Is off-campus engineering study off the agenda? Professional accreditation and distance education
Palmer, Stuart and Hall, Wayne 2008, Is off-campus engineering study off the agenda? Professional accreditation and distance education, European journal of open, distance and e-learning, vol. 2008, no. II, pp. 1-9.
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In engineering, distance/off-campus study is an essential element of access to education for those in remote locations and/or seeking to upgrade their qualifications via the lifelong learning route whilst employed. Internationally, engineering education accrediting bodies have moved toward outcomes-based assessment of graduate competency, but are still struggling to relinquish their historical attachment to the measurement of inputs. A genuinely outcomes-based accreditation system based on the demonstrated individual student attainment of appropriate graduate attributes (which might be delivered/gained by a range of means) offers the best way forward for an equitable, representative and socially just undergraduate engineering education system that encourages suitably qualified candidates from a range of social, employment, educational, gender, age and geographic circumstances to aspire to the professional sphere of the engineering workforce. Until outcomes-based education becomes the norm in engineering, it is likely that distance learners in engineering will face significant difficulties.
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