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The Use of Webex and Adobe ConnectPro to Teach EET Courses in Various Scenarios and the Challenges and Opportunities that these Technologies Present in Course Delivery

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Multimedia and Distance Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1511.1 - 22.1511.11



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Paper Authors


Judith R. Pearse University of Maine

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Judith “Jude” Pearse is a registered professional engineer in the state of Maine and an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) at the University of Maine. Judith has been a member of the UMaine community for several years, having received her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1986 and her Master of Science in EE in 1996. Additionally, Judith served as a Teaching Associate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from 1990 to 1995, where she taught introductory courses and co-directed the NSF-sponsored Young Scholars Program. Her most recent service to the University began in 2001, when she began teaching in the EET Program. Her technical courses include Digital Systems, Programmable Logic Controllers, and DC/AC Circuit Analysis, but her strength lies in teaching the more humanistic side of engineering in Introduction to EET and Project Management. Her student evaluations earned her the University of Maine’s Presidential Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 2010 and the College of Engineering’s Early Career Teaching Award in 1995. Prior to 2001, Judith held several engineering and project management positions throughout Maine, including: Project Engineer at Bath Iron Works; Project Management Consultant at Bowdoin College; and Vice President of Client and Technical Services at Animated Images in Camden. Judith has also performed computer networking, training, and project management as services offered by her company, Robash Unlimited, established in 1989. Judith lives in Hope, Maine, with her husband, Tim, and nine-year-old son, Joshua.

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Challenges and Opportunities of Distance Learning Using Adobe ConnectPro and WebexAbstractWhen faced with the challenges of a long commute combined with treatment for a seriousillness, this author turned to the use of internet-based technology to present course material. Asan advocate for a highly interactive classroom, doubts surfaced as to the potential success ofteaching “outside the classroom,” with little or no face-to-face time with students. Beyond thestandard means of one-way communication (e.g., email, FirstClass, BlackBoard), what wasdesired was a truer classroom feel – with two-way, real-time interaction between the instructorand students. What resulted was an experimental course delivery mechanism using Cisco’sWebEx. For an entire semester, two courses were delivered from the author’s home office to alarge room equipped with two inexpensive webcams. Student assessments are provided to showthe relative success of these courses, despite the early challenges of the technology. Of particularnote were the assessments from students who used English as a second language whocommented favorably about session recordings; because they were able to rewind and play eachclass back, they found note-taking and material comprehension greatly enhanced.Additionally, when a course in Alternative Energy was proposed for the fall semester, a largeresponse was immediately generated from Professional Engineers throughout the State of Mainewho needed to complete Professional Development Hours (PDHs) toward license renewal. Byrecognizing how a need for public outreach might be met by such a course, a similar internet-based course delivery system, Adobe ConnectPro, was utilized to teach both in-class studentsand others across the country. This paper focuses on the use of these two media to create anenhanced environment for off-campus online participants. It also focuses on the challenges facedwhile teaching in such an environment and the potential opportunities it presents.

Pearse, J. R. (2011, June), The Use of Webex and Adobe ConnectPro to Teach EET Courses in Various Scenarios and the Challenges and Opportunities that these Technologies Present in Course Delivery Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18620

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