Impact of remotely accessing computer software in a commuter campus on freshmen engineering students

Suleiman Ashur, S. Scott Moor, Essam Zaneldin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is a regional campus of Indiana University and Purdue University and administratively managed by Purdue University. IPFW is the largest public university in northeastern Indiana, serving more than 12,000 students. The civil engineering program is the most recent addition to the Department of Engineering, which offers B.S. degrees in civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Most of engineering students attend collage as part time and usually commute to campus. Sometimes, it is hard for them to perform well in homework and assignments due to limited access off campus to computer software needed by their classes. In order to help students in improving their academic performance, a pilot study was conducted in the spring 2007 semester to evaluate the impact of providing students with remote access to proprietary software need for their assignments. This paper presents the result of the pilot study of remotely accessing engineering software using Citrix server. There were two software packages available for use: AutoCAD and Matlab. The impact of Citrix server on students' performance was evaluated using two surveys: initial and final surveys. Both surveys were conducted in two sections of two freshmen courses taught during the spring semester: Graphical Communications and Spatial Analysis and Computer Engineering Tools for Engineering. Students usually use AutoCAD in the graphic class and Matlab in the engineering tools class. Most the students participated in the survey were freshmen, male, full time students, employed, living off campus with an average commute of 15 miles, do not own a copy of the software, and have Internet access at home. The paper presents a summary of the findings for both surveys. In conclusion, most of students agreed that remotely accessing software package using Citrix server has reduced their commuting time and provided them with more time to study at home; improved their grades in general and homework grades in particular; improved their grades in all courses in general and Citrix related courses in particular; and their experience with Citrix was excellent and recommend strongly that the college adopts the server permanently.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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