Anywhere, Anytime Graduate Programs in Engineering

While the conventional mode of delivering graduate degree programs in engineering is still the norm, there have been significant advances in more than a decade to expand the program offerings to students and working professionals outside the campus boundaries. The need has necessitated for several reasons but mainly due to changing nature of workforce and advances in technology. However, there is some apprehension about the quality of education and learning that occurs in internet-based programs. The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) caters to the needs of traditional and practicing engineers who have time constraints and other limitations that prevent them from participating in on-campus programs but are still interested in advancing their knowledge and career in technical areas. CECS has been offering graduate degree programs in engineering and computer science over more than a dozen years. The program has been quite successful and students welcome the convenience offered to them. This paper analyses the results of performance of DL students vis-a-vis on campus students in some graduate level courses taught by the author of this paper. The paper considers two courses but the focus is on one course that has been taught every year over the last 15 years. The structure of the course is designed to provide exact material and learning opportunities to students in the on-campus section and distance learning section alike. The quantitative and qualitative assessment shows that there is no noticeable difference in students’ learning and competency.

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