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Project-Based Approach in an Electrical Circuits Theory Course - Bringing the Laboratory to a Large Classroom

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Labs & Hands-on Instruction I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Chad Eric Davis P.E. University of Oklahoma

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Chad E. Davis received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, M.S. degree in electrical engineering, and Ph.D. degree in engineering from the University of Oklahoma (OU), Norman, in 1994, 2000, and 2007, respectively. Since 2008, he has been a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) faculty, University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining the OU-ECE faculty, he worked in industry at Uponor (Tulsa, OK), McElroy Manufacturing (Tulsa, OK), Lucent (Oklahoma City, OK), Celestica (Oklahoma City, OK), and Boeing (Midwest City, OK). His work experience ranges from electromechanical system design to automation of manufacturing and test processes. His research at OU involves GPS ground-based augmentation systems utilizing feedback control. Dr. Davis holds a professional engineering license in the state of Oklahoma. He currently serves as the faculty advisor for Robotics Club and Sooner Competitive Robotics at OU and he serves as the recruitment and outreach coordinator for OU-ECE. He received the Provost's Outstanding Academic Advising Award in 2010 and the Brandon H. Griffin Teaching Award in the COE at OU in both 2013 and 2014. In 2015 he won the John E. Fagan award that recognizes excellence in experiential teaching and extraordinary support for students outside the classroom.

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Diana Bairaktarova Virginia Tech

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Dr. Diana Bairaktarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Through real-world engineering applications, Dr. Bairaktarova’s experiential learning research spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, as she uncovers how individual performance is influenced by aptitudes, spatial skills, personal interests and direct manipulation of mechanical objects.

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Electrical Circuits Theory is a course that is required by many engineering disciplines at most universities and is often taught in a lecture-based approach. At the University of Oklahoma, an electrical circuits course was redesigned with a project-based focus in order to achieve additional learning goals that were considered important to the overall education of engineering students. Due to the large class sizes and lack of laboratory facilities, an inexpensive kit of parts and equipment was checked out to the students to support their hands-on circuit activities. The project was created to enhance students’ understanding of the course topics and to improve their circuit design and team skills. By switching from a lecture-based to a project-based approach many planned and favorable outcomes were achieved. This paper describes the project, the study findings and shares future research steps. We plan to use the lessons learned from the project-based approach to improve the hands-on section of the course in future semesters. We trust our study will be beneficial to instructors, who are teaching an electrical circuits course and are interested in bringing the laboratory to a large classroom.

Davis, C. E., & Bairaktarova, D. (2016, June), Project-Based Approach in an Electrical Circuits Theory Course - Bringing the Laboratory to a Large Classroom Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25976

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