Perspectives Regarding Computer Science Curriculum Delivery through Distance Education at Regional Universities

By John W. Coffey.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although the rising tide of distance education seems inexorable at the university level, it is viewed in a variety of different ways by students, administration and faculty. A disparity of viewpoints among these groups is nowhere more evident than within technical fields such as Computer Science. These fields have traditionally been characterized by extensive student-faculty interactions with indispensible, very timely support mechanisms for students. This article constitutes an attempt to assess the frequently divergent concerns of these three groups regarding distance education at regional universities. After a survey of relevant literature, it provides information on demographic trends, summaries of how these three constituencies stand on important issues affecting Computer Science education at regional universities and an enumeration of various ways in which course delivery is currently handled. It concludes with some perspectives that provide a basis for principled decisions regarding the inclusion of online courses in a Computer Science curriculum.

Keywords: Online Computer Science Education, Curriculum Development, Decision Model, Regional Universities, Student Concerns, Faculty Concerns, Administration Concerns

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.73-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 290.505KB).

Dr. John W. Coffey

Professor, Computer Science, The University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA

Dr. John W. Coffey holds a B.S. in psychology from the College of William and Mary; a B.S. in systems science, an M.S. in computer science, and an Ed.D. with a computer science specialization from the University of West Florida. His dissertation demonstrates extensions to a method of representing a knowledge domain for which Drs. Ken Ford, Alberto Cañas and he received a patent in 1996. Since 1992 he has worked for the Computer Science Department at UWF where he holds an Associate Professor position, and the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), Pensacola, FL. Coffey has taught 19 different computer science courses. In his work for IHMC, he served as the principle software developer on the NUCES Project, and developed the software for the VNet portion of the Quorum project. He has served as a knowledge engineer on projects with NASA Glenn Research Center, Boeing, the U.S. Navy, the Electrical Power Research Institute, and many others. His research interests include knowledge elicitation and representation, advanced technology for education, student modeling, and educational applications of semantic web technologies. He has authored more than 70 journal papers, book chapters, technical reports and conference proceedings.

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