A course on computer systems performance analysis has been adapted for several different distance education delivery options, including an interactive television system, face-to-face presentation at a satellite campus, and delivery over the Internet to independent study students. Of the 122 students who have enrolled in this graduate-level course for a grade over the three-year period analyzed, half have been nontraditional students who never set foot on campus. These remote students have a substantially higher drop-out rate than the traditional on-campus students, and frequently indicate a strong preference for face-to-face instruction in a traditional classroom setting. Nevertheless, due to significant differences in the characteristics of the two student groups, the remote students typically earn higher final course grades than the on-campus students. While there is a strong demand for delivery of this type of advanced course to remote students, more still needs to be done to effectively engage these students in the learning process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Manuscript received September 5, 2000; revised September 5, 2000. This work was supported in part by a Grant from the Sloan Foundation. A preliminary version of this work was presented at the Workshop on Computer Architecture Education (WCAE) held in conjunction with the International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA) in January, 1998 .
- Computer systems performance analysis
- Continuing education
- Distance education
- Graduate education
- Independent study