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Electronic Media To Enhance Electrical Engineering Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.479.1 - 8.479.12



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Paper Authors

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Gerald Burnham

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Don Millard

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

Session 2793

Electronic Media to Enhance Electrical Engineering Education

Don Millard, Gerald Burnham Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/University of Texas-Dallas


Electrical Engineering (EE) students play computer games watch television, surf the web, instant message and use search engines - all allowing them to switch content at will - rather than focusing on a singular offering. This results in a shortened attention span, lower tolerance for repetition and static media. This clearly challenges educators to provide information in more dynamic, compelling, and interactive ways.1 Simultaneously, our insatiable desire for more electronics functionality and higher performance computing – increases the demand for companies to hire students with advanced skills in science, math, engineering and technology. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) degree programs are exhibiting large enrollments in engineering schools. According to John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the circuit analysis, electronics, and signals & systems market is estimated to involve more than 100,000 students in 2003-2004. This large population generates a tremendous need for interactive educational materials that are able to cover a broad spectrum of engineering concepts and applications. ECE degrees also open doors to other careers. Many EE graduates have moved into other professions such as medicine, law, and business where their engineering education has been a valuable asset. As educators, we need to incorporate practical examples, engaging illustrative materials and interactive teaching methods that reach and motivate the diverse groups that are involved. Dynamic interactive electronic media facilitates this flexibility, allowing users to guide themselves through the materials according to their own level and interest. Furthermore, educators now have the potential to identify a student’s learning style2,3 and conceptual problems, thus allowing them to deliver education in more effective ways using a combination of learning technologies, virtual simulations, visualizations, web-based experimentation, and collaborative technologies. Today we depend on computers and the Internet to do our jobs, yet with all this available technology we have only begun to scratch the surface of how we may harness the microprocessor to improve education.4 Interactive “Studio” based instruction at Rensselaer has been successful in mathematics, science and electrical, computer and systems engineering courses5 - where computers are used to: help explain concepts with dynamic media; simulate design and performance; and process data from real or virtual experiments. In a typical two-hour class with a score of three to five different modes of orchestrated activity (e.g. lecture, problem solving, experiments, etc.), the challenge is to provide "adequate" time for each activity so that all students can benefit. Notwithstanding, there is a need to provide supplemental "if you have time" components (e.g. engaging interactive modules) so all students can maintain interest.6 The incorporation of animation, interactive simulation, video, and expert commentaries

Burnham, G., & Millard, D. (2003, June), Electronic Media To Enhance Electrical Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11968

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