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Redesigning the Circuits for Non-majors Course with the Addition of a Robotics Project

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Robotics, Mechatronics, and Control Systems - Multidisciplinary Perspectives

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1027.1 - 23.1027.19



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Paper Authors


Chad Eric Davis P.E. University of Oklahoma

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Chad Davis received the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1994), the M.S. in Electrical Engineering (2000), and the Ph.D. in Engineering (2007) from the University of Oklahoma.
Since 2008, he has been a member of the ECE faculty at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining the OU-ECE faculty he worked in industry at Uponor, McElroy Manufacturing, Lucent, Celestica, and Boeing. 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 dual discipline (electrical & mechanical) professional engineering license in the state of Oklahoma.

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Pakize S. Pulat University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Simin Pulat is the Associate Dean for Undegraduate Education in the College of Engineering and a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Operations Research from the North Carolina State University.

Her research interests include broadening STEM education, recruitment and retention of diverse group of engineering students, transportation logistics, lean and six sigma applications. Dr. Pulat is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and a member of the American Society of Engineering Education.

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Redesigning the Circuits for Non-majors Course with the Addition of a Robotics Project Abstract: One of the most challenging tasks in engineering education is teaching courses to students that are outside their major area. This is especially true for an electrical circuit’s course. Majors other than electrical and computer engineering (ECE) are not typically motivated about circuit theory and many educators have tried to address this challenge [1, 2]. With this lack of motivation in mind, our university developed a unique curriculum for teaching circuits and other ECE concepts to non-ECE majors. One motivation common to non-ECE students in learning circuit theory is their desire to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam. While attempting to capitalize on this source of motivation, an FE review book for ECE topics was utilized. This book includes the additional ECE content for students taking the “general” engineering (renamed “Other Disciplines” in 2010) version of the FE exam. Topics such as sensors, instrumentation, and electrical machines were considered ideal additional content for the Chemical and Mechanical Engineering majors but not for other majors such as Industrial Systems engineering and Architectural engineering. This led to the idea to split the Electrical Circuits course into three one credit-hour modules. By separating the traditional circuits for non-majors course into one-hour modules, different disciplines can build their curriculum to the needs of their students. It also allows new topics that are usually not taught in a circuit’s course to be covered. With this model, the addition of a robotics project was introduced in the spring 2011 semester in the ENGR 3431 one-hour course. Due to its great success, the robotics project is now an integral part of the course. Student surveys and course evaluations are used to assess the implementation of this robotics project. Additionally, assessments of class size and student level disparity are also performed.[1] A. Oliveira, “Challenges of Teaching Electrical Engineering Classes to Nonmajors,” ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings, AC 2009-58, 2009.[2] H. Alnajjar and L. Godbout, “Web-Based Circuit Animator to Aid in Teaching Circuit Theory,” ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings, Session 1532, 2003.

Davis, C. E., & Pulat, P. S. (2013, June), Redesigning the Circuits for Non-majors Course with the Addition of a Robotics Project Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22412

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