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Improving Data Acquisition And Reduction In A First Year Student Laboratory Experiment

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer-Based Data Acquisition Systems

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

10.729.1 - 10.729.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/14164

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

author page

Michael Hoffmann

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

Improving Data Acquisition and Reduction in a First-Year-Student Laboratory Experiment

Michael Hoffmann

The Ohio State University

Abstract

The College of Engineering at The Ohio State University requires all engineering students to complete introductory courses in engineering as part of their academic experience. The courses are usually taken during a student’s first year and follow either a standard two course track or an honors three course track. Courses in each track have both lecture and hands-on laboratory components. For the second course of the standard track, four-member-teams of students must design and build a roller coaster as their 10-week lab project. One supporting experiment requires the acquisition of voltage and time data on two channels. An off-the-shelf virtual oscilloscope instrument had been used to acquire time data, but its use resulted in an operational bottleneck in the lab. It took students too long to learn or relearn the virtual tool, and too long to acquire, read-off, and notate time data. To help resolve the problem, an on-purpose data acquisition and reduction computer program was written in the LabVIEW™ graphical programming language and was implemented on laboratory computers. Also, to further help in time management and data processing accuracy, tables of geometric values were developed for each apparatus. This paper describes the old and new methods of data acquisition and processing as used in one lab experience in support of the student-team roller coaster design process. It presents an assessment of the effectiveness of the new method relative to the old, and shares information regarding future efforts to improve student experience with laboratory data acquisition and reduction.

Background

Data acquisition and reduction concepts can be difficult to understand for even a seasoned experimentalist. And providing a satisfactory learning environment for first-year college students can be a truly challenging process, especially if the data processing is not the main object of the experience.

An approach taken by The College of Engineering at The Ohio State University requires all engineering students to successfully complete one of two possible tracks as an introduction to engineering; a standard track of two introductory courses or a more challenging honors track of three introductory courses in engineering. A track is usually selected and taken during a student’s first year, and both include the use of lecture and hands-on laboratory components.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Hoffmann, M. (2005, June), Improving Data Acquisition And Reduction In A First Year Student Laboratory Experiment Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14164

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