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An Upper Division Virtual Laboratory In Linear Electronics

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.190.1 - 6.190.8



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Paper Authors

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William Stanley

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John Hackworth

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

Session 2247

An Upper-Division Virtual Laboratory in Linear Electronics John R. Hackworth, William D. Stanley Old Dominion University


The development and implementation of an upper-division (junior-level) virtual linear electronics laboratory utilizing computer software simulation is described. The laboratory course was developed to accommodate distance-learning students who have limited or no access to campus facilities. All students enrolled in the course have completed an associate degree in electronics or electrical engineering technology and, therefore, have completed traditional basic electronic courses taught in a traditional laboratory environment. Moreover, most of the students are working in industry as engineering technicians and have sufficient maturity to understand some of the practical limitations of this approach.

The software utilized is Multisim (Electronics Workbench), which has proven to be very user- friendly and easily learned by students working on their own. Email, a toll-free telephone number, and the transfer of circuit schematics and performance curves over the internet enhance the faculty-student interaction. All of the experiments and projects parallel those offered in the more traditional course on the campus and include numerous linear and non-linear operational amplifier circuits, timers and oscillators, and data conversion circuits. The emphasis throughout the course is on circuit design followed by validation of design specifications by computer simulation of the circuits.

A comprehensive final examination testing the expected outcomes of the course has been developed and implemented. Performance studies thus far indicate that the effectiveness of the virtual laboratory is comparable to that of the traditional laboratory. Students also indicate that they work harder and require more time than with traditional laboratories, but their overall evaluation is very positive.

I. Introduction

Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, offers TAC of ABET accredited baccalaureate programs in Civil Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering Technology. Although the entire four-year programs are offered on campus, from the very beginning in the early 70s, transfer students entering at the junior level have constituted a major portion of the student body. Students entering at the junior level are required to have an associate degree or its equivalent in the pertinent field of study. This group has always performed at a level comparable to our "natives", and many of our most outstanding graduates have entered the programs in this manner.

"Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education"

Stanley, W., & Hackworth, J. (2001, June), An Upper Division Virtual Laboratory In Linear Electronics Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9940

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