Oguz A. Soysal, Frostburg State University


The paper presents the implementation of computer integrated experiments in FSU/UMCP collaborative engineering programs from educational perspective. The effectiveness of CIE in actual and virtual classroom environments is compared to other experimentation activities. Advantages and limitations are discussed in terms of equipment availability, infrastructure cost, and contribution to various elements of experimental learning.

I. Introduction

The interest for engineering courses offered over distance has been increasing. Many institutions are currently offering self-paced distance education courses as part of their conventional curriculum, or developing complete degree or outreach programs for distributed education. Advanced communication techniques such as web based online courses and interactive video are implemented to provide learning opportunity to a large audience, spread over a wide geographic area. Another obvious advantage of online courses is asynchronous learning possibility for self- motivated individuals through independent study programs.

The University System of Maryland has recently started collaborative engineering programs on several campuses to extend learning resources available in a large metropolitan university to remote areas. These programs combine the advantages of distance education and conventional classroom activities. Frostburg State University (FSU) has been offering electrical and mechanical engineering programs1 since fall 1997 in collaboration with University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). Students enrolled in the FSU/UMCP Collaborative Engineering Program take all science, math, general education, and basic engineering courses on campus from resident faculty. Upper level engineering courses are offered from UMCP over distance. The main objective of the Collaborative Engineering Education is to provide students located on a remote campus the opportunity to access advanced engineering courses of a metropolitan university. The developed model is an economical way to extend engineering education possibility to remote areas without loosing experimentation and design activities and student-instructor interactions, which are essential for technical education.

Beside many advantages, distance education has also significant limitations in engineering courses with laboratory applications. Various surveys and observations have shown that engineering and science students gain more thorough understanding of physical concepts if they actively participate in laboratory experiments. In fact, active experimentation is also one of the

Soysal, O. A. (2000, June), Computer Integrated Experimentation In Electrical Engineering Education Over Distance Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8230

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