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Selecting Communications Technology For Delivering Continuing Professional Education (Cpe) Programs

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.457.1 - 4.457.4

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Peter J. Graybash

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

Session 2522

Selecting Communications Technology for Delivering Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs

Peter J. Graybash, Jr. Pennsylvania State University


Ideally, Continuing Professional Education (CPE) helps us enrich careers by providing access to new information that enhances competence and opportunity1, but simply providing that information is only part of the equation. Clearly, how information is delivered has as strong an effect on individual success as what is delivered. This paper investigates a proposed study of how Continuing Professional Engineering Educators (CPEE) chose technologies for delivering employee education in high-technology industries, most particularly how or if they integrate human considerations in that decision. Awareness of these issues is critical to a successful instructional design and a supportive learning environment. Understanding human considerations heightens understanding of learner attitude À how, for example, a specific medium affects oneÀs ability to learn and the degree of acceptance or resistance one invests in the process. Sadly, the importance of such human elements is often minimized or ignored. The quality of decisions improves dramatically when human elements are considered, and consequently enhances the learning process.

I. Introduction

For many, the ÀInformation AgeÀ arrived in the blink of an eye, accompanied by unparalleled advances in information technology. Accommodating this rapidly evolving world is a considerable challenge for those seeking to enhance their value as employees and expand their horizons as individuals. Heightened competition with growing numbers of increasingly sophisticated fellow ÀexpertsÀ has affected virtually every profession but is especially critical in engineering, where knowledge has a generally accepted five-year half-life.

Humans learn in different ways, with different attitudes and motivations. Malcolm Knowles refined the art and science of teaching adults into Àandragogy,À a lifelong process of continuing inquiry2. CPE is part of andragogyÀs evolution. It helps adults satisfy life needs and achieve life goals, but what is the most effective way to teach and learn in this context?

In recent years, communications technology (teleconferencing and multiple conferencing, for example) has been used extensively and enthusiastically. Although advanced technology is often equated with ÀgoodnessÀ and generally assumed to be an improvement, the effectiveness of such systems has not been studied, especially troublesome since industry managers tend to express dissatisfaction with continuing education programs.

When decision-makers consider certain communication technologies, they focus largely on technical issues, rarely or only marginally considering non-technical elements that strongly

Graybash, P. J. (1999, June), Selecting Communications Technology For Delivering Continuing Professional Education (Cpe) Programs Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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