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Distance Learning In Architectural Engineering: An Inter Institutional Case Study

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.220.1 - 3.220.9



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Paper Authors

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Walter Vincent

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Nipha P. Kumar

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Craig A. Bernecker

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

Session 3206

Distance Learning in Architectural Engineering: An Inter-Institutional Case Study

Craig A. Bernecker, Ph.D., FIES, Walter Vincent, and Nipha P. Kumar Penn State University/Tennessee State University

Higher education is undergoing profound changes nationally and globally due to current demographic, social, economic, and technological changes. These include declining enrollments1, increasing costs, rapidly changing technical tools and information, and new types of students with new needs and varied learning styles2, 3. Simultaneously, digital telecommunications and computing technologies are converging to create a unified communications environment with implications for work, home, and education.

Taken together, these conditions have created a need for innovative approaches to curriculum design and content, as well as instructional delivery. Currently, the most powerful force for meeting this need appears to be the rapidly advancing field of distance education or what is often also referred to as distance learning.

Distance learning is becoming an increasingly viable means to deliver formal education to geographically diverse groups. It is also appropriate when education in specialized disciplines is offered at a select few institutions and faculty expertise and resources are limited. The discipline of architectural engineering appears to meet these criteria. This paper reports on an effort to formalize an approach to distance learning for architectural engineering. In particular, it describes an effort of institutional cooperation in distance education: taking advantage of a specialized expertise in illumination engineering at one institution to deliver education cooperatively to students at two institutions simultaneously. The paper examines the different types of distance learning and the issues that need to be addressed to apply distance learning to illumination engineering and architectural engineering education, explores available tools and technologies for distance learning, and describes the process of creating an inter-institutional distance learning offering. Examples of each distance learning technology implemented for the course are included in the paper. The paper also compares the relative performance of students as either resident or distance students against a baseline evaluation conducted at the beginning of the course. The objective of the paper is to offer a model for distance learning in lighting and architectural engineering that might be adapted for other offerings.

Defining Distance Education/Learning What is distance education/learning? A simple, albeit redundant, definition offered by Shale4 describes distance education as education that takes place at a distance. This attribute of physical distance is the key variable most often associated with distance education course development. 'Noncontiguous' is the word that Shaba5 uses to describe this physical separation between instructor and learner. However, as one becomes more involved in designing instruction in a distance environment, other pedagogical issues emerge. Should distance course work development, as Keegan6 suggests, attempt to 're-create' the face-to-face teaching and learning

Vincent, W., & Kumar, N. P., & Bernecker, C. A. (1998, June), Distance Learning In Architectural Engineering: An Inter Institutional Case Study Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7053

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