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Project-based Service Oriented Projects as a Way to Learn and Apply Analog Electronics

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Project-based and Cooperative Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1084.1 - 25.1084.21



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Paper Authors


Oscar Ortiz LeTourneau University

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Oscar Ortiz, M.S., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology at LeTourneau University, where he has taught since 2002. He received his B.S.E.E. from the state university of West Virginia at Morgantown and his M.S. degree from Northeastern University at Boston, Mass. Prior to joining the faculty at LeTourneau, he was involve in several voice and data communication companies. His professional interests include digital signal processing, analog, and digital communications. Email:

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Paul R. Leiffer LeTourneau University

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Paul R. Leiffer is a professor in the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology and Chairman of the Engineering Department
at LeTourneau University, where he has taught since 1979.
He is the co-developer of LeTourneau’s program in BioMedical Engineering.
He received his B.S.E.E. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Drexel
Prior to joining the faculty at LeTourneau, he was involved in cardiac cell research at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
His professional interests include bioinstrumentation, engineering design, digital signal processing, and engineering ethics.

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Project-based Service Learning Projects as a way to learn and apply Analog ElectronicsAbstractElectrical and computer engineering students at our university are required during their junioryear to take a three credit lecture course and a two credit laboratory in analog electronics. Overthe past seven years, several attempts have been made to enhance students learning throughparticipation in PBL projects1, 2. In Project-base learning PBL, since the project is developed bythe instructor and the learning path is predictable, student creativity, ingenuity and innovationmay be diminished. In order to provide opportunities for student creativity and innovation, aservice project was introduced in the fall of 2011. Project-based service learning PBSL is alearner focused form of active learning where students work to solve a real life problem whilealso providing a rich learning experience3.Since the major topics of study in analog electronics include the study of such semiconductorsdevices as diodes, zener diodes, BJT’s transistors, and MOSFETs, the PBSL projects wererequired to be designed around the use of an ASK transmitter and receiver. The projectintroduces the use of previous knowledge such as impedance, resonance, loading, and matching,learned in their circuits I and circuits II courses while challenging their search for future topicssuch as RF communication theory, and digital electronics, microcontrollers, which are learned inlater engineering courses. The wireless characteristics of the ASK transmitter and receiverpromoted the design of service projects such as a wireless security system, a mail alert system,and a wireless home control system for a handicapped person.In the lab course, students work in small teams and have 12 weeks to design and implement theirservice learning project. During the first two weeks, research is conducted about their projectideas, followed by several weeks of draft designs, re-calculations and testing. At the end of thesemester they must write a report, deliver a power point presentation, and demo their project.Surveys were conducted before and after each design session, and at the end of the final project.Student understanding and mastery of the course content was measured using quizzes, tests, theproject presentations, and written final reports. A comparison between this year’s results and theprevious year’s results is included. Improvement of student learning and the development ofdecision making skills through service project learning may prompt the implementation of otherprojects that may include multidisciplinary collaboration, integration of projects between classes,and projects across concentrations.

Ortiz, O., & Leiffer, P. R. (2012, June), Project-based Service Oriented Projects as a Way to Learn and Apply Analog Electronics Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21841

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