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Utilizing Distance Learning Technology To Deliver A Graduate Program In Engineering Management To Working Professionals

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Program Delivery Methods & Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1269.1 - 8.1269.11



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Paper Authors

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Eldon Larsen

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Betsy Dulin

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

Session 2542

Utilizing Distance Learning Technology to Deliver a Graduate Program in Engineering Management to Working Professionals

Betsy Ennis Dulin, Eldon Larsen, William Crockett Marshall University College of Information Technology and Engineering


Delivering an innovative graduate program in engineering management to a student body consisting almost entirely of working professionals can be challenging, especially when students are geographically remote from each other and from the main campus. Distance learning methods and technologies can be helpful in bridging this gap and making the program more accessible to a larger group of individuals. However, the implementation of courses and programs via distance learning requires much more than mere translation of traditional class materials and methods into new media, and careful planning is required in order to provide the optimum mix of traditional and non-traditional delivery methods. In addition, although working professional students often appreciate the convenience of an unconventional approach, they and their employers are much more focused and assertive regarding their expectations for the outcomes of courses and degree programs. This paper discusses positive and negative experiences associated with simultaneous delivery of Marshall University’s graduate program in engineering management to four different locations, utilizing a combination of interactive video link technology, video-tapes, on-line instruction, and live instruction. The discussion includes an overview of the engineering management area of emphasis in Marshall’s Master of Science in Engineering program, course and curriculum development issues, and identification of effective teaching methodologies for employed, adult students in a distance learning environment.


Increasingly, institutions are responding to geographically widespread educational needs through the use of distance learning technology and techniques. This can be challenging for both faculty and students, but also rewarding, as working professionals and other place-bound students realize their educational goals.

In order to meet the needs of engineering professionals in southern and central West Virginia, Marshall University (Marshall) offers a graduate program in Engineering Management through a combination of interactive video, on-line instruction, video tape, and live instruction. The program was originated by the former West Virginia Graduate College, known for its flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of working students. Following a merger of the WVGC and Marshall in 1997, Marshall’s combined engineering faculty worked to maintain the currency and effectiveness of the program and to continue to make it available to engineers in South Charleston, Huntington, Beckley, and Parkersburg, West Virginia.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Larsen, E., & Dulin, B. (2003, June), Utilizing Distance Learning Technology To Deliver A Graduate Program In Engineering Management To Working Professionals Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11701

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