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Role Of On Site Facilitation In Delivering Statewide Engineering Education

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.379.1 - 1.379.8



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Paper Authors

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Steven Beyerlein

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John Law

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Donald M. Blacketter

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Herbert Hess

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

Session 2358

Role of On-site Facilitation in Delivering Statewide Engineering Education

Steven Beyerlein Herbert L. Hess Donald M. Blacketter John Law College of Engineering University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho


Engineering instruction at a distance can be enriched through the efforts of an on- site facilitator. Responsibilities of the facilitator include documenting classroom activities, summarizing key points, prompting student questions, coordinating group exercises, consulting on homework problems, and providing real-time feedback to the primary instructor. On-site facilitation requires less effort than offering an independent course and is a tremendous vehicle for faculty development. This model has been successfully used in conjunction with courses in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Idaho.


In the past two years, industry demand encouraged the University of Idaho to extend much of the capabilities of its engineering college from the main Moscow campus into the Boise area 500 km away. In doing this, industry wanted the university to establish itself quickly but insure consistency in instruction and evaluation at each location.[1,2,3] One of the University of Idaho's strengths has been its individual and small group, face-to-face approach to learning. Unfortunately, completely duplicating this approach for every aspect of the engineering curriculum at a distance was not financially possible. More efficient means of extending the resources of the Moscow campus had to be developed.[4,5,6]

To meet this challenge, the University of Idaho was able to build on its Engineering Video Outreach program which has been in place since 1975. Through this program, the university has offered individualized videotape instruction to nearly 1000 graduate students worldwide. To meet its engineering education responsibilities around the state, the university began to explore interactive ways to extend this video instruction capability to undergraduate students. The first step was to use the existing Public Broadcasting System (PBS) microwave link to simultaneously connect classes in Boise and Moscow. The second step was to install a two-way compressed video system.

Experience soon indicated that teaching a course with a single instructor at one location and students at both locations was less than optimal. While student performance was comparable at both campuses, summative course evaluations were consistently lower

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Beyerlein, S., & Law, J., & Blacketter, D. M., & Hess, H. (1996, June), Role Of On Site Facilitation In Delivering Statewide Engineering Education Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6274

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