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A Freshman Instumentation Lab

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.22.1 - 5.22.6



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Paper Authors

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William E. Cole

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Walter Buchanan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2547

A Freshman Instrumentation Lab

William E. Cole, Walter Buchanan Northeastern University


Northeastern University introduced a freshman Instrumentation Lab into its Engineering Technology Curriculum in the fall of 1999. This lab is modeled after the freshman laboratory experience developed at Drexel University and in the initial quarter the first eight experiments from the Drexel Lab were used. Internet delivery was used to guide the students through the experiments. These experiments introduced basic measurement skills including both electrical and mechanical measurements. Purpose of the lab was to:

• Provide students with a Hands-on Experience; • Develop self learning skills; • Develop Critical Thinking Skills; • Provide a basis to help them decide between the Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Computer Technology programs offered at Northeastern University.

Described in this paper are the experiments, the delivery at Northeastern, and an assessment of the lab effectiveness.

1. Introduction

In January of 1999, six faculty members from the College of Engineering visited Drexel University to review their pioneering freshman program, including the instrumentation lab. Their curriculum and the lab is described in Reference 1. In the lab, each workstation is equipped with a digital multimeter, power supply, function generator, oscilloscope, and computer. All instruments are computer connected using the HPIB (Hewlett Packard Instrument Bus). The experiments are all located on the internet at the Drexel site2 and available in a published text3. Students enter the lab (with no preparation), perform the experiments as outlined on the internet site, and complete a quiz at the end of the lab. They are then done with the experiment with no homework or further data analysis required.

Cole, W. E., & Buchanan, W. (2000, June), A Freshman Instumentation Lab Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8394

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