Asee peer logo

Assessment Results For A Recently Introduced Interdisciplinary Laboratory Sequence In Electrical Engineering

Download Paper |


1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.98.1 - 4.98.6

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

T. Roppel

author page

A. Scottedward Hodel

Download Paper |

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

Session 2532


T. Roppel and A. S. Hodel Electrical Engineering Department, Auburn University


In the fall of 1997, the Auburn University Electrical Engineering Department implemented a new, interdisciplinary core laboratory sequence. This new laboratory sequence was one outcome of a complete curriculum revision based on four years of work by the departmental Curriculum Study Committee. This paper will present the results of a multi-part assessment conducted during the spring, summer and fall quarters of 1998. The purpose of the assessment is to measure the effectiveness of the new lab format against the goals established by the Department, which include providing a high level of motivation for the students, avoidance of "cookbook" laboratories, substantially involving the entire faculty in laboratory design, teaching, and assessment, and helping students perform better in lecture courses by having prior hands-on experience with components, formulae, and computer simulation software.

It has been found that many students are initially surprised by the level of challenge provided in the first laboratory course, but readily accommodate as they progress through the sequence. The overall result of the new laboratory experience is that students have a more integrated approach to design and a much better understanding of the hardware, software, and instrumentation used in electrical engineering practice.

I. Structure of the laboratory sequence

An overview of the curriculum revision and the details of the new laboratory sequence have been presented previously1. In brief, the Electrical Engineering undergraduate core curriculum model includes a total of six 1-quarter hour (3 contact hours/week) laboratory courses during the sophomore and junior years. These courses are designated Lab I (1st quarter sophomore) through Lab VI (3rd quarter junior). The laboratory courses are not tied to a specific lecture course; rather they incorporate material from several topic areas within electrical engineering, build upon previous laboratories, and are supplemented from outside sources including guest lectures. Students encounter a significant number of concepts for the first time in the laboratory courses. The first course consists of experiments that are largely prescriptive, but as the laboratory sequence progresses through the sophomore and junior years, students are increasingly challenged to think creatively in design projects and to write technical reports in a variety of formats.

Roppel, T., & Hodel, A. S. (1999, June), Assessment Results For A Recently Introduced Interdisciplinary Laboratory Sequence In Electrical Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1999 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015