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Development Of A Fully Online Course In Engineering Economic Analysis

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Web-Based Instruction

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.429.1 - 9.429.9

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Mukasa Ssemakula

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

Session 3549

Development of a Fully Online Course in Engineering Economic Analysis

Mukasa E. Ssemakula

Division of Engineering Technology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202.


A variety of social, economic and technological factors are converging to create increased demand for online and long distance education. This demand is in turn transforming how knowledge is delivered to students. New technologies are emerging to help address this need. From the instructor’s perspective, this presents a challenge to keep abreast with the technologies and to adapt the nature and style of delivery of the course content itself to the new medium of delivery. This paper describes the process that was followed in transforming a traditional course in Engineering Economic Analysis, formerly delivered with the traditional chalk-and-board method, for delivery as an interactive fully online course. The issues discussed include the instructor’s familiarization with the new technology, preparation of new course materials and visual aids, and incorporation of computer-based tools to enhance student understanding. The paper also discusses the administrative procedures that were put in place to ensure smooth running of the course and create a positive learning experience for students.

1. Introduction

Enormous challenges face today's institutions of higher education, with a need to reduce costs, improve access, and cater to a changing population demographic. This societal change promises to have a profound impact on the traditional university. The responses to this challenge have been quite varied, including a wide range of approaches to distance education 1-3. This paper is not an attempt to evaluate the relative merits or otherwise of the various approaches, but rather focuses on experience with one approach - specifically, fully online distance education.

The traditional approach to higher education involves a cohort of students coming together at a specified time and location in a formal classroom setting to meet with an instructor. Knowledge is transferred from the instructor to the students in a lecture format in which the students are mostly passive recipients of knowledge. The emergence of new educational technologies, especially online distance education, is seriously challenging this traditional model 4. In many cases, time, location or cost constraints on either the student or the educational institution (or both), mean that the traditional approach is not viable and alternative methods have to be applied. To reach non-traditional students more conveniently, our university has established a

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education.

Ssemakula, M. (2004, June), Development Of A Fully Online Course In Engineering Economic Analysis Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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