New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Electrical and Computer
Electrical engineering (EE) students are typically introduced to their major without much hands-on exposure. To engage students with active learning in their early EE courses, a design tool was selected whose operation requires minimal electrical knowledge and whose cost is not prohibitive: the Analog Discovery by Digilent. This tool enables each student to learn, construct, and measure electronic circuits beyond the traditional classroom and laboratory environments. To integrate use of this portable instrument across the EE curriculum, the authors of this work have crafted several projects to supplement traditional courses.
Starting freshman year, each student purchases an Analog Discovery unit and the instructor supplies components and breadboards. During in-class exercises, students build and measure simple analog and digital circuits, providing hands-on reinforcement of theoretical concepts. In the sophomore year, each student also purchases a multimeter and is issued an electronic parts kit. During the Circuit Analysis course, each homework is supplemented with a hands-on exercise. The student first performs a written analysis, then constructs the circuit and takes measurements with the Analog Discovery instrument to confirm their theoretical results.
Integration of such an instrument into undergraduate courses helps to align the electrical engineering curriculum with outcomes specified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Students’ scores on in-class projects and homework indicate proficiency with breadboarding, waveform generation, and instrumentation, well before they take their first formal electrical laboratory course. Also, end-of-course feedback from students indicates that they appreciate hands-on learning and see a direct link between classroom theory and practical implementation.
Mazzaro, G. J., & Hayne, R. J. (2016, June), Instructional Demos, In-Class Projects, and Hands-On Homework: Active Learning for Electrical Engineering using the Analog Discovery Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25744
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