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Using Information Technology To Offer Undergraduate Distance Engineering Degree Programs Online

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

ECE Online Courses, Labs and Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1377.1 - 9.1377.15



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Paper Authors

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Tim McCartney

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Lynette Krenelka

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John Watson

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Dara Faul

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Hossein Salehfar

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Arnold Johnson

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

Session 2432

Using Infor mation Technology To Offer Under gr aduate Distance Engineer ing Degr ee Pr ogr ams On-Line

Hossein Salehfar , J ohn Watson, Ar nold J ohnson School of Engineer ing and Mines

Lynette Kr enelka, Tim McCar tney, and Dar a Faul Division of Continuing Education

Univer sity of Nor th Dakota Gr and For ks, ND 58202 U.S.A


As information technology is evolving, distance education is becoming increasingly important to the mission of many schools of higher education. As a result, non-traditional students now have enhanced opportunities in many academic fields, including engineering. In 1989 the School of Engineering and Mines (SEM) at the University of North Dakota (UND) established a distance education program to deliver Bachelor of Science engineering degrees to employees of participating companies. This program has recently expanded into open enrollments and is offered to diverse and geographically remote students. The program is now called the Distance Engineering Degree Program (DEDP) and it includes the Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical and Civil Engineering disciplines. DEDP offers the only ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited undergraduate engineering program at a distance. Since its inception, the DEDP delivery mechanism has evolved through a number of enhancements to keep pace with advances in information technology and improved distance learning and teaching methods.

The first generation of DEDP course delivery method included conventional videotaped lectures, static Internet Web pages of handouts, e-mail, and on-campus condensed summer laboratories. Major limitations of this delivery format included an inherent delay in delivering the videotapes to the students and the asynchronous problems associated with faculty handling on-campus and distance students in the same class. To eliminate this delay in the lecture delivery times and to provide an optimal delivery method, the authors have tested and examined various ways to utilize the power of the Web to synchronize and to better integrate the DEDP students’ learning activities with those of their on-campus peers. Using a combination of digital recording tablets, video cameras, white boards, and streaming servers, all of UND’s DEDP courses are now offered on-line through streaming video and/or downloadable files. The audio, whiteboard, computer and video outputs from a course are condensed into a RealOne Player file that is placed on the Internet within hours and can be accessed with minimal Internet connectivity. With the new format in place, the quality of the lectures and course material presentations has improved tremendously. The recording and delivery mechanism is transparent, is adaptive to different teaching styles, and is widely accepted by the faculty. The new delivery mechanism has proved to be cost effective through the use of readily available software and hardware components. The students’ response and feedback to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

McCartney, T., & Krenelka, L., & Watson, J., & Faul, D., & Salehfar, H., & Johnson, A. (2004, June), Using Information Technology To Offer Undergraduate Distance Engineering Degree Programs Online Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13007

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