Distance Education in Information Technology, a case study

Jan Helbo, Morten Knudsen

Research output: Working paperResearch

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Abstract

Project organized problem based learning is a successful concept for on-campus education at Aalborg University. The "Aalborg concept" has been used in networked distance education as well. This paper describes a project from the first year of our Master of Information Technology education organized with Internet-mediated project work. A group of 4 students carried out a project dependent on knowledge from two firms where two of the group members are working, making this a kind of Worked Based Learning (WBL). The project was formulated as a traditional on-campus type of project with the same complexity, and the designed solution should be implemented on a test rig. In spite of this, the group fulfilled the goals satisfactorily, and made an impressive project. The main conclusions are, that the project work is a strong learning motivator, enhancing peer collaboration, for off-campus students as well. However, it is much more risky if the on-campus model is transferred directly to off-campus learning. The main reasons are that the students must communicate electronically, and that they are under a fierce time strain, studying part time and typically with a full time job and a family. Experiences with this type of project in group-organized distance education, are described and commented by three of the group members, and some possible solutions for more appropriate types of projects are listed
Original languageDanish
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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