Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigating the relationship between online pedagogy and student perceived learning of systems engineering competencies
by Squires, Alice F., Ph.D., Stevens Institute of Technology, 2011, 416; 3461896
Abstract (Summary)

Online education provides a convenient and cost effective means to support the training and maturation of systems engineers at a time when the nation is in need of top notch systems engineering talent. To serve this need, 19 domestic universities have developed and currently offer 20 online graduate programs in systems engineering to remote students, and yet these programs were virtually nonexistent a decade ago.

Compared to traditional education that is based on extensive research and experience, remote online education is only in the early stages of experience, development and understanding. As a result, there is a lack of rigorous research on the effectiveness of online pedagogy and instructors are having to rely on personal experience and beliefs rather than rigorous research and proven theory to select their pedagogical approach in the new format. However, instructors are also faced with more choices given the varieties of ways that pedagogy can be applied in the online classroom. As a result, the numbers of factors that impact student learning are compounded in the new environment.

This research introduces a framework that can be used to assess remote online systems engineering education. The framework is used to investigate the impact of selected online pedagogy on student satisfaction and perceived learning in the context of a naturalistic setting (many uncontrollable factors and confounding variables). Results from student surveys and online course reviews are used to test for and show that statistically supported relationships exists between online pedagogy and the student's: (a) satisfaction with the course and instructor, and (b) perceived learning of systems engineering competencies. Findings also indicate that, of the pedagogies investigated, discussion pedagogy types have the strongest influence on student satisfaction with the instructor and course; and although the findings are not conclusive, the findings indicate that the pedagogy types that have the greatest influence on student perceived learning of systems engineering competencies may depend on the experience level of the student body. The outcome of the research process supports the usefulness of the proposed framework in assessing the effectiveness of remote online systems engineering education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cloutier, Robert
Commitee: Farr, John, Ryan, Kevin, Sauser, Brian
School: Stevens Institute of Technology
Department: School of Systems and Enterprises
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-B 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Higher education, Systems science
Keywords: Competency model, Engineering education, Online education, Online pedagogy, Robust design, Student perceived learning, Systems engineering
Publication Number: 3461896
ISBN: 978-1-124-76269-2
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