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S. Anwar1, L. Shih2

1Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College (UNITED STATES)
2Excelsior College (UNITED STATES)
With the advancement of Internet, on-line instruction is becoming popular in engineering education. Although not yet “mainstream”, on-line courses delivered over the Internet are becoming more common . Traditional and non-traditional colleges and universities are now using a variety of instructional tools and techniques to deliver on-line courses to their students. There are many advantages of on-line learning. It is borderless and is a practical way for learning for those who cannot travel to attend classes at an educational institution. It is flexible and allows students to learn at their own pace.

In the on-line distance learning environment, the instructor, the technology, and the course content are the key components of the learning process for the student. On-line learning provides a greater degree of learner control over the course materials. It also offers an enhanced level of interaction both in relation to the course materials themselves and in the opportunities presented for active learning through conferencing, discussion groups, and collaborative learning projects.

This manuscript focuses on a review of the up-to- date research pertaining to the principles of effective online teaching. The manuscript also describes the state-of-art tools currently used to provide an effective online learning environment. In addition, selected best practices employed by online learning facilitators are discussed.