Industry Support for Special Projects
Business providing support:
Purdue Academic Reinvestment
Special Project Title/Description:
A Distance-Learning Studio and Supporting Architecture
Distance education is a mature concept that was recognized over 150 years ago. It is currently enjoying increased, broad-focused, and national attention with the advent of educational technologies supported by the Internet. Distance education seeks to extend traditional university education by overcoming its inherent problems of scarcity, exclusivity, and restricted ability to expand student enrollment for high-demand courses and programs. The large Information Technology (IT) worker shortage, particularly in the Midwest, is a mandate to educational institutions to find creative ways to expand delivery of IT coursework beyond physical campus boundaries. IT courses are a natural fit for distance education and have the lowest attrition rates when compared to other distance courses. The demand for admission into CNIT has resulted in higher admission standards. CNIT programs at statewide locations have seen a rise in enrollment as it becomes more difficult to gain admission into CNIT at West Lafayette. All of these facts have created the perfect opportunity for CNIT to embark on a distance education initiative that has the potential to resolve or at least reduce all of these problems. Correspondingly, the objectives for this project were:
Create an instructional delivery and capture environment that does not impede the learning experience of the on-campus student.
Create an environment for the remote learner that replicates the learning experiences of the local student.
Automate the capture process so that the instructor can focus on the instructional delivery.
Provide access to delayed broadcast of lectures to both local and distant students (a new benefit for the local student).
Forge partnerships with businesses that need to increase IT expertise within their organizations.
Define a self-sustaining model based on continuous improvement and industrial outreach to increase the usability of the showcase facility beyond the one-year duration of this project.
Through a generous grant of $163,000 provided through Purdue's Academic Reinvestment grant program, the CNIT Department embarked on its distance delivery initiative in 2001. Thus far, a traditional computing laboratory facility was transformed to enable real-time, two-way video-conferencing to facilitate distance delivery of instruction to remote learners. As on-going practice in this area continues, the department hopes to forge partnerships with other organizations to provide distance courses and course modules in many areas of information technology.