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Board 81 : Work in Progress: Implementation of Electrostatics Tutorials Utilizing an Electronic Response System in Upper Level Electromagnetics

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Matthew Garett Young Arkansas Tech University

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Matthew G. Young received his B. Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Arkansas Tech University in 2009. He participated in an NSF IREU focusing on antenna design in the summer of 2009 before obtaining his M. Sc. in Microelectronics-Photonics at the University of Arkansas in 2012. For his M. Sc. studies, he focused on the growth of silicon nanowires via plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. While working to pursue his Ph.D. he helped to commercialize a manufacturing technology that utilizes atomic hydrogen to increase the efficiency of silicon solar cells. In August of 2016, he joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech University as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. His Ph.D. was completed at the University of Arkansas in May 2017. At Arkansas Tech University, Matthew is focused on establishing research experiences in photovoltaics for undergraduate and graduate students and investigating new methods to enhance engineering education in the classroom.

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Jessica Patricia Conry Arkansas Tech University

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Dr. Jessica Conry is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Arkansas Tech University and the Director of the Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Dr. Conry earned a BS in Physics from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas and MS and PhD in Physics from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her primary area of research interest is fundamental laser physics including beam shaping, polarization, and propagation. Education interests include transitioning traditional lecture courses into classrooms where active learning takes place. Additional interest includes bridging the gap between physics courses (taught by a physicist) and engineering courses (taught by an engineer).

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Edward Carl Greco Jr. Arkansas Tech University

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Dr. Greco is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with research interest in biomedical signal processing. He teaches courses in digital systems, signals and systems, communications and digital signal processing.

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The objective of this work in progress study is to determine if a series of guided inquiry type tutorials increases junior-level electrical engineering student knowledge gain in electrostatics. The tutorials will require periodic use of an electronic student response system to improve student’s deeper conceptual understanding of the best method to solve standard electrostatics problems. The electromagnetics (EM) class that is targeted covers more than just electrostatics but improvements to electrostatics portion of the course is the focus of this paper.

STEM education research shows that a student-centered classroom where active learning takes place leads to an increased knowledge gain over the typical lecture style course. Our goal is to transform a junior-level engineering EM course to an active learning environment that utilizes peer instruction techniques. As a pilot program we will focus on transforming the electrostatics module of the course. If the study shows the techniques to be successful in the electrostatics module, similar methods will be implemented to transform the rest of the course. Based on the successfulness of the EM course transformation, plans will be made to transform other upper-level Electrical Engineering courses in the future.

The Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics Diagnostics - Coupled Multiple Response version 9 (CUE-CMR) will be administered as a pre-test before electrostatics content is covered in the course and again at the end of the electrostatics module. The CUE-CMR is a well validated conceptual exam that has been administered to over 500 students at different universities. The CUE-CMR results contain data allowing for comparison between a traditional lecture style course and a transformed classroom. The pre-test results will establish a baseline in student knowledge. The post- test results will be used to assess knowledge gain. The results of the CUE-CMR from our class will be compared to previously reported CUE-CMR results for standard lecture classes and interactive learning classes. Knowledge gain will be determined by the Hake score, which is computed from the difference of the averages of the post- and pre- test scores normalized to the pre-test score. These knowledge gain results will be compared with the published gains achieved from interactive teaching methods.

The implementation of the instructional method changes to the electrostatics content will be realized in the spring 2018 Engineering EM course with results available by May 2018.

Young, M. G., & Conry, J. P., & Greco, E. C. (2018, June), Board 81 : Work in Progress: Implementation of Electrostatics Tutorials Utilizing an Electronic Response System in Upper Level Electromagnetics Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30114

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