Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.324.1 - 6.324.9
Delivering Electronics Engineering Technology Courses on the Web Thomas M. Hall, Jr. and Glenn W. Moffett Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Is it feasible to offer an associate’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) on the Web? The faculty in the Industrial and Engineering Technology (IET) Department at Northwestern State University (NSU) have begun planning to do just that. While the university has been proactive in distance education using a variety of media, going on-line with a program that demands extensive “hands-on” laboratory work has been greeted with both trepidation and enthusiasm. Much of the enthusiasm comes from our regional industrial partners, who seek to improve their workforce effectiveness through education. In the fall semester of 2000, we piloted the first two courses—a lecture and concurrent laboratory in DC circuits—on line. Four courses are planned for spring 2001. In this paper, we describe the courses that we are developing, the processes and procedures that we are using to go on-line, and some of the successes and shortcomings that we have faced. We conclude with some of the issues and challenges that lie ahead in expanding the pilot program to a complete degree offering.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is taking steps to increase access to education by using several technologically oriented methods in distance education. At the same time, the university has been improving its ties with area industry through partnerships. In part, these efforts have been motivated by a desire to expand the university’s ability to offer courses to industry, its employees, and to other people who are not free to attend class during traditional classroom periods. While there are many examples of lecture and discussion-group classes on line, one hallmark of an electronics engineering technology program is that laboratory classes accompany most lecture courses. Though most of our lecture classes can be delivered at a distance, it is not possible to duplicate the hands-on experience of an electronics laboratory over the Internet. Even so, an on-line electronics engineering technology program must include concurrent laboratory instruction. In fact, the current criteria for accrediting engineering technology programs specify that theory courses “should be accompanied by coordinated laboratory experiences1.”
Through our EET industrial advisory committee and other contacts, we have begun receiving requests to offer electronics courses on-line. In recent months, these requests have escalated, and now there is great interest in having an associate degree in EET available on the Internet. Nevertheless, offering an entire degree raises new issues—curriculum issues for the department and other issues that cannot be resolved within our own department.
“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”
Moffett, G., & Hall, T. (2001, June), Delivering Electronics Engineering Technology Courses On The Web Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9074
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