2012-09-18 Undergraduate Student Preferences in Online Education

Undergraduate Student Preferences in Online Education

Presented by Bruce Tsuji, Carleton University

Date: Tuesday September 18th, 2012
Time: doors open at 6:00 pm; talk begins at 6:30 pm
Place: TheCodeFactory, 246 Queen St., Ottawa, ON, Canada


Colleges and universities are struggling to find ways to deliver distance and/or online education.  Their efforts are being goaded by provincial/state and federal governments anxious to reduce costs and improve revenues.  Sometimes overlooked in this effort are the choices, needs, and preferences of the students themselves.  This presentation will highlight a case study in which a group of university undergraduate students were offered the ability to stay at home and participate in tutorials using a web-based classroom system that gave them the ability to interact through any combination of 2-way image; voice; or text. Surprisingly, many ignored the indolent path and appeared to prefer the face-to-face alternative.  Of those who did stay at home, many chose the least-rich of their communication alternatives.  Some implications of the data are explored and our next steps described.


Bruce obtained his PhD from Carleton University’s Human Oriented Technology Lab where his dissertation dealt with the strategies used by experts and novices in their understanding of data.  He was granted an MA from Waterloo and BSc from Trent.  Bruce has spent much of his career in technology companies applying his skills in user interface design, marketing, and product management.  For the last five years he has been teaching at Cegep Heritage College and at Carleton University where he has been particularly interested in the application of technology for improving student engagement.  He is a co-inventor on eight patents and his most recent publication is a book chapter co-authored with Lindgaard, Dudek, Noonan, Sumegi, & Stojmenovic entitled Emergency Response in Simulated Terrorist Attacks: Usability Lessons Learned which appeared in Usability In Government Systems published earlier in 2012.

When and Where:

This event will take place on Tuesday, September 18th, 6:00 pm at TheCodeFactory, located at 246 Queen Street, between Bank and Kent, (on the second floor) above the Green Papaya Restaurant. The doors open at 6:00 pm for networking and the talk begins at 6:30 pm.

Note: There is no cost for attending this event and prior registration is not required. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. An informal social gathering will follow at a nearby pub.

CapCHI (www.capchi.org) is a social and professional society of people who work as user interface designers, researchers, educators, software developers, web designers, graphic designers and human factors engineers in and around Canada’s National Capital Region. Founded in 1991, CapCHI’s goal is to bring together local professionals interested in how humans and computers interact, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

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