Distance Learning Program at Old Dominion University: Comparison of Student Performance for Distant & On-campus Students in Engineering Technology Program
Old Dominion University is one of the largest providers of distance learning degree programs in the U.S. The University serves 4,000 students at 50 sites in Virginia, D.C., Arizona, Illinois, Washington and Georgia. More than 3,500 students have graduated from Old Dominion via distance learning, including Navy personnel who took classes while deployed around the world. Three Engineering Technology programs are offered under TELETECHNET. These classes are offered through one way video and two way audio transmissions via satellites. In addition, video streaming classes and hybrid classes that use multiple delivery methods are also offered.
Assessment methodology and results for two Mechanical Engineering Technology and two Electrical Engineering Technology courses are discussed. In these cases, courses are offered in both the traditional on-campus and non-traditional distance learning format, assessment methods are prescribed, assessment data are taken, and the results compiled and compared. Comparison of student performance is made between the on-campus and distant students. In addition, this paper describes ways in which the laboratory courses are structured in order to make the assessment process easier to manage. Pedagogical issues are addressed that were encountered during the development of the distance learning laboratory courses to assure that the learning experience could equal or exceed that of the on-campus counterparts.
Keywords: Distance Learning, Student Performance, Assessment, Distant Sites, Laboratory Courses
Dr. Alok Verma
MET Program Director & Ray Ferrari Professor, Engineering Technology Department, Old Dominion University