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Interactive Learning Modules For Electrical Engineering Education And Training

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.336.1 - 4.336.13

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Don Lewis Millard

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

Session 2532

Interactive Learning Modules for Electrical Engineering Education and Training

Don Lewis Millard Rensselaer


Web-based multimedia tutorials are being developed for use in several undergraduate courses in Electrical Engineering and Computer and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer. These interactive learning modules (ILMs) are created with the Director authoring environment and can be deployed using a standard Web browser. The ILMs can be used by faculty for in-class demonstrations, by students for structured exercises (particularly in the Studio format of course delivery) and by students anytime, anywhere via the Internet. The ILMs allow the students to explore concepts in more detail and gain practical experience in design and application. They are developed to provide application- based motivation for learning, present fundamental concepts using animation and visualization, provide interactive practice on problem-solving, and open-ended design experience. This paper discusses the development, utilization and assessment of ILMs involving the 555 Timer IC, an Electrical Engineering Fundamentals Handbook (EE handbook), an Electronics Circuit Card Manufacturing Handbook, Common-Emitter Amplifier Design, Electronic Filters, Operational Amplifiers, and Convolution. Such modules are currently being used in our introductory courses in circuits, electronics, instrumentation, and signals and systems, all of which are taught using Rensselaer’s Studio mode of delivery. The initial experiences by both faculty and students have been very positive, indicating that a combination of using interactive learning modules along with the Studio format of course delivery offers a new model for engineering education.

I. Introduction

Computers are such an integral part of our day-to-day lives that they control the microwave that heats our morning coffee, the publication of the newspaper we read with our breakfast, the car that carries us to work, and almost every aspect of the job once we get there. We gather information on the World Wide Web, and exchange information with colleagues via e-mail. But with all this available technology, we have only begun to scratch the surface of how we may harness the influence and power of the microprocessor to improve higher education.

Let us examine the students we are trying to reach. Those entering college today have become accustomed to television remote controls, computer games, and Web browsers that allow them to switch content at will - rather than stay engaged. Their shortened attention span, lowered tolerance for boredom, and aversion to static media challenge us to provide information in more dynamic, compelling, and interactive ways. Even the older students, who make up a growing off-campus

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Millard, D. L. (1999, June), Interactive Learning Modules For Electrical Engineering Education And Training Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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