An Exploratory Survey in Collaborative Software in a Graduate Course in Automatic Identification and Data Capture

Stephen Elliott, Teresa Rishel
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
TECH 621 is a graduate level course in Automatic Identification and Data Capture at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Typically, it is offered to a cohort of students in a weekend masters program. The course meets on campus three times a semester for two four-hour periods; the course is updated each semester. In the fall of 2006, the instructor decided to incorporate a project component in the course that would show first semester graduate students the potential research opportunities available to them. However, in the planning phase of the projects, the scope grew, and one project took on an international component (with one group working with a university in South Korea), and the others involved working with on-campus undergraduate students. Thus, there was a need to manage the communication of all individuals involved, to provide it in the cheapest possible way, and to make sure that the technology did not fail and hinder the progress of the projects. Furthermore, a collaborative working environment was needed so that each student’s contribution could be monitored. There was also a need to make sure that individual’s didn’t work on different document versions. This paper explains the process of choosing the appropriate technology, its limitations, and the results of student opinions of the technology. It provides a framework for further examination of on-line collaborative tools and study in this area. Important to the course development was determining effective and appropriate pedagogy to meet student needs.
distance learning, collaboration
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