April 23, 2021
April 23, 2021
April 25, 2021
Paper: Necessity Brings Out a Welcomed Laboratory Change
Henry Yeh and Arthur Densmore California State University Long Beach Electrical Engineering Department
As many universities may have similarly encountered due to the onset of the pandemic the Cal State Long Beach Electrical Engineering department pondered as the summer approached how to implement its laboratory courses appropriately without the students meeting in the university’s laboratories, as the Cal State system’s response to the pandemic required. Consideration was given to conducting the labs using only simulation; although, limiting the students to simulated labs does not afford the student the opportunity to work with real components and the need to overcome real-world implementation issues when physically building and testing their circuits that we believe are an essential part of the intended student lab experience. We identified the National Instruments (NI) myDAQ as a candidate mini electronics laboratory that each individual student could use to do the required lab work in their personal work area. The myDAQ is powered and controlled by the student’s personal computer and provides all the essential lab equipment functions that the university’s laboratories provide except that the myDAQ is limited to measuring only at audio frequencies. The EE department sold the idea to the College of Engineering and received funding to procure 200 myDAQ units to loan to the lab students. The myDAQs were allocated to the EE lab courses that were deemed of highest priority, and arrangements were made to distribute the myDAQ units for loan to the students through the campus bookstore. The several EE professors assigned to teach the chosen lab courses each learned to use the myDAQ and recorded a series of how-to videos during the summer in preparation for the Fall students to use these customized online videos to hit the ground running with their use of the loaned myDAQ units. The Fall labs went well, with the EE lab students being properly engaged in doing their lab exercises using the myDAQ. At the end of the semester the students were asked for their impressions of using the myDAQ, and the majority of the lab students expressed appreciation of the automated features of the NI myDAQ instrument such as the Bode Analyzer, which automates the measurement of the frequency response of a filter circuit, which automation the university lab instruments don’t yet offer. Student enthusiasm for the myDAQ led some students to suggest that the university also consider investing in the NI myRIO device as well.
Densmore, A., & Yeh, H. (2021, April), Paper: Necessity Brings Out a Welcomed Laboratory Change Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption", Virtual. https://peer.asee.org/38243
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