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Design and Evaluation of a Web-based Virtual Open Laboratory Teaching Assistant (VOLTA) for Circuits Laboratory

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.449.1 - 26.449.16



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Paper Authors


Firdous Saleheen Temple University

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Firdous Saleheen received the B.Sc. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2008, and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA in 2013. From 2008 to 2010, he was with Mango Teleservices Ltd., Dhaka, an international IP bandwidth provider of Bangladesh, as a Senior Engineer in the Research and Development Department. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in ECE department of Temple University. His research interests include tactile sensation imaging, diffuse optical imaging, biomedical imaging systems development, machine learning, and statistical control theory.

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Salvatore Giorgi Temple University

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Salvatore Giorgi received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at Temple University in 2012 and 2014, respectively. His research interest includes optimal cost density shaping, statistical control and adaptive neural control.

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Zachary Thomas Smith Temple University


Joseph Picone Temple University

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Joseph Picone received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1983 from
the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple
University. His primary research interests are currently machine
learning approaches to acoustic modeling in speech recognition. His
research group is known for producing many innovative open source
materials for signal processing including a public domain speech
recognition system. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has been
active in several professional societies related to human language
technology. He has authored numerous papers on the subject and holds
several patents in this field.

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Chang-Hee Won Temple University

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Chang-Hee Won is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of Control, Sensor, Network, and Perception (CSNAP) Laboratory at Temple University. Previous to coming to academia, he worked at Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute as a senior research engineer. Currently, he is actively guiding various research projects funded by National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Department of Defense. His research interests include stochastic optimal control theory, sensing systems, and virtual laboratory assistant.

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Web-based Virtual Laboratory Assistant for Circuits LaboratoryFirdous Saleheen, Salvatore Giorgi, Zachary Smith, Vira Oleksyuk, and Chang-Hee Won* Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Temple University 1947 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 Voice: (215) 204-6158 Fax: (215) 204-5960 *Corresponding Author, E-Mail: Submitted to the 2015 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition NSF Grantees’ Poster Session Temple University, Philadelphia, PA October 10, 2014 Abstract A virtual laboratory assistant (VLA) software will provide personalized instruction forstudents participating in a self-paced undergraduate circuits laboratory. VLA will allow studentsto work in the open laboratory even a teaching assistant is unavailable. The system’scomponents include pre-lab testing and instruction, engineering design exercises, short topicexplanation videos, instrumentation instruction (including safety), and a corresponding post-labtest module. This web-based VLA software will guide a student for circuit simulation andhardware laboratory. VLA will also answer frequently asked questions that the student mighthave during the lab. Furthermore, VLA can guide the students in building, verifying, andtroubleshooting a circuit simulation by utilizing a circuit recognition algorithm. This algorithmuses image processing to recognize the circuits for simulation. The preliminary results show thatthe circuit recognizer module can identify the RLC circuits. This approach will ultimately useless resources and add flexibility by using fewer teaching assistants and less dedicated space,both of which are important administrative benefits. The merits of our open laboratory approachinclude (1) individual, self-paced learning is possible, (2) 24/7 accessibility, (3) shy or moretimid students can receive personalized instruction in a non-threatening environment, and (4)increasing the level of engagement by allowing students to freely explore the subject matter.Because of these advantages, we hypothesize that the students who learn in an open labenvironment will perform better than in a traditional closed lab. In this poster, we present theVLA software and the preliminary results of pre- and post-lab assessment.

Saleheen, F., & Giorgi, S., & Smith, Z. T., & Picone, J., & Won, C. (2015, June), Design and Evaluation of a Web-based Virtual Open Laboratory Teaching Assistant (VOLTA) for Circuits Laboratory Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23787

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