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Circuits Learned By Example Online (Cleo)

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.356.1 - 12.356.6



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Paper Authors


Ed Doering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Edward Doering is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he teaches courses in circuits and systems, digital systems, image processing, and electronic music synthesis. His research interests include technology-enabled education, image processing, and FPGA-based signal processing.

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Xiaoyan Mu Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Xiaoyan Mu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT). Currently she teaches classes of electrical circuits and embedded system design. She received her Ph.D. from Wayne State University in July, 2004. Her research interests are in the areas of artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, image processing and computer vision.

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

Circuits Learned by Example Online (CLEO)


Project CLEO (Circuits Learned by Example Online) offers a comprehensive web-based repository of solved circuit analysis example problems delivered as narrated video clips. The videos are created by drawing and writing on a computer-hosted digitizing tablet while a screen capture program captures video frames and audio of the content expert’s commentary. The result is a carefully scripted and edited hand-drawn animation that appears as a close-up of a piece of paper with writing and drawings appearing as if “by magic.” Results from research in teaching and learning motivate the pedagogical style of the commentary, which emphasizes expert explanations of the rationale behind the multi-step solution process. Since beginning students often experience difficulty knowing how to conceptualize the big-picture solution process, watching and listening to the visual solution unfold (redrawing and simplifying circuits, highlighting points of interest, writing equations) helps students to learn available options and strategies at each juncture of the multi-step problem, and to become familiar with common conceptual pitfalls and how to avoid them. The video format accommodates various styles and rates of student learning since students can interact with the material by pausing, replaying, and skipping to points of interest as needed. The audio commentary – by far the most valuable aspect of the video – is available in English, Chinese, and closed-captioned text.


“Please do more examples in class” is an oft-repeated request of engineering students taking sophomore-level circuit analysis courses. Instructors try to strike a balanced presentation of general theories, facts, problem-solving strategies, and illustrative examples, but it seems that students always want more examples. Students spend most of their out-of-class time preparing solutions to homework sets, so they express a desire for many specific examples. While some students may simply be seeking templates for pattern matching, the fact remains that learning by example is a powerful and effective way for anyone to begin mastery of a new knowledge domain1. Observing an expert solve problems in a particular knowledge domain constitutes an early stage in the apprenticeship style of learning2 in which a learner begins by observing, then tries the activity with frequent feedback from the expert, then continues with decreasing feedback as the learner becomes more like the expert. Outside of class, students find additional examples in print resources such as textbooks and study guides such as Schaum’s Outline series, online tools such as MIT’s OpenCourseWare3, and archived online lectures. Online lectures are frequently accessible only to enrolled students, but some schools provide complete archived lectures free of charge, for example, the EECS 40 circuit analysis course at UC Berkeley4. However, students have limited time to devote to any particular class, and searching through hours of archived lectures for the single needed example relevant to the problem at hand is not feasible. A single “one-stop shopping” web-based repository of worked examples accompanied by expert explanation would be a valuable resource.

We have developed Project CLEO (Circuits Learned by Example Online) as a comprehensive web-based repository of solved circuit analysis example problems delivered as narrated video

Doering, E., & Mu, X. (2007, June), Circuits Learned By Example Online (Cleo) Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1901

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