EXPERIENCES USING A BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH FACILITATED WITH ADOBE CONNECT TO EXPAND PART-TIME STUDENT OPTIONS IN GRADUATE STUDIES AND ACCOMMODATE REMOTE CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION
In the Middle East, there is a strong need for qualified construction professionals but few options available for Masters-level graduate programs in construction engineering and management. To address this need, a Master of Science in Construction Management (MSCM) program has been launched at the American University in Dubai. This program is structured to allow working professionals to advance their education without interruption of the careers. In the first year of the program, all courses were structured using in-class project delivery. This model, while successful for engineers located in Dubai, is difficult for engineers with transient job requirements. As many engineers are traveling among the Gulf States for on-going or upcoming projects, tools for modifying course content to facilitate blended delivery were examined. A trial was undertaken to explore blended delivery of one course to accommodate current students travel demands. Two active students in the program were chosen to remotely participate in the class with the content and interaction facilitated by Adobe Connect. Experiences developing and delivering the course content are recounted and discussed from a faculty perspective. From the student perspective, experiences with this alternative delivery paradigm are discussed. Finally, advantages and disadvantages for assessment of course outcomes using the Adobe Connect platform are identified and discussed.