Improving higher education can be characterized by (1) increasing access, (2) decreasing costs, and (3) improving learning outcomes. However, it is not necessary that attempts to improve higher education affect all three positively. For example, it might be that increasing access to more or different students causes costs to increase; whereas learning outcomes are maintained at some previously acceptable level, but an audience exists that is willing to pay the increased cost. Improving learning outcomes also might increase costs without changing access. But, decisions on when or how to improve higher education must be based on consideration of all three characteristics and not just one alone such as just trying to improve learning outcomes. This paper summarizes, based on studies and experiences, the value e-technologies play in our attempts to improve higher education by focusing on the use of e-technologies to support distance-learning students for each of the three characteristics enumerated. The paper then concludes with a set of questions whose answers should further aid the understanding of the use of e-technologies in engineering education
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