New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The development of asynchronous courses is to help distance students who are restricted by work requirements, family responsibilities, geographical distance, disabilities, and combination of these factors. It also provides flexibilities to on-campus students. In this paper, the development of an asynchronous course with laboratory for an automation control is presented. The main objective in this development is to provide hands-on laboratory experience to distance learning students who may not be able to access the real equipment. In the course development, twelve reading modules are developed to cover three main topics: pneumatic circuit design, electrical control design, and PLC programming. When needed, animations and scripts are created for the description of design components and circuits. Each main topic includes four reading modules with homework assignments. Students must submit their assignments before deadlines. The solution for each assignment is posted after the deadline has passed. In this practice, students are only allowed to submit once for each assignment or test to avoid confusion during the grading. Three midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam are given. A web-proctor company is contracted for all closed-book exams using the guidelines stated for each exam. The proctors can contact the instructor for other issues that may occur during the exams. In the laboratory development, fifteen laboratory projects are developed with five projects for each main topic. The software used in this development are listed as following: a. A commercial electrical/pneumatic design software: Students can use this software to design each circuit for their homework or laboratory assignments. They can also use the simulation capability of the software to check their design before implementation. b. A PLC software: The software is used in the last five laboratory assignments. c. Two developed hands-on wiring software: students can use the following two software for circuit wiring purpose: (1) “Assembly Platform” software: Students can choose the parts available in the part library of the system for their electrical and pneumatic wiring. They can also select different colors for wiring hoses or electrical cables. (2) “Assembly Wiring Software for Relay Schematic Ladder Diagrams” software: Students can use the software for electrical wiring and simulation. The software has received the registration from the Copyright Office. The images of the parts created in this development are almost exactly the same as the real components. After passing the deadline, a laboratory solution is provided and a video, which shows the whole process using the real equipment, is also attached. Therefore, the approach can minimize the gap on the hands-on issue between on-campus and distance learning students. The development has been deployed in summer 2015 and received a total of 4.0/5.0 from student feedbacks. Details of the assessment will be presented.
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