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A Case Study in Laboratory-Based Online Courses: Teaching CNC Programming

[+] Author Affiliations
James B. Higley, David A. McLees, Mohammad A. Zahraee

Purdue University at Calumet, Hammond, IN

Paper No. IMECE2003-42204, pp. 67-73; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations and Applied Research in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3722-X | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Asynchronous web based instruction, more commonly known as online education or distance learning, has been available for some time. This technology has brought education within the reach of many who would otherwise be unable to attend live classes. Time schedules and distance no longer have a bearing on attending a course. Even group projects are manageable with email and discussion groups. Many courses convert quite well to the online format, and studies have shown that students can learn as much from online courses as from live courses. In many cases, multiple course certificate programs and even some complete degree programs are offered online. As inviting as online courses may be, they do have their limitations, especially classes with a laboratory component. A number of institutions have offered laboratory-based classes in an online format with varying degrees of complexity and success. In some cases, students travel to the institution a limited number of times for extensive laboratory experiences while other institutions use what might best be described as virtual reality based systems. This paper discusses Purdue University Calumet’s first laboratory-based online course, MFET 275, Computer Numerical Control Programming Application. A combination of technologies makes this course successful and effective. Development procedures for this course along with technology used, online pedagogy issues, and course assessment are covered in this paper. Suggestions for future course development complete the discussion.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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