THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON’S MASTER OF ENGINEERING IN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (MEPP) PROGRAM: THE ROAD TO QUALITY ONLINE GRADUATE ENGINEERING EDUCATION

Wayne P. Pferdehirt, Thomas W. Smith, Karen R. Al-Ashkar

Abstract


This case study explores several key design strategies behind the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Master of Engineering in Professional Practice (MEPP) program. Since its full-scale launch in 1999, this demanding graduate engineering degree program has achieved a graduation rate of more than 99% and has received major awards for instructional quality from the Sloan Consortium, the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and the University Continuing Education Association. This paper examines several key elements of the program’s design and practical lessons learned through the program’s first six years, during which 140 students have graduated from the two-year degree program. Distinctive elements of the program include: the program’s cohort design; integration of weekly Webconferencing with asynchronous Web-based tools; optimization of course content and format for experienced, mid-career adults; and an annual on-campus residency. Program details are available at http://mepp.engr.wisc.edu.


Keywords


MEPP,Online Graduate Education

Full Text:

PDF

References


Gibson, C. C. Online learning: From high tech to high touch. In G. Kearsley (Ed.), Online Learning: Personal Reflections on the Transformation of Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technologies Publications, 2005.

Pferdehirt, Wayne. Designing a web-based graduate degree program optimized for adult professionals learning at a distance. In Using Distance Education Technologies: Effective Practices University of Wisconsin-Extension, 2002.

Pferdehirt, Wayne. Integrated Assessment System for Courses, Overall Program and Post-Program Career Impacts. In Effective Practices (online), Sloan Consortium, August 2004.

Moore, M. G. and G. Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View, 2nd ed. Canada: Walworth Publishing, 2005.

Rumble, G. Modeling the costs and economics of distance education. In M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbood of Distance Education. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2003.

Collins, Jim. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Caffarella, M. Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide for Educators, Trainers, and Staff Developers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994.

Naidu, S. Designing interaction for e-learning environments. In M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Distance Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrance Earlbaum Associates, 2003.

Shearer, R. Instructional Design in Distance Education: An Overview. In M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Distance Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrance Earlbaum Associates, 2003.

Kearsley, Greg. MEPP: A case study in online education. The Technology Source, January/February 2002.

Al-Ashkar, Karen. Support for students at a distance: Is technology enough? Proceedings of 2000.

ASEE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Session 1322. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, 2000.

Martin, Courtney Porter. Online alternative to an MBA. Prism, American Society of Engineering Education, September 2001.

George, Tracy. A wired education: How do electronic diplomas compare to traditional sheepskins? IIE Solutions, Institute of Industrial Engineers, September 2001.

Savoye, Craig. “Where in the World is My Student?” Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 2001.

Davis, Rachel. Engineers choose a degree of distance. Engineering Times, National Society of Professional Engineers, May 2002.

Schooley, Claire. The personal touch: It still has a place in e-learning. IdeaByte, Giga Information Group, October 2001.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v9i2.1795



Copyright (c) 2019 Wayne P. Pferdehirt, Thomas W. Smith, Karen R. Al-Ashkar