Faculty perceptions of online learning in engineering education

Kinney, Lance Stephen
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Research indicates there is a gap in the implementation of online courses and programs in engineering education compared to other academic disciplines (Allen & Seaman, 2008, 2011, 2013). Using a mixed methods approach, this study collected both quantitative survey and qualitative interview data to identify which factors engineering faculty members perceived influence the implementation of online engineering courses. The survey items, based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology Model (UTAUT) (Davis, 1989; Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003), included important factors specific to engineering education as indicated the literature. The interview instrument was developed based on the significant results of the survey portion of the study. The initial survey was sent to every engineering faculty member at all 31 institutions and 125 ABET accredited engineering programs in the state of Texas, with a final response population of n=266. The findings identified three major factors that influenced the implementation of online engineering courses: online teaching experience, course development issues, and implementation of technical aspects particular to engineering in an online format. The results are discussed within the context of the literature and recommendations to address the identified factors and barriers to implementation of online engineering are provided.