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Strategies for Effective Online Course Development

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Capstone and Online Courses in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1105.1 - 24.1105.7



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Paper Authors


Carol L. Considine Old Dominion University

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Carol Considine is an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. She has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. She has fifteen years of industrial experience and is a LEED AP BD+C. Her area of specialization is construction. She has been teaching using distance learning technologies for fourteen years

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Michael W. Seek Old Dominion University


Jon Lester Old Dominion University

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Jonathan M. Lester is recognized regionally for his excellent reputation as both an educator and consulting Professional Engineer. He has served as a Lecturer for three years and as an Adjunct Professor for five previous semesters. His teaching contributions span a wide range of subjects from introductory courses, to required intermediate and upper level design electives. He has brought practical applications from consulting design and construction to the classroom that students’ have found invaluable upon graduating. Serving as Experiential Learning Option advisor for multiple students’ portfolios, Dr. Lester has successfully evaluated proposals from past work experience to grant course credit for distance students. He has served as the Civil-Site design option evaluator for Senior Design projects each semester as part of his normal teaching responsibilities. Dr. Lester has developed new courses in Civil Engineering Technology to better distribute the student load in Fluid Mechanics and the accompanying laboratory.
Dr. Lester has also taught the Professional Engineering preparation courses through the ODU Business Gateway. Dr. Lester has embarked upon the initial asynchronous modality course development and was instrumental in promoting the program forward with this initiative with the Center for Learning and Teaching. He has developed an asynchronous course for Fundamentals of Building Construction and will develop several other courses in the future.
Dr. Lester has over ten years’ experience in the design and construction of general civil engineering projects in the Hampton Roads area. Consulting assignments have included wastewater collection projects as well as potable water distribution, utility rehabilitation and relocation projects, and storm water projects. He specifically has experience with sewer pumping stations; gravity sewer interceptors; water and wastewater treatment plants. Among his past project assignments are annual engineering services contracts with the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Radford, and Salem, VA.
He is a Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and serves on the Virginia Water Environment Federation Stormwater Committee. He embodies the ‘Citizen Soldier’ concept that was instilled during his undergraduate studies at Virginia Military Institute, having served as a Marine Corps Reserve officer in addition to both his academic and professional endeavors for over twenty years.

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Strategies for Effective Online Course DevelopmentA southeastern civil engineering technology program has a successful history of distanceeducation, with more than half of the student population comprised of distance learners.Distance learning delivery has traditionally been via satellite and video-streaming with studentshaving the choice of asynchronous or synchronous options. The university is in the process ofupdating their distance learning technologies and has encouraged programs to migrate to anonline modality of distance learning. Developing and delivering online courses requiresdifferent competencies and facilitation skills than video streamed synchronous delivery or face toface instruction. A course delivered online changes the teaching and learning dynamics.Courses must be learner-centered with a learning environment that addresses the new roles of thestudent and instructor. The instructor needs to get to know the students, and empower studentsto manage their learning experience while creating an online community among the students.The instructor takes on the role of a facilitator of learning, and students must take a more activerole in the learning process. Students must be self-motivated, self-disciplined and willing to takeownership of their learning. The course content and layout are critical to student engagementand interaction with the instructor, the material and other students which plays a significant rolestudent success. Online courses must be developed for longevity, separated from a text that canbe revised a year after the online course is launched. Course modules, focused on course topics,should use multiple resources, readings, mini-lectures, assignments, online quizzes, discussionboards, web links, etc., to achieve learning outcomes. The course site should be easy to use andnavigate and include areas for course content as well as social engagement and discussions, usedto encourage interaction and community building. As more programs move to online courses,understanding effective strategies for planning, designing and facilitating these courses becomescritical to success.

Considine, C. L., & Seek, M. W., & Lester, J. (2014, June), Strategies for Effective Online Course Development Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23038

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