Title: Major issues in research and development of computer-assisted instruction programs for Continuing Engineering Education

Authors: Zenon J. Pudlowski

Addresses: First Vice-President and Executive Director, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, and School of Electrical Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Abstract: Financial and staffing pressures on tertiary educational institutions and rapidly advancing technologies have caused undergraduate course programs to become more difficult to deliver. With the ever increasing requirements from industry, engineering training is saturated with enormous numbers of new ideas and concepts. The majority of educators are increasingly inclined to face the challenge by placing more emphasis on continuing education. In addition efforts have been made to find more effective and reliable methods of instruction. The process of dissemination of information, through computer-assisted instructional material in many scholarly and extra-curricular activities, has been facilitated considerably by the advent of personal computers. This paper presents some of the important issues which should be taken into consideration when developing computer-assisted instruction programs for training purposes. Such undertakings require a comprehensive research infrastructure, which involves the investigation of several aspects of engineering education and industrial training. Generally, the paper concentrates on one specific approach to engineering training, emphasising its implications for Continuing Engineering Education, but also endeavours to show the application of this method to engineering training in the context of rapidly advancing technology. In an attempt to paint the entire picture, the paper discusses the engineering education structure, societal needs, future training requirements, political climate, and the entire environment within which to operate. In addition, some examples of educational research and developments are demonstrated and discussed.

Keywords: continuing engineering education; continuing education; computer-assisted instruction; CAI; authoring programs; teaching software; educational research; higher education; university education; engineering training.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.1990.030347

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 1990 Vol.1 No.1, pp.49 - 64

Published online: 15 Dec 2009 *

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