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A Mobile Studio Experience Of Experiential Learning In Electrical Engineering Class

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

ECE Pedagogy and Assessment I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.59.1 - 13.59.12



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Paper Authors


Charles Kim Howard University

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Charles Kim received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1989. From 1990 to 1994 he was a post-doctoral research associate and, later, a research faculty member at Texas A&M University. From 1994 to 1998, he was an assistant professor at the University of Suwon. Since 1999, he is with Department of Electrical Engineering at Howard University. Dr. Kim's research interests include PLC home networking, embedded computing, Internet-based decision-making, and intelligent systems application. Dr. Kim is also active in application and assessment of technology in engineering education.

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Mohamed Chouikha Howard University

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Mohamed Chouikha received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1988. Since 1988, he has been with Department of Electrical Engineering at Howard University. Since 2000, he has been serving as the Chair of the EE Department. Dr. Chouikha’s research interests include Multimedia Signal Processing and Communications, Wireless Communications, and Home-networking. Dr. Chouika is the prime mover of the mobile studio inception and expansion into Howard University.

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Veronica Thomas Howard University

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Veronica G. Thomas received a Ph.D. degree in Social Psychology from Howard University in 1982. She is currently a Professor within the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies and Senior Research Associate with the Capstone Institute, both at Howard University. Dr. Thomas’ research interests include culturally responsive evaluations and the educational and socio-emotional outcomes of students of color. Dr. Thomas has collaborated with the Department of Electrical Engineering in planning and implementing evaluation studies.

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

Mobile Studio Experience of Experiential Learning in Electrical Engineering Class

1. Introduction

All core courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University and, at certain extent, in most engineering and science disciplines everywhere, are each taught by a combination of lecture and laboratory. The idea behind the lecture-lab combination is to help bridge the gap between the classroom knowledge of theory and the practical aspect in real world. The good idea, however, has failed to produce the necessary practice and intended result. Lecture and lab are seldom taught in the same class and, therefore, different topics are covered in two separate classes. Often, lecture and lab are taught by different instructors. Consequently, the intended learning reinforcement by active experimentation of lectured abstract concept is not realized. Theories and applications have been divided; simulations and implementations, alienated. Great is the need of lecture/lab hybrid class that unifies two components together, and equally high is the demand of experiential learning in which introduction of theories and their experiences are instant and dynamic. Behind this persistent disunity between lecture and lab, there is a practical reason: the daunting task of bringing lab into class. Traditional labs are equipped with workbenches and expensive bulky instruments.

Technology development and miniaturized packaging, however, enabled to produce palm-sized instrumentation interface boards which can replace most of the Electrical Engineering lab equipment and thus can bring lab into class. A computer with the interface can become a portable lab or Mobile Studio. Mobile Studio is philosophy and pedagogy which intends to bring laboratory into classroom with a mobile, portable set of computer and scope software provided with similar functionality to that of the traditional laboratory equipment. The Mobile Studio enables the experiential learning for students in classroom through instant experimentation and verification of the classroom knowledge by producing waveforms, measuring and recording signals, and analyzing recorded data. The Mobile Studio class at Howard University made a great impact in learning enhancement of for the students.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University launched the Mobile Studio classes in 2005. This paper details the experience of the Mobile Studio classes, including the hardware implementation and the throwing of students into the new environment, and discusses the impact of the Mobile Studio in the classroom environment in two aspects: the students' attitudes toward the new learning environment and the students’ learning in core knowledge and concepts.

The paper is organized as follows. In the next section, we discuss about the pedagogy of Mobile Studio in regard to experiential learning and the effect on learning and faculty pedagogical practices. In section III, the experience of the mobile studio is described. The lengthy section IV reports the evaluation results of the survey for acceptance and learning enhancement along with comments on the problems and difficulties, and offers suggestions for smooth transition from traditional, split lecture and lab courses into Mobile Studio-based lecture/lab hybrid courses for experiential learning practice. Conclusions are drawn in section V.

Kim, C., & Chouikha, M., & Thomas, V. (2008, June), A Mobile Studio Experience Of Experiential Learning In Electrical Engineering Class Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3537

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