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Design and Evaluation of Undergraduate Feedback-control System Course in Distance Learning

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Curriculum and Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Chen Xu New York City College of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Chen Xu is an Assistant Professor at Computer Engineering Technology department in New York City College of Technology. She received her Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.Her research areas of interest are in biomedical sensors and instrumentation, image processing, signal processing, and non-invasive medical test.

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Lili Ma New York City College of Technology

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Professor Ma received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Utah State University focusing on autonomous ground vehicles. After that she did three-year post-doctoral training at Virginia Tech working with autonomous aerial vehicles. Prior to joining the Computer Engineering Technology (CET) department at City Tech in fall 2016, she taught at Wentworth Institute of Technology for many years. Professor Ma’s research areas include autonomous mobile robots, vision-based control, visual servoing, visual tracking, coordinated control, and sensing & perception techniques.

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This paper is a work-in-progress (WIP) paper. COVID19 pandemic profoundly changed the way educators teach and the way students learn. Our institution, the New York City College of Technology, abruptly switched to distance learning mode in Spring 2020 and continues to offer all courses online in Fall 2020. This paper presents the redesign and evaluation of an undergraduate Feedback Control System course to adapt to distance learning. Feedback Control System course is the last required course for the Bachelor of Technology (BTech) program in Computer Engineering Technology (CET), which has a 3-hour lecture lesson and a 3-hour lab session every week. Due to our BTech students' diverse mathematical backgrounds, students think this course is demanding even in the traditional face-to-face teaching mode. Teaching such a mathematically involved class in the distance learning mode poses significant challenges to both the instructors and the students. This paper documents our re-structure and redesign process of both the lecture and lab components to facilitate students' remote learning experience, satisfy the ABET accreditation criteria and maintain our pre-set learning standard. The online characteristic gives the instructors the freedom and a framework to teach classes in various delivery modes via synchronous lectures (like virtual meetings) and asynchronous online supplementary resources (for example, Blackboard). The arrangements we made to adjust to the distance learning mode include: a) decomposition of the course context into three modules and clear specification of the corresponding learning objectives of each module; b) combination of different technologies to create friendly and inclusive learning environment; c) frequent assessment of students' performance via online quizzes/tests; and d) carefully-designed laboratory assignments via Matlab simulations that are able to demonstrate the entire feedback control process. A comparison of students' performance under the traditional face-to-face learning mode and the new distance learning mode will be conducted. Based on assessment results, we will evaluate the effectiveness of our current teaching methodology/plan developed for distance learning and possibly identify potential areas for further improvement.

Xu, C., & Ma, L. (2021, July), Design and Evaluation of Undergraduate Feedback-control System Course in Distance Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36908

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