June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.832.1 - 8.832.12
Maintaining Accreditation of an Accredited Program After Addition of A Distance Learning Degree Option
Cyrus k. Hagigat Engineering Technology Department College of Engineering The University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390
Each accreditation commission and/or board has established definitions of what activities constitute a substantive change that will require a review of accreditation of an existing accredited degree program. The offering of a complete and/or partial distance learning option of an existing degree program can affect the educational goals, intended student population, curriculum and modes of instruction, and thus constitutes a substantive change to the program.
To maintain accreditation of a program with any type of a distance learning option, strategies must be employed to ensure that the distance learning courses are the equivalent of those taught in the traditional classroom. There is, however, the recognition that there are many areas in which the usual techniques of doing things for a traditional classroom are not necessarily appropriate within the context of a distance learning course. Therefore, the strategies must assure alignment with academic standards in such areas as course development, faculty training, student services, learning resources, infrastructure, and outcome assessment.
Maintaining equivalency between traditional and distance learning courses become particularly challenging when the courses contain laboratory components. It may be practical to provide online laboratory experiments involving purely software activities. Examples of software oriented activities may include remote access to servers for network analysis, and remote configuration of switches and routers for configuring a wide area network scenario, simulating electronic circuits, simulating thermal systems, simulating fluid systems or developing computer programs using a compiler such as Visual Basic. However, laboratory experiments involving hardware, such as adding network interface cards to a computer, wiring of a local area network or modifying and repairing of computers, building and testing of electronic circuits and setting up and testing of thermal and fluid systems cannot be done online.
In this article, summaries of accreditation criteria for engineering technology and computer science programs, and accreditation criteria for institutions are presented. The summaries are then followed by discussions of how the accreditation criteria are affected by introduction of distance learning classes. Discussions of techniques for meeting the accreditation criteria influenced by offering of distance learning classes are presented.
Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education
Hagigat, C. (2003, June), Maintaining Accreditation Of An Accredited Program After Addition Of A Distance Learning Degree Option Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12510
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