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Development And Implementation Of A Balanced Scorecard For Engineering Distance Learning Programs At Virginia Tech

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Methods & Techniques in Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.501.1 - 12.501.12



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Paper Authors


Sasima Thongsamak Virginia Tech

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Sasima Thongsamak is a Ph.D, student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech with expected graduation date of June 2007. Her research is to examine the effects of incentives on construction risk perception and risk-taking behavior of people from different cultures. Thongsamak received her MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2002; her BS in Industrial Engineering from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand in 2000.

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Glenda Scales Virginia Tech

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Glenda R. Scales, Associate Dean for Distance Learning and Computing, and Director of International Programs, College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Scales received her Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, 1995, Virginia Tech; MS in Applied Behavioral Science, 1992, John Hopkins University; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 1985, Old Dominion University.

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Cheryl Peed Virginia Tech

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Cheryl A. Peed, Assistant Director of International and Distance Learning Programs, College of Engineering. Mrs. Peed received her BGS in Education from the University of South Carolina and has 10 years of teaching experience in the public school system. She has worked in the field of engineering for the past 20 years. She has graduate work in Education.

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

Development and Implementation of a Balanced Scorecard for Engineering Distance Learning Programs

Abstract For more than twenty years, engineering distance learning programs have provided post- baccalaureate education for working engineers and scientists. The programs are offered in various engineering disciplines that include civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering. State of the art technology that includes interactive videoconferencing and online delivery methods are used to deliver classes to students. The programs did not have a performance indicator to help monitor and evaluate its performance. The Office of Distance Learning and Computing (ODLC) took the initiative to develop a balanced scorecard as a tool to monitor and indicate the performance of the programs. The initiative was driven by the continuous improvement process for one of its distance learning programs, the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). After successfully developing and implementing a balance scorecard for CGEP, ODLC expanded the balance scorecard to incorporate all its distance learning programs including Master’s of Information Technology (MIT) program, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) program, and School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES) program. This paper reviews development, implementation, and maintenance phases of the balance scorecard. Guidelines and lessons learned throughout these processes are presented. The process of selecting a software program to help maintain the balance scorecard is discussed.

Introduction Balanced scorecard was first introduced in the early 1990s by Dr. Robert Kaplan of Harvard Business School and Dr. David Norton, a president of a Massachusetts consulting firm. Balanced scorecard is a tool that “translates an organization's mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provides the framework for a strategic measurement and management system”.1 The balanced scorecard has replaced the traditional performance measurements that only concentrate on financial and accounting measures. These traditional measures fail to address many issues that businesses should be concerned with and fail to monitor multiple dimensions of performance.2 Traditional measures provide insufficient and distractive reports for managers to use to make decisions. Numerous studies indicate the limitations and ineffectiveness of the traditional financial performance measures. Kaplan and Norton3 pointed out that financial measures only focus on the past and are unable to reflect current value-added actions. Financial measures fail to include other critical factors such as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and the quality of products or services.4 Financial measures only represent one perspective of an organization’s performance and focus only on the short term goal.5 On the other hand, the balanced scorecard measures four perspectives of the organizations. The four balanced scorecard perspectives are customers, internal process, learning and growth, and financial.1 The balanced scorecard helps translate mission, vision statements, and the organization’s strategy which are in words to measurements that help clarify and communicate the direction of the organization to all of its members.6

The Balanced Scorecard Detail of the four balanced scorecard perspectives are presented below:1,3 1. Customer perspective: How do customers see us?

Thongsamak, S., & Scales, G., & Peed, C. (2007, June), Development And Implementation Of A Balanced Scorecard For Engineering Distance Learning Programs At Virginia Tech Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1889

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