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Mercer's distance learning program allows students to collaborate and learn through online communities while interacting with practicing professionals of varying work experiences, undergraduate backgrounds, and geographic locations.


Distance Learning Structure

Distance learning is transforming graduate education for working professional adults. In the MSTCO program, students communicate electronically, research, study, complete, and turn in assignments over the Internet.

All of the students enrolled in the MSTCO program are distance learners. They span the globe, from Tampa to Tokyo, and our alumni hail from Asia and Europe, as well as from North America.

Given the evolving nature of electronic communications technology and the widespread use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, we have been able to provide more and more enhancements to our MSTCO program in the School of Engineering at Mercer University and to reach increasingly diverse students on a global basis.

Our synchronous class sessions currently use WebEx voice and video chats in which faculty can provide mini-lecture content, and students can discuss research accessed over the Internet, as well as discuss and share solutions to the projects that they are developing. Mercer University also utilizes a BlackBoard server which classes use to post discussions and assignments.

With a computer and an Internet connection, faculty and students also contact each other asynchronously through an e-mail listserv. The students can asynchronously access online courses, including the course syllabus, lectures, podcasts, weekly assignments, resources, and deliverables.

Using the resources available through Mercer's libraries and the Internet, students do research in their chosen topic area for their projects and post their solutions to deliverables pages. Using Web development tools and FTP, all student assignments are posted online and peer reviewed by colleagues in the class. Faculty feeback is personal and prompt, closing the distance among learners.

From time to time, individual or small-group teleconferences may be held. As digital video storage, transfer, and compression-decompression technology advance, we will continue to enhance our electronic communications capabilities, both synchronously and asynchronously.


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