Asee peer logo

Effectively Incorporating Hardware Experience Into A Digital Electronics Service Course

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering Poster

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.462.1 - 7.462.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

William Dillard

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu Session 1532

Effectively Incorporating Hardware Experience into a Digital Electronics Service Course

William C. Dillard 200 Broun Hall ECE Department Auburn University, AL 36849-5201 Voice (334) 844-1840 Fax (334) 844-1809


A new approach to incorporating digital hardware in an introductory digital electronics service class has been successfully demonstrated at Auburn University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Having no room in the curriculum for a formal laboratory, the central theme is to combine theory, simulation and hardware within the existing classroom/study time allotments. Teams of 5 or 6 students construct experiments “at home” and submit their circuits as homework for grading. PSPICE simulations are used to support both the lecture material and the hardware experience. Additional reading materials and tutorials have been created for better utilization of both in-class lecture and out-of-class study time. Lecture style has been modified to incorporate class time for introduction to hardware and digital simulation with PSPICE without sacrificing course content. This approach has proven to be an effective tool in introducing students to hardware issues and implementation alternative as well as improving student learning and motivation.


Traditionally, the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Auburn University taught an introductory digital electronics course at the junior level that served both electrical and computer engineers. With three hours of lecture each week, the course topic included:

· Binary, decimal and hexadecimal bases · Adder circuits · Logic operations and gates · Parity, ASCII, BCD and Gray Code · LED’s, 7-segment displays and switches · Arithmetic Logic Unit · Boolean algebra and Karnaugh maps · Decoder, encoder, MUX and DeMUX · SOP and POS formats · Programmable logic – ROM’s and PLD’s · Minterms, maxterms and lists · Flip-flops and sequential circuits · Timing diagrams and gate delay · Registers and shift registers · Signed number systems · Counters

An accompanying weekly, three-hour laboratory was also required, providing the student with a significant semester long hardware investigation. After a recent campus-wide curricula change, the original course has been replaced by two sophomore-level courses; one for electrical and computer engineering majors (with a reduced lab schedule), and the other, a service for computer

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

Main Menu

Dillard, W. (2002, June), Effectively Incorporating Hardware Experience Into A Digital Electronics Service Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10758

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015