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Use of Technology to Assist and Assess Distance Students in Integrated Electrical Engineering Courses

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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

Distance and Web-based Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1599.1 - 22.1599.10



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Paper Authors


Dale N. Buechler University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin Teaching Fellow, 2009 - 2010. Electrical Engineering Assessment Chair, 2008 - Present. ASEE Mathematics Division
Chair, 2006 - 2007. ASEE Mathematics Division Program Chair. 2005 - 2006.

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Phil J. Sealy University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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John Goomey University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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U of Technology to A se ssist and Assess D istance Students in Integrated Electrical Engineering C oursesOur university system has been attempting to make undergraduate education more accessible tonontraditional students through distance education. As part of this plan, our department beganoffering their electrical engineering (EE) program in the fall of 2008 to students located at all thetwo-year schools within the state system. This distance program allows place-bound students tocomplete their entire four-year program on a part-time basis at the two-year school. Theelectrical-engineering faculty have been trained in the best practices for distance education andhave utilized technology to create office hours for remote students which are essentiallyequivalent to face-to-face office hours.One of the strengths of our electrical engineering program has been that all but one of ourcourses has had an integrated laboratory component. In addition, most courses have requiredsignificant design projects. Distance students to date have completed their labs at their localtwo-year school instead of traveling across the state to main campus. Lab instructors have beenhired to provide equipment and lab support for these courses. This lab approach with an on-sitelab instructor has been serviceable for “cookbook” type laboratories, where all the instructionsare provided, and low-level design projects.Alternative approaches have been investigated for use with higher-level laboratories and designprojects. Technology has been selected to assist students in trouble-shooting their laboratoryprojects and to assist them with design-related questions. Techniques have been developed toallow instructors to remotely assess understanding of laboratory concepts and completion ofproject requirements. These techniques have been tested with students in core courses to allowinstructors to assess student lab work and to obtain student feedback. Best practices arediscussed.

Buechler, D. N., & Sealy, P. J., & Goomey, J. (2011, June), Use of Technology to Assist and Assess Distance Students in Integrated Electrical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18551

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