Asee peer logo

How Analogies Fit in a Framework for Supporting the Entrepreneurial Mind-set in an Electric Circuits Course

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Curricular Advancements in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Heath Joseph LeBlanc Ohio Northern University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Heath J. LeBlanc is an Associate Professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department at Ohio Northern University. He received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and graduated summa cum laude with his BS in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2007. His research interests include cooperative control of networked multi-agent systems, resilient and fault-tolerant control, and networked control systems. His teaching interests include controls and automation, electric circuits, signals and systems, engineering economics, electromagnetics, and integrating the entrepreneurial mindset with an engineering mindset in core engineering courses. He received the Professor Henry Horldt Outstanding Teaching Award in 2015.

visit author page


Khalid S. Al-Olimat P.E. Ohio Northern University

visit author page

Dr. Khalid S. Al-Olimat is professor and chair of the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department at Ohio Northern University (ONU). He obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from Far Eastern University in 1990, the MS in Manufacturing Engineering from Bradley University in 1994 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1999. Dr. Al-Olimat joined ONU in fall of 1999. He teaches Circuits, electromagnetics, and the power engineering course sequence. Dr. Al-Olimat is the recipient of Henry Horldt Outstanding Teacher Award two times in 2004 and 2014, Herbert F. Alter Chair of Engineering in 2005, and the University of Toledo Outstanding Alumni Award in 2018. Dr. Al-Olimat has many publications in the areas of adaptive control, fuzzy control and machine drives in addition to engineering education. His areas of interest are power engineering, adaptive, fuzzy and intelligent control. Dr. Al-Olimat is a registered professional engineer in the State of Michigan and an ABET Program Evaluator.

Dr. Al-Olimat is a member and president of Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society for International Scholars (ONU), and a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He is also a senior member of IEEE. He served IEEE as Treasurer, Secretary, Vic-Chair, and Chair of IEEE-Lima section. He is serving the profession as a technical reviewer for many IEEE transaction journals in the areas of power and energy systems.

Dr. Al-Olimat is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Marquis Who’s Who in American Education, Marquis Who’s Who in America, Marquis Who’s Who in the World and also Listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who.

visit author page


Muhammad Ajmal Khan Ohio Northern University

visit author page

Dr. M. Ajmal Khan is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science (ECCS) at Ohio Northern University (ONU). He did his Ph.D. from The University of Western Ontario (UWO), London, Canada in wireless communications and data networks in 2016. His current research interests include wireless communications and networks, wireless systems security, and engineering education. He has actively participated in KEEN Innovating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial Mindset (ICE) Workshop in 2017 and KEEN National Conference 2018. He has actively incorporated various pedagogical techniques for Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML) in several courses including networks and data communications, electric circuits, systems design and communication systems.

visit author page


Firas Hassan Ohio Northern University

visit author page

Firas Hassan is an associate professor at Ohio Northern University. He got his Ph.D. from The university of Akron. His research interest are in the area of embedded computing of real-time image processing techniques.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper discusses the integration of curiosity, creating connections, and creating value of the entrepreneurial mindset (the so-called 3Cs of the entrepreneurial mindset) in an electric circuits course with a lab component with an emphasis on how analogies support connections. We describe how a few key modifications that are reinforced continuously throughout the course can transform the course to support the 3Cs. Each of the 3Cs is targeted by a specific approach.

Curiosity is targeted through the formulation of exploratory questions and deeper exploration of those questions. For each lecture topic, a question has been generated by the instructor designed to stimulate student thought and to show students examples of good questions designed for deeper exploration of the topics. The first couple of minutes of class is spent discussing how the question is graded across five dimensions: grammar, clarity, relevance, topic orientation and potential for depth of exploration. Students submit their own sets of exploratory questions three times throughout the course. A single point formative assessment rubric has been created to provide students feedback on their questions. A brief research paper is assigned that requires students to formulate an exploratory question, identify at least one credible and relevant source to use to explore the topic of the question, identify new questions that arise during the research process, and report their findings. It is important for students to demonstrate they are aware of what they do not know by formulating follow-up questions during the research. Doing so demonstrates an ability for students to engage in effective self-study, which supports life-long learning. Students complete the short report with an assessment of their sources found during the research process.

Connections is targeted by circuit analogies related to more familiar topics. Connecting new topics to established student knowledge is a well-researched pedagogical approach firmly grounded in the science of learning. A dozen novel circuit analogies are provided that are used in the course. An analogy reflection assignment is given that allows students to select either one of the analogies given throughout the course or to create their own analogy that connects the circuit content to a life experience or other topic. In either case, students are required to describe the underlying deep structure that is shared between the analogs of the analogy. It has been shown that students who partake in the exercise of identifying deep structure between analogs are more capable of transferring knowledge to novel situations.

Creating value is targeted through a circuit design-build-test project that requires a value proposition. Students are organized into interdisciplinary groups to design and build a temperature sensing circuit that utilizes a thermistor and meets certain design constraints but is open-ended in terms of the application, or need. Students are required to identify an important need or application for their temperature sensing circuit. The final report for the project has a value proposition section in which students summarize the value created by their design.

LeBlanc, H. J., & Al-Olimat, K. S., & Khan, M. A., & Hassan, F. (2019, June), How Analogies Fit in a Framework for Supporting the Entrepreneurial Mind-set in an Electric Circuits Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32890

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: © 2019 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