June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Portable data acquisition hardware and virtual instrument software provide students with means to build and test circuitry outside of the confines of traditional benchtop laboratories. Such tools have been used effectively to complement historically lecture-based courses (e.g., circuit theory; signals & systems) with hands-on material without incurring commensurate scheduling burdens related to the use of physical laboratory space. Portable resources also promote flexible time management for students who have busy schedules because they can work in their homes or in communal learning spaces. While these data acquisition tools and their accompanying parts kits have proved useful in courses that address introductory circuit designs, they have not been broadly applied in upper-level courses that address more specialized circuitry, e.g., in biomedical instrumentation and measurement contexts.
This paper summarizes experiences from the Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 utilization of Digilent Analog Discovery 2 units and the bundled Waveforms 2015 software in a senior/graduate-level biomedical instrumentation course. Scripted laboratories addressed Analog Discovery 2 tutorials, bioamplifier fundamentals, analog filters, biomedical electrodes, and pulse plethysmographs. Each student utilized these portable tools to address their course design project – a wearable electrocardiograph with a Bluetooth Low Energy link to a cell phone. Student performance was assessed relative to learning objectives specified for the scripted laboratories and the course design project. Pre/post-project surveys were also employed to gauge student self-perceptions of learning in specific technical areas germane to biomedical instrumentation. Student feedback and summative assessments indicate that Analog Discovery 2 toolsets are an effective, arguably enjoyable, resource when applied in such an upper-level course, as they help students to meet learning objectives and gain technical proficiency without adding an undue burden to the learning process.
Warren, S., & Carlson, C., & Ren, D. X. (2019, June), Application of Portable Data Acquisition Tools and Virtual Instruments in an Upper-Level Biomedical Instrumentation Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32098
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