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Online Engineering Education: A Comprehensive Review

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ECE Online Courses, Labs, and Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.973.1 - 10.973.10

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Paper Authors

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Rasha Morsi

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Wael Ibrahim

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

Online Engineering Education: A Comprehensive Review

Wael Ibrahim, Rasha Morsi

ECPI College of Technology/Norfolk State University


Development and assessment of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning curricula is an ever growing research due to the new emerging virtual universities. Recent reports confirm the fast growth in online education at an even higher rate than anticipated by educational institutions. The suitability of online learning to engineering disciplines however has been questioned. This paper researches online degree granting institutions and attempts to gain an insight in the growth of online education and its correlation with engineering disciplines. An investigation of educational web sites of 126 educational institutions that offer an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree is used to provide information on whether or not this fast growth in online education is a representative of growth of online engineering disciplines. A comparison of different delivery methods for the online environment is presented as well as a review of different systems for offering electrical, electronics, and digital laboratories via distance learning is presented.


Distance learning or distance education is a term used extensively by colleges and universities to describe remote delivery of course contents. It usually refers to off-campus sites, web-facilitated courses, and web-based (online) courses. Development and assessment of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning curricula has gained a large momentum due to the new emerging virtual universities. It has been argued that the ease of transfer of different disciplines from on- campus teaching to online teaching is discipline dependent. In engineering disciplines, laboratory experiments always served as the tool for relating the theoretical world to the real one. Other disciplines on the other hand do not necessarily require extensive hands-on labs. Practical or hands-on experiments delivered in traditional laboratory settings are now delivered through simulation software. Even though simulation is needed to reinforce concepts, practical experiments develop the student’s skills in dealing with the real instrumentation. To facilitate online education for engineering disciplines, virtual labs have emerged to give the students the practical experience.

The results of the Sloan survey of online learning1 show that the growth rate for online enrollment continues to increase from 2003 to 2004. The survey results1, classified by type of institution, show that the Associates degree granting institutions have the largest number of students taking at least one online course, representing about half of all the students studying online. Associates schools are followed, in order, by Masters, Doctoral/Research, Specialized, “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Morsi, R., & Ibrahim, W. (2005, June), Online Engineering Education: A Comprehensive Review Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015