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Explanation of Distance Learning Delivery Methods Utilized in the MSCSE Program

Synchronous Delivery

Asynchronous Delivery

Synchronous Delivery
In distance learning the use of the term synchronous applies to instruction that takes place at the same time regardless of location.  This includes but is not limited to "live" lectures, videoconferencing and any other real-time application such as on-line chat. The MSCSE employs two applications of synchronous delivery.

  • Live Two-Way Interactive Videoconferencing
    A common method for delivering courses to distance learners within the OSU system is by live two-way interactive videoconferencing.  OSU connects to remote sites within the state of Oklahoma through a state-owned and operated fiber optic network known as OneNet.  Corporate and public sites can link to this network to receive courses that originate from an OSU studio or any other point on the network.  While the system has capabilities to carry both full-motion and compressed video, the more common of the two is compressed video. This technology compresses the video signal which decreases the number of frames transmitted per second by about one third that of a regular television signal. The result is a reduction in the amount of bandwidth needed to send the signal.  A slight hesitation or 'choppiness' in  the signal is apparent, but overall it efficiently produces an adequate picture for the transmission of lectures and computer generated graphics.  This format provides the student with the environment that most closely matches that of the traditional classroom.

    Typically, all remote sites have at least one site-coordinator that can assist with technical problems during the class and facilitate transfer of homework and proctor exams. Each site also records the video broadcast so students have access to classes that they may miss due to work requirements.

    Distance learning students who wish to enroll in a two-way interactive video class should first consult the semester schedule to verify that delivery method is available for the course.  They should then follow the instructions for enrollment found here.

    Current two-way interactive sites being utilized by the MSCSE program include:
    Conoco - Ponca City, OK
    Goodyear Tire and Rubber - Lawton, OK
    Halliburton Energy Svcs. - Duncan, OK

    Seagate Technologies - Oklahoma City, OK
    Phillips Petroleum - Bartlesville, OK
    University Learning Center of Northern Oklahoma - Ponca City, OK
    OSU-Tulsa - Tulsa,OK
    OSU-OKC - Oklahoma City, OK

    For more information about other available public sites or information regarding becoming a corporate site, contact Brenda Johnson.

  • Live On-Campus Instruction
    Students residing in Stillwater or Tulsa, Oklahoma may have the option of enrolling in on-campus courses.  The usual model is for courses to originate in Stillwater and broadcast out  to remote locations.  However, in the future we may see more course originating from OSU-Tulsa.   A wider variety of course may be available to those students who are able to access either the Stillwater or Tulsa campuses.   If students wish to enroll in a course that is not on the approved course list they should check with their advisor prior to enrolling.  The MSCSE program will ensure that students at remote locations have ample opportunity to complete the degree requirements by offering  courses through distance learning.

Asynchronous Delivery
Asynchronous delivery of distance learning courses in the case of the MSCSE program implies that the courses are independent of time and location.  In the OSU system this does not mean that the courses are self paced.  Instead an asynchronous class will follow the University schedule including the normal add/drop periods, etc. but the student can access the materials/lectures at their convenience. Common methods include CDRom and internet delivery.

  • CDRom
    In cases where no other delivery method is available due to location or scheduling, a degree seeking student may enroll in an MSCSE  course through CDRom.  Master cd's are by-products of distance learning courses originating in an on-campus studio. CDRoms are copied by Engineering Distance Education and sent overnight to remote students.  Typically, students will receive the cd within two working days of the live class.  The cds remain in the student’s possession until the end of the semester when they are returned at the student’s expense.

    Occasionally courses are offered as “pre-taped”.  In this scenario, essentially all procedures above remain the same except their is no live on-campus class taking place.  This practice is used to  increase offerings to students.

  • Video Streaming
    Another method of asynchronous delivery is streaming video. All courses originating in a studio can be placed in the streamed video format.  Streaming video allows the entire course content to be captured, compressed, and placed on a video server that can be accessed via the Internet.  Students can access the videos after downloading the necessary free software from the Internet. Streaming of courses is currently being handled by Educational Television Services (ETS).   All students enrolled in a course that is streamed, regardless of location, will have equal access to streamed video through the Internet. A password will be assigned for each student at the beginning of the semester for access to the course and videos.  A technical support phone number and email address will be provided and listed on each course website.  To test your computer's streaming capabilities, go to http://web.ets.okstate.edu/.

  • Internet
    Occasionally courses offered in the MSCSE program will be offered entirely on-line by using courseware called Blackboard.   Blackboard is an option offered through OSU that allows for the secure distribution and collection of materials from you, as well as the distribution of grades. The user interface of Blackboard is a web browser so students are not required to purchase any new software to use Blackboard.   

    In addition, other courses may require students to access library materials, turn in homework, or retrieve course materials from the Internet.  It is expected that all students enrolled in MSCSE classes will have access to the Internet and an email address.

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Copyright 2000. Oklahoma State University
Created by Brenda Johnson

updated 05/25/06