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Improving Learning Outcomes In Engineering Education: Student Retention And Quality

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.699.1 - 15.699.7



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Paper Authors


Jean-Claude Thomassian State University of New York, Maritime College

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Dr. Jean-Claude Thomassian received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Toledo in 1995 and 2002. His main professional interests are in mixed mode IC design and electrical engineering education; his recent research activity concentrates on symbolic analysis of circuits and MOS models.

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Anoop Desai Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Anoop Desai received his BS degree in Production Engineering from the University of Bombay in 1999, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from The University of Cincinnati in 2002 and 2006. His main research interests are in Product Lifecycle Management, Design for the Environment, Total Quality Management including tools for Six Sigma and Ergonomics.

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

Improving Learning Outcomes in Engineering Education: Student Retention and Quality


This paper discusses the use of Media Based Instruction method as an educational effort to improve student retention and quality in an introductory Electronics and Network Analysis course offered at a university in northeastern United States. It also seeks to study the effects of technology-based instruction that complements conventional instruction. This progress, as well as lessons learned in the first three years of Media Based Instruction in introductory engineering courses (namely Circuits, Electronics, Network Analysis, and C++ for Digital Computations) is evaluated with data. The efficacy of embedding conventional teaching with Media Based Instruction is assessed.


This paper explores the results of a study and feedback completed by students. The feedback was based on their outlook toward a media-based tool that was used in the instruction of Electronics and Network Analysis. It also seeks to present an educational effort to improve students’ retention and quality by engaging students in their studies. Our evaluation complements other studies on media-based instruction and student engagement. Cohen et al1 found that students learned more from such instruction modes compared to conventional modes of instruction. Powell et al2 also explored this topic and found that such instructional modes had the effect of raising the GPAs of the students. Furthermore, Chen et al3 found that enhancing student engagement is an essential approach for improving student retention, success and outcomes.

A midterm project was assigned where the class was randomly divided by the professor into several groups (3-4 students per group). They had to build a night lamp given some specifications, write a report, and give a 5-10 minute Powerpoint presentation. This exercise fostered a collaborative learning environment that facilitated student engagement where learning is active and interactive amongst themselves, their peers, and their professors inside and outside of the classroom.

PSpice, Personal Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis, is a general purpose analog circuit and digital logic simulation software used to check the reliability of circuit designs and to predict circuit behavior. SPICE4 was originally developed at the Electronics Research Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley. PSpice is a commercial version of SPICE and is now owned by Cadence Design Systems. Supplementary information about PSpice is available at:

Electronics and Network Analysis: Course Outline

The electronics course deals with an introduction to electronic devices and their applications.

Thomassian, J., & Desai, A. (2010, June), Improving Learning Outcomes In Engineering Education: Student Retention And Quality Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16049

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