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A New Interactive Course in Communication Electronics

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Curriculum and New Course Development in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.74.1 - 26.74.12



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Paper Authors


Jay R Porter Texas A&M University

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Jay R. Porter joined the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Electronics Systems Engineering Technology Program. He received the BS degree in electrical engineering (1987), the MS degree in physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest in research and education include product development, analog/RF electronics, instrumentation, and entrepreneurship.

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A NEW INTERACTIVE COURSE IN COMMUNICATION ELECTRONICS In 2012, the Electronics Systems Engineering Technology program at_______________________ University went through a major curriculum revision. This revisionwas primarily to create a strong emphasis in intelligent product and system development thatspanned many industry sectors including automotive, healthcare, oil and gas, communications,and quality of life. During the revision process, the faculty surveyed industry and, based onneed, added both required and technical elective courses to the curriculum. One of these courseswas a technical elective in the area of communication electronics. This course wasrecommended because many students are hired by companies that manage their owncommunications infrastructure, that consult and maintain communication systems for customers,and that manufacture and provide communication equipment. The course was developed in theSummer of 2013 and has been delivered twice, once in Fall 2013 and again in Spring 2014. The communication electronics course is offered as an elective and covers both basiccommunication concepts as well the implementation of these concepts in hardware and software.One of the unique aspects of the course is the teaching format. In 2013, the College began aninitiative to double its enrollment over a period of about ten years. As part of this initiative,departments have been asked to find novel teaching approaches that allow for increased capacitywithout sacrificing quality of instruction. From this standpoint, a hands-on laboratory is one ofthe primary distinguishing components of engineering technology education and is also one ofthe major limiting factors to throughput. This course was the perfect opportunity to investigatemethods for offering a laboratory component without the requirement for a multiple, two to threehour, facility intensive laboratory sections. To this end, the course was designed to have twotraditional lectures each week as well as one interactive lecture where students investigatedconcepts using simulation and instructor-led demonstrations. In addition, the students were alsorequired to perform hands-on homework assignments that included filter design, communicationcircuit analysis, and the implementation of a simple communications receiver. This paper will present an outline of the course including a detailed discussion of topicsand hands-on experiences. The interactive portion of the course will be specifically discussedand details will be given about the format and resources needed. Finally, results will bediscussed including instructor comments and impressions from the students on the effectivenessof the new course format.

Porter, J. R. (2015, June), A New Interactive Course in Communication Electronics Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23415

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