June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.762.1 - 14.762.18
Integrating LabVIEW and Real-Time Monitoring into Engineering Instruction
Authors’ experiences with programming modules in a freshman engineering course at Virginia Tech are documented. An approach involving gradual integration of the LabVIEW programming concepts into this course is suggested. A variety of assessment data indicate success of the proposed approach. A LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) is introduced and status of its development is discussed. It is proposed to integrate the LEWAS into the curriculum of this freshman engineering course. Integration of LEWAS is a logical extension of the current LabVIEW activities and is targeted at enhancing sustainability component of the course. After the integration of real-time water quality monitoring, enabled by the LEWAS, students will be able to learn about environmental sustainability using data from an on-campus impaired stream.
In 2004, a group of engineering and education faculty at Virginia Tech received a major curriculum reform and engineering education research grant under the department-level reform program of the NSF1. This grant resulted in developing a framework for reformulating the curricula of bioprocess engineering, within the Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) department and general engineering (GE, also called freshman engineering), within the Engineering Education (EngE) department using a spiral theory approach2. A number of hands- on activities were developed and implemented in the freshman engineering program as a result of the Departmental Level Reform (DLR) project3,4,5. Engineering Exploration (EngE1024), a freshman engineering course required of all engineering undergraduates, is the most affected course by the DLR project in the GE program. This course primarily focuses on hands-on design, problem solving, professional ethics and skills, and critical thinking skills9. This course is taken by about 1700 freshmen every year. One of the learning objectives of this course is that after successful completion the students should be able to develop and implement algorithms and demonstrate understanding of basic programming concepts. In late 90s, FORTRAN was replaced by MATLAB to cover basic programming instruction in this course. Beginning in Fall ’04, MATLAB was replaced by Alice programming language. In Spring ’07, Alice was replaced by LabVIEW programming. The dataflow programming approach of LabVIEW is suitable for many engineering applications. Furthermore this approach is well suited for collection, processing and communication of environmental data which can be used to teach sustainability concepts; the details of this application are covered in the section “LabVIEW Enabled Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS)”.
Lohani, V., & Delgoshaei, P., & Green, C. (2009, June), Integrating Labview And Real Time Monitoring Into Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5530
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