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Experiences With An Introductory Electronics Course For Non Science Majors

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ET Interdisciplinary Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.543.1 - 7.543.11



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Paper Authors

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Biswajit Ray

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

Main Menu Session 3148

Experiences with an Introductory Electronics Course for Non-Science Majors

Biswajit Ray Dept. of Physics & Engineering Technology Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Abstract Experience with a hands-on introductory electronics course for non-science majors is presented. This three-credit course is offered as a general education science course with no physics or mathematics pre-requisite. Expectation of students varies from getting a basic understanding of electronics to building a television to learning new technology innovations and breakthroughs. The course becomes interesting to students only when the subject material is discussed in relation to real-world electronic gadgets as evidenced by the course-level assessment- improvement-verification feedback process. The course starts with basics of electricity and ends with microcomputer architecture, and encompasses significant hands-on circuit building and testing throughout the semester. Details on curriculum, assessment, l aboratory exercises, teaching and laboratory methodologies, homework and textbook issues, and techniques that work as well as the ones that do not work are presented herein.

Introduction An introductory electronics course as a general education science course for non-science majors is in existence for some time at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. This course was recently revamped to make it more challenging and interesting to students supported by a course- level assessment-improvement-verification process. The interest level and background of students were taken into consideration in updating this course. Hands -on laboratory exercises and qualitative circuit analysis are supplemented with simple mathematical analysis as needed.

This three-credit introductory course is offered primarily to nonphysical science majors, and most students register to fulfill their general education science requirement. The semester -long course has no physics or mathematics requirement, and is open to students of any major and academic level. The objective of the course is to provide “theoretical and practical knowledge of electronic circuits, instruments and devices”. Hands-on experience in building and testing electronic circuits is an integral part of the course. The class typically meets for three 50-minute sessions per week. This course starts with an introduction to electricity and ends with microcomputer architecture.

The following sections present student background, course-level assessment approach, curriculum and laboratory methodology, textbook issues, student feedback, and DO’s and DON’Ts in offering such a course. Since a good number of students in this course are undeclared freshmen, a job well done could potentially help in recruiting a few EET students.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Ray, B. (2002, June), Experiences With An Introductory Electronics Course For Non Science Majors Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11107

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