Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Electrical and Computer
Increasing online and distance education has become a significant interest in engineering education today. As these venues for learning have become increasingly feasible and popular, one aspect of engineering education resists the transition online: the laboratory experience. A traditional engineering teaching laboratory (lab) requires a significant amount of equipment, materials, and personnel in order to operate, and so the experience is therefore restricted to a specific time and space. To address this, labs have been developed to allow remote access to local equipment so that students can conduct experiments through an interface over the internet. While this is a valuable resource, it reduces hands-on interaction and still requires maintenance, troubleshooting, and space at the host site.
However, new technology in circuit analysis has made it possible to assemble the basic equipment needed in an electronics lab station in a small kit for less than $350. On this scale, it becomes possible to create portable lab kits that individual students could use to perform lab experiments on their own time outside of the physical lab.
This paper describes a pilot test of a portable lab format based on the Analog Discovery USB oscilloscope and multi-function instrument made by Digilent®. The format was developed and tested in an introductory circuits course covering the analog analysis of electrical circuits under alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), and a brief introduction to digital circuits. The course includes three hours of lecture per week and a three-hour lab every other week that explores concepts and applications related to lecture topics.
The development process is documented, including adaptations to lab exercises necessitated by the limitations of the Analog Discovery. Also, student feedback was collected throughout the pilot testing process, and general themes and ideas are presented here. As anticipated, students struggle to become familiar with the Analog Discovery system, but benefit from the flexibility offered by the portable lab. Finally, recommendations for future implementations are given based on lessons learned along the way.
Lopez, S. E., & Lawanto, O., & Rivera-Reyes, P. (2018, June), Developing Portable Lab Kits for a Foundational Circuits Class Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30310
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