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Distance Education – Is it Needed?

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  1. Distance Education – Is it Needed? Ronald W. Welch, Ph.D., P.E. (VA)Professor of Civil Engineering Clifton Farnsworth, Ph.D., P.E. (UT) Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering College of Engineering and Computer Science Civil Engineering Department Heads Presentation 23 May 2011

  2. Azimuth Setting – What is Distance Education? • On-line single or multiple courses leading to a degree opportunity • Source of information and learners are separated by time and distance, or both • Correspondence • Synchronous • Asynchronous Department of Civil Engineering

  3. Azimuth Setting – What is the Quality of Distance Education? • Varies dramatically • As good as face-to-face? • Are we as educators properly trained? • ExCEEd Teaching Workshop Department of Civil Engineering

  4. Why do Distance Education? • $ • Limit use of facilities? • Decrease the number of teachers? Department of Civil Engineering

  5. How to Ensure Excellence in Distance Education? • Face-to-face teaching is the standard • Process used for centuries • Numerous workshops to improve teaching • ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop has been one of the most successful • Distance Education -> Just using Technology • Even effective use of technology needs training • What software packages available? • Must plan to have effective distance education! Department of Civil Engineering

  6. A Model for Instructional Strategy • Provide an orientation: • Why is this important? • How does it relate to prior knowledge? • Provide learning objectives. • Provide information. • Stimulate critical thinking about the subject. • Provide models. • Provide opportunities to apply the knowledge: • In a familiar context. • In new and unfamiliar contexts. • Assess the learners’ performance and provide feedback. • Provide opportunities for self-assessment.

  7. The “ExCEEd Model” Structured organization • Based on learning objectives • Appropriate to the subject matter • Varied, to appeal to different learning styles Engaging presentation • Clear written and verbal communication • High degree of contact with students • Physical models & demonstrations Enthusiasm Positive rapport with students Frequent assessment of student learning • Classroom assessment techniques • Out-of-class homework and projects Appropriate use of technology Teacher As A Positive Role Model

  8. Video Clips • Examples! Department of Civil Engineering

  9. Video Clips • Examples! Department of Civil Engineering

  10. Video Clips • Examples! Department of Civil Engineering

  11. Department of Civil Engineering

  12. Conclusions • Very difficult to present as effectively via distance education • Lack of direct interaction is an issue • Using the ExCEEd model, a different perspective, and more effort and time, effective teaching can take place • Must experiment with different techniques with an eye on student learning! Department of Civil Engineering

  13. Questions? • We must keep in mind that teaching is one of our most important activities! • Must plan to do it right! Department of Civil Engineering