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International Aspects Of Communication Technologies As A Tool For Learning

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Educating Graduates in Engineering For A Flat World

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.948.1 - 12.948.11



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Paper Authors


Sofia Vidalis Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Vidalis is an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at Penn State Capital College in Harrisburg, PA. She earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She has worked with Florida Design Consultants for a couple years as a Transportation Engineer. Her current research focuses on quality assurance in pavement construction and materials, construction management, and transportation planning and operations.

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Iordanis Petsas University of Scranton

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Dr. Petsas is an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Scranton. He earned his B.A. in Economics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, followed by a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Florida. His current research examines the effects of General Purpose Technologies on growth and trade. Professor Petsas teaches International Economics, International Business, and Current Economic Issues.

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Fazil Najafi University of Florida

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Dr. Najafi is a professor of Civil and Coastal Engineering at the University of Florida. He earned his BSCE from the American College of Engineering, Kabul, Afghanistan, and his BSAE, MS, and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has worked for 35 years in government, industry, and education. Besides teaching during the last 14 years, Dr. Najafi has conducted research, has been a participating member of several professional societies including ASEE, has published numerous refereed and non-refereed articles, and has presented many technical papers to international, national and local organizations.

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

International Aspects of Communication Technologies as a Tool for Learning


There is a belief in the education community that the traditional teaching-learning models do not scale to meet the new challenges created by emerging technologies in every nation. Educational institutions are looking for ways to reach students when faced with increased competitions, shifting demographics, and delivering education to isolated areas. One way this problem has been tackled is through communications technologies as a mean to enhance flexible delivery and student learning on-line. As Internet has become a way of life, web-based educational course management systems have become popular.

WebCT, BlackBoard, and ANGEL are among few popular learning web-based tools. These tools enable faculty to post documents and files, securely post grades, track students’ activities, interact with their students through e-mail and instant messaging. In addition, students can also use these tools to engage in group work and collaboration, online note-taking, take practice quizzes with immediate feedback, keep up progress tracking, and constant access to grade information at the instructor’s discretion. The focus of these web-based tools is to aid instructors develop meaningful learning experiences and improve learning outcomes which will aid students in their course.

The objective of this paper is to present the advantages and disadvantages of these three common types of computerized tools used on-line in reaching customers and institutions of higher learning around the world. Moreover, this paper will help individual faculty members and instructional designers who are considering course management systems. The results of this study indicated that using these web-based tools assisted both distance and on-campus students and their learning levels are comparable.


When the World Wide Web was launched in 1991, there was a surge of interest in the possibilities of electronic leaning (or e-learning). The use of the Web as an educational medium was just the beginning and today electronic learning offers online degree programs and online courses, for both on and off campus courses 1. This has allowed an access to education that can be always expanded and has also impacted student enrollment throughout many universities. Today, instructors around the world are being encouraged to utilize alternative and flexible delivery methods within a number of universities in North America and in other countries.

In North America, virtually every institution of higher education conducts some form of e- learning. Australia has adopted e-learning technology on a broad scale to bridge the distances separating its population centers. In addition, UK, Europe, and Japan are steady adopters, while interest is continuing to grow in many other regions around the world 2.

This paper will evaluate three learning management systems (LMS): WebCT, Blackboard, and a new global environment for learning (ANGEL). Each LMS program is based on the ability to

Vidalis, S., & Petsas, I., & Najafi, F. (2007, June), International Aspects Of Communication Technologies As A Tool For Learning Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2591

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