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Hands On Distance Learning Laboratory Course Using Internet Video Tools

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Web-based Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

15.636.1 - 15.636.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16027

Download Count

42

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Paper Authors

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Kathleen Meehan Virginia Tech

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Joshua Quesenberry Virginia Tech

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Mr. Quesenberry graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in May 2009. He is currently working on his Masters degree in computer engineering at Virginia Tech.

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Justeen Olinger Virginia Western Community College

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Ms. Olinger is a sophomore in the Associates of Science in Engineering degree program at Virginia Western Community College.

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Kevin Diomedi II Virginia Western Community College

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Mr. Diomedi II is a sophomore in the Associates of Science in Engineering at Virginia Western Community College.

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Robert Hendricks Virginia Tech

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Richard Clark Virginia Western Community College

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Peter Doolittle Virginia Tech

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

Hands-On Distance-Learning Laboratory Course Using Internet Video Conferencing Tools Abstract

Since 2004, the Virginia Tech Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has required a circuits laboratory course to accompany the circuits lecture course in its BSEE and BSCpE curricula. A unique feature of this course is that the students conduct much of their work using set of equipment, known as Lab-in-a-Box (LiaB), outside of a traditional classroom environment. To support the needs of the incoming transfer students and students engaged in co-op and internship programs, we decided to develop a distance learning hands-on laboratory course, an opportunity that is possible due to the flexible platform offered by LiaB. Lectures on each experiment and other supplemental learning materials have been developed, used in the on-campus course during Spring 2010, and converted to Powerpoint slides with embedded audio for use in the on-line course. A key component to the on-campus laboratory course is regular one-on-one interactions between each student and the course instructor or graduate teaching assistant (GTA). Hence, ‘face-to-face’ communication was immediately identified as a critical requirement for the success of the on-line laboratory course, where practical instructional support via real-time demonstrations of measurement techniques and methods to debug circuits is provided. In addition, we decided to maintain an element of the current on-campus course in which each student must demonstrate the circuit’s operation to the GTA at the end of each laboratory experiment. Three software packages that would enable the needed video interaction were evaluated: Saba Centra, currently used at Virginia Tech for our distance learning courses; Adobe Connect Pro, a web conferencing and eLearning software package; and Skype, a voice- and video-over-internet program. While Adobe Connect Pro offered the most complete platform of the three programs evaluate, the quality of the video and voice transmission achieved using Skype was equal in performance and was the less expensive option. Two video capture devices were tested – the built-in webcam on an Apple Macbook Pro and the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. The external video camera allowed images of the circuit on the breadboard and video of the student performing measurements using the digital multimeter or oscilloscope to be easily collected. The distance learning hands-on circuits laboratory course using these tools will be offered in Summer 2010.

Introduction

The Virginia Tech Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has offered a circuits laboratory course to accompany the circuits lecture course, which has generally been the first opportunity for most of our sophomore undergraduate students to design, construct, and characterize electrical circuits. A unique feature of this laboratory course is that the students conduct much of their work using set of equipment, known as Lab-in-a-Box (LiaB), outside of a traditional classroom

Meehan, K., & Quesenberry, J., & Olinger, J., & Diomedi II, K., & Hendricks, R., & Clark, R., & Doolittle, P. (2010, June), Hands On Distance Learning Laboratory Course Using Internet Video Tools Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16027

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