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Computer Supported, Interactive Distance Learning For Engineering And Engineering Technology

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.114.1 - 1.114.6



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Paper Authors

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William E. Barnes

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Michael Khader

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

Session 2358

Computer Supported, Interactive Distance Learning for Engineering and Engineering Technology

Michael Khader William E. Barnes New Jersey Institute of Technology


Many educators agree that integrating interactive modes of delivery into distance education will significantly enhance the education experience for students and instructors. Most modes of delivering distance education classes today are asynchronous (recorded materials), and one way synchronous communications (cable TV classes, satellite link classes) and thus lack the real time interactions and the resulting collaborative support among students. At NJIT we added a collaborative and interactive distance education delivery system into the distance education program which has been in existence for fifteen years. This paper describes the implementation of that system and the results as perceived by faculty and students.

INTRODUCTION Current implementations of distance learning come with limitations including: the lack of instructor’s presence; the absence of real time collaborative work among students as it relates to class materials; the lack of interaction among students, and between the instructor and students; and difficulties associated with performance feedback. To overcome these limitations, a system has been successfully implemented at NJIT. Recent advances in telecommunications are being employed to extend the traditional classroom beyond the existing settings, specifically from classrooms at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) - Newark campus to the Technology and Engineering Center (TEC) at Mount Laurel, a branch campus jointly operated by NJIT and Burlington Community College (BCC). This system provides instructor’s presence, real time interactions among students - at both locations. Included in this system are: Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) which economically interconnects the two sites, multimedia conferencing equipment that incorporates video and audio communications with collaborative computer visuals simultaneously. Electrical engineering technology courses, engineering courses, computer science and technical writing course are all delivered over this system. In addition, students from three other universities are using the same system for a manufacturing project collaboration with NJIT students.


Multimedia cotierencing is the back bone of this system and includes video, audio, and a data channel for computer visuals. Equipment at both locations feature the similar capabilities and thus classes can originate from either location. This flexibility maintains the physical face to face interaction, if

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Barnes, W. E., & Khader, M. (1996, June), Computer Supported, Interactive Distance Learning For Engineering And Engineering Technology Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5928

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