June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.13.1 - 2.13.6
A "Distance Education" Simulated Electronics Laboratory
Wils L. Cooley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering West Virginia University
The State of West Virginia has a tradition of making it possible for citizens to commute easily to higher education from wherever they may happen to live in the state. This educational commitment means that the State College and University System supports many small institutions in remote parts of the state. It is becoming clear that the state can no longer afford to maintain the present system, especially when the demand for more and more specialized higher education is increasing in the rural areas. If we are to meet our mandate in a cost-effective manner, new ways must be found to deliver engineering classes to widely scattered students at home or at facilities which do not have engineering laboratory equipment. It is in this context that the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has attempted to develop a quality electronics laboratory experience for place-bound and equipment-poor students.
THE PRESENT COURSE STRUCTURE
The presently required traditional laboratory is entitled "Digital Electronics Laboratory." The catalog description is "Design, fabrication, and measurement of digital electronic circuits. Use of discrete devices, integrated logic, display devices, and timer circuits. Study of A/D and D/A circuits and interfaces." The laboratory normally meets once per week for a semester. It is designed to accompany a 3-credit lecture course covering p-n diode-based, BJT-based, and MOSFET-based logic gate implementations, along with registers, counters, converters, memory, and microprocessors. Particular attention is paid to the relation between internal device characteristics and terminal behavior of IC's. The course is taught to second-semester sophomore students.
THE DEMAND FOR CHANGE
Both the content and the timing of this laboratory and the accompanying lecture course are unusual within either an electrical or a computer engineering curriculum. Thus, many students who would contemplate transferring to WVU beginning with their junior year find that they are deficient, since the courses are difficult to find. In fact, they are taught nowhere else in the state of West Virginia. None of the other instructional sites in the state felt that they had enough students to justify offering the courses themselves. The department was therefore asked early on if the courses could be delivered by distance learning to students at other sites in West Virginia who planned to transfer to WVU.
Cooley, W. L. (1997, June), A Distance Education Simulated Electronics Laboratory Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6517
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