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Improving Student Learning in Distance-based Graduate Programs: A Residency Live Case Course

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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

Capstone and Design Projects in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.751.1 - 25.751.13



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Paper Authors

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Bimal P. Nepal Texas A&M University

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Ismail Capar Texas A&M University

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Barry Lawrence Texas A&M University

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Improving student learning in distance based graduate program: a  case of residency course Abstract: Distance  based  programs  are  growing  rapidly  over  the  past  two  decades.  The  growing  market  for distance based programs can be attributed to the globalized competition in the labor market, as well as the widespread availability of Internet access. Prior studies show that the online based degree programs are increasing at a pace of 40% annually, generating billions of dollars for the universities and the other institutes  of  higher  learning.  These  programs  have  now  expanded  beyond  traditional  distance  based disciplines  such  as  liberal  arts  and  business  schools  to  technical  programs  like  engineering  and technologies.  While  the  growth  in  distance  based  education  has  created  a  new  opportunity  for  the educational  institutes,  it  has  also  brought  up  new  challenges  in  providing  the  same  level  of  learning experience to the online students as that to the traditional in‐class students.  In this paper, we present a case study of distance based graduate program in Engineering Technology and  Industrial  Distribution  department.  It  primarily  focuses  on  a  week‐long  project‐based  residency course. During the week, students work on a company‐sponsored real world project. At the end of the week the students present their analysis and results to faculty and industry executives based on which their performance is measured. In the paper, we first briefly describe the objectives, learning outcomes, and schedule of the course. Next, we present a case study of one animal health care distribution firm, which  was  used  for  2011  class.    The  case  study  provides  the  problem  statements,  analysis methodologies, and the important results. The  case study firm  has already implemented  a part of the recommendations. The paper also presents a survey of the residency class over the past four years with respect to its contribution to student learning. Our results show that the project based course enhances student learning better than the traditional topical based learning.   

Nepal, B. P., & Capar, I., & Lawrence, B. (2012, June), Improving Student Learning in Distance-based Graduate Programs: A Residency Live Case Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21508

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