St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.296.1 - 5.296.11
FAMU-FSU M.S.M.E. Online Program L. van Dommelen, N. Chandra, Y. Haik FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
This paper describes the adaptation of a master’s degree program so that the degree can be obtained by taking all the courses over the Internet. The degree program is Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. A distinguishing feature of the adaptation is that it attempts to approximate the live classroom experience as closely as possible. This paper reviews, near the end of the first semester in which the required M.S. core classes have been offered live over the web, our motivation and experiences. Despite some minor drawbacks, the program is judged successful and will be made available to all eligible students worldwide starting Fall 2000.
Teaching is not just a matter of providing factual information, exercises, and tests. Although hard to quantify, social issues can be very important for students, for example: personal interactions with instructors and fellow students, (both of which may provide benefits such as comfort, reassurance, and some feeling of control); the advantages and pressures of belonging to a group; humor and unexpected events that liven up the classroom experience. The recent explosion of the Internet has started to make it possible to offer a classroom experience to remote students at a level of interaction far beyond what could previously be done with correspondence courses.
Recognizing this opportunity, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is converting their M.S.M.E. degree so that it can be taken completely over the World Wide Web from anywhere in the world. Our program has five main features: (a) Full integration of the online students as normal students in our existing classes; (b) Emphasis on encouraging personal relationships; (c) Robustness; (d) Standard, generic software; and (e) Enhanced education for the local as well as online students.
Full integration of the online students in the program means, among others, that online students follow the class as much as possible according to the same schedule as the local students. We do not know of any other program that emphasizes this critical and novel aspect of distance education. The students are requested to follow the lectures live, and are required to comply with the same due dates for homework and exam times as the local students. This approach will obviously not be ideal for every student, since it represents some loss of flexibility compared to most distance education. We designed the program based on our conviction that it will be of benefit to many students. It can provide a more structured and more personal approach that is of advantage to both the students and the faculty. Aside from social factors such as the ones mentioned above, the students (and their employers) must commit themselves firmly to definite class and exam times, due dates for homework and exams, and so on. We believe such
Van Dommelen, L. L., & Haik, Y., & Chandra, N. (2000, June), Famu Fsu Msme Online Program Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8379
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