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Faculty and Student Perceptions of Online Learning in Engineering Education

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Online Learning

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.630.1 - 25.630.20



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Paper Authors


Lance Kinney P.E. University of Texas, Austin

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Lance Kinney, P.E., is a doctoral student in learning technologies at the University of Texas, Austin. His area of interest is distance education in engineering at the undergraduate and graduate level. He has experience as an instructor in engineering and technology at Texas State University and Austin Community College. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas, and is currently the Executive Director of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.

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Min Liu University of Texas, Austin

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Min Liu is professor of learning technologies in the College of Education. She is the Program Coordinator and Graduate Advisor for the Learning Technologies Program. She develops and teaches graduate courses on new media design, production, and research. Her research interests center on educational uses of new media and other emerging technologies, particularly the impact of such technologies on teaching and learning, and the design of new media enriched interactive learning environments for learners at all age levels. She has published in leading educational technology research journals and presents regularly at national and international technology conferences. She also serves on a number of editorial boards for research journals in the field of technology.

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Mitchell A. Thornton Ph.D., P.E. Southern Methodist University

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Mitch Thornton is a professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and also Electrical Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Thornton has six years of industrial experience and 16 years of academic experience. He is a member of the IEEE and ACM. He also serves as a subject matter expert for NCEES and has participated in various roles in the construction of the P.E. examination since 1997. An advocate of distance education, Thornton has offered distance classes in various forms since 1999 and is actively pursuing new ways to take advantage of this learning environment.

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Faculty and Student Perceptions Of Online Learning in Engineering EducationDistance education programs at the university level have been rapidly expanding.Studies have shown that the penetration of online courses is generally equal in mostdisciplines except for engineering. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and otherresearch indicate that attitudes and perceptions are critical to the acceptance of newtechnology. Therefore, an exploratory study was conducted to investigate engineeringfaculty and student perceptions of the effectiveness of courses delivered online as well asspecific technologies used in current online course delivery. A convenience sample ofstudents and faculty involved in online engineering courses from three universities in thesouthern United States were surveyed. Analysis of the survey results show faculty andstudents agree technical subjects can be effectively delivered via online methods,effective communication is a concern, and engineering labs are a hurdle to effectivelydelivering engineering education online. Sample of ReferencesAllen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2006). "Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006."Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2008). "Staying the Course - Online Education in the United States 2008."Davis, F. D. (1989). "Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology." MIS Quarterly 13(3): 319-340.Grose, T. K. (2003). "Can Distance Education Be Unlocked?" ASEE Prism, 12(8): 18-23.Landry, B. J. L., Griffeth, R., & Hartman, S. (2006). "Measuring Student Perceptions of Blackboard Using the Technology Acceptance Model." Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education 4(1): 87-99.Lee, J. S., Cho, H., Gay, G., Davidson, B., & Ingraffea, A. (2003). Technology Acceptance and Social Networking in Distance Learning. Educational Technology & Society, 6(2), 50-61.Osborne, R. E., Kriese, P., Tobey, H., & Johnson, E. (2009). "And Never the Two Shall Meet?: Student vs. Faculty Perceptions of Online Courses." Journal of Educational Computing Research 40(2): 171-182.Parsad, B. and Lewis, L. (2008). "Distance Education at degree-granting postsecondary institutions: 2006-2007. First Look." (NCES 2009-044).Tabata, L. & Johnsrud, L. (2008). "The Impact of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology, Distance Education, and Innovation." Research in Higher Education 49(7): 625- 646.Venkatesh, V. & Davis, F. D. (2000). "A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: Four longitudinal field studies." Management Science 46(2): 186-204.

Kinney, L., & Liu, M., & Thornton, M. A. (2012, June), Faculty and Student Perceptions of Online Learning in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21387

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