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Course Transformation From Synchronous To Asynchronous Using Technology

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Distance and Web-Based Learning in Engineering Technology: Part I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.375.1 - 14.375.9



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Paper Authors

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Ali Mehrabian University of Central Florida

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Walter Buchanan Texas A&M University

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Alireza Rahrooh University of Central Florida

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

Course Transformation from Synchronous to Asynchronous Using Technology


A robust project-based engineering course at the undergraduate senior level, traditionally taught face-to-face synchronously, has been transformed to a distance course taught asynchronously using distance modes. In this case, pedagogical transitions, alterations, and adjustments are required for meeting the course objectives effectively and without sacrificing the instructional quality. Project collaboration in groups or teams requires effective communication, which is made possible in this case with extensive utilization of new information technology (IT) and communication tools such as virtual meetings. Some technologies used in transition from live to distance learning modes are summarized and their effectiveness is addressed experientially in this paper. This discussion includes some benefits of implementing project-based courses in the domain of distance learning modes.

Keywordsℵ Distance Learning, Technology, Project-Based Learning, Asynchronously, Senior Design Project


Prior to the availability of computer and software technology used routinely today, “distance learning” was referred to as an individualized mode of learning only available through correspondence. Today, “distance learning” and interchangeably used “distance education” are commonly referred to as a field of education that investigates and examines pedagogical technologies and the design of advanced instructional systems used to deliver education remotely to students who are not physically present in the classroom. Present technology and the accessibility of the internet have made distance learning much more viable, and it has evolved from traditional ways to robust, more efficient, and more convenient for students and instructors. Online teaching and learning is progressively regarded as a means of increasing flexibility and robustness of delivery to provide for greater student access to, and control over, their learning whether they are studying on-campus or in distance mode, or offshore1, 4.

Current technologies allow instructors and students to communicate asynchronously, at times and locations of their own choosing, by exchanging printed and or electronic information. New technology, such as Blackboard™, provides a more efficient and robust management system for remote classrooms. With this new trend in distance learning, the use of project-based approach is being recognized in the literature as a potential component for distance courses in the faculties of engineering, science, and technology1,7. Faculty may have to develop new methodologies, and structure or restructure their course differently to accommodate and facilitate the effectiveness of distance learning. Some very recent studies documented the practicality and effectiveness of distance learning methodologies7. Results from an early study of the desirability and feasibility of using project-based learning indicated that this teaching methodology has a useful role in distance learning6. The case for employing project-based learning methods as

Mehrabian, A., & Buchanan, W., & Rahrooh, A. (2009, June), Course Transformation From Synchronous To Asynchronous Using Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5788

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