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BYOE: Individual Lab Kit Options for Analog and Digital Circuits Suitable for In-class or At-home Experiments

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Bring Your Own Experiment: Experimentation and Laboratory-oriented Studies

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Page Count

22

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36778

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36778

Download Count

35

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Paper Authors

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Yanjun Yan Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5152-6614

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Yanjun Yan is an Associate Professor in Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University. Her research interests include engineering education, swarm robotics, statistical signal processing, and swarm intelligence.

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Robert D. Adams Western Carolina University

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Dr. Adams is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include in digital image processing, biomedical signal processing and engineering education.

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Paul M. Yanik Western Carolina University

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Dr. Paul Yanik is an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University. His research interests include human-robot interactions, assistive devices, pattern recognition, machine learning, and engineering education.

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Hugh Jack Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4299-8561

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Dr. Jack holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario. He is currently a Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Engineering + Technology at Western Carolina University. His teaching and research interests include design, robotics, automation, and controls.

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Andrew Ritenour Western Carolina University

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Andrew Ritenour is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering + Technology at Western Carolina University (WCU). Prior to joining WCU in 2018, he spent a decade in industry managing and developing innovative technologies across a broad spectrum of applications: high voltage transistors for energy-efficient power conversion, radio frequency (RF) surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for mobile phones, and flexible paper-like displays for e-readers. He holds 30 patents related to semiconductor devices and microfabrication and has published in IEEE and AIP journals and conferences. His current research interests include instrumentation for combustion science, novel methods for environmental remediation, and microelectronics including surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. In addition to teaching in the field of electrical engineering, he coordinates the senior engineering capstone program which is a multidisciplinary, two-semester course sequence with projects sponsored by industrial partners. Within this role, he focuses on industrial outreach and the teaching and assessment of professional skills. He received his Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from MIT in 2007 and 1999, respectively, and a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.

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Hayrettin B. Karayaka Western Carolina University

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Bora Karayaka is an Associate Professor at the College of Engineering and Technology, Western Carolina University. He has worked as a Senior Engineer for smart grid and wireless communication industries for over ten years. He is currently responsible for teaching electric power engineering courses in the college.

Dr. Karayaka’s research interests include power engineering education, energy generation, identification, modeling and control for electrical machines and smart grid. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Istanbul Technical University in Control and Computer Engineering and his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

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Abstract

During a pandemic such as COVID-19, many institutions need to increase the portion of online instruction and enforce social distancing in the classroom. It is challenging to maintain the same level of hands-on lab experience, and yet lab experience is essential for many courses and perhaps the most effective pedagogy to help students learn. There are three alternatives to traditional labs: (1) purely virtual simulations, via an app or software, an online platform, or a virtual environment; (2) remote labs to run experiments on actual hardware hosted off-site via internet and parallel access; and (3) individual lab kits so that each student can have a complete set of toolkits to conduct experiments. The choice depends on budget, software and hardware compatibility, and, practically, product availability. The authors explored all three options in summer 2020 and chose the third option across multiple courses in our engineering and technology programs in fall 2020 and spring 2021. This paper will present the exploration results of all three options and provide detailed usage recommendations of the lab kits we chose. For analog and digital circuit labs, there are several crucial functionalities that the lab kits need to provide, such as AC and DC power supplies, oscilloscope, digital I/O’s, or FPGA, and requiring an adequate number of channels for each. Most lab kits integrate Analog-to-Digital and Digital-to-Analog converters to achieve such functionalities. The lab kits also need to be affordable and portable. We have tested multiple devices in order to assign appropriate lab kits to several different courses based on course needs. Besides the health benefit to use individual lab kits, every student must be engaged in the individual labs, whereas in group-labs using bench-top devices in a lab setting, some students may hide out when their team members are doing the majority of the work. Understandably, the portable lab kits will be limited in their voltage, current, and frequency ranges, and there will be some courses that require certain lab equipment that are beyond such lab kits’ capabilities. The constraints of the lab kits that we have experimented with will be reported in this paper, as well. The solution presented in this paper provides ideas and inspirations to other institutions, as we share the common goal to maintain and hopefully enhance the students’ hands-on learning experience.

Yan, Y., & Adams, R. D., & Yanik, P. M., & Jack, H., & Ritenour, A., & Karayaka, H. B. (2021, July), BYOE: Individual Lab Kit Options for Analog and Digital Circuits Suitable for In-class or At-home Experiments Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36778

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