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Restructuring Of An Electronics Lab Using Comprehensive Student Feedback

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1035.1 - 15.1035.11



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Paper Authors

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Adrian Ieta State University of New York, Oswego

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Rachid Manseur SUNY-Oswego

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Thomas Doyle McMaster University Orcid 16x16

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

Restructuring of an Electronics Lab Using Comprehensive Student Feedback

SUNY Oswego is engaged in introducing two new engineering programs. Last year, a software engineering program was approved and a new Electrical and Computer Engineering program, supported by the Computer Science and Physics departments, is progressing in its development. As a transition effort, two tracks were thought of: an electrical engineering track in Physics and a computer engineering track in Computer Science. In an effort to establish the electrical engineering track in Physics, some of the physics courses are revised. The present paper describes the restructuring of an Electronics lab course currently taught mainly to Physics majors. As part of the modification, the previous labs were initially revised and the new developments were tested on last year’s students. The course has to meet engineering accreditation requirements while serving the needs of Physics and Computer Science majors. Accordingly, the old versions of the labs were standardized to unitary presentation, new labs were introduced, and student feedback on the relevance of topics, quality, and further development needs was recorded on a regular basis. The lab content was integrated with the Electronics course that it essentially serves. The lab experience and the collected feedback are being used for writing a laboratory manual and further fine tuning will be performed with the help of the incoming students enrolled in the course. The experience with restructuring the course and blending in the students’ needs has been very positive and the lessons learned from this initiative may prove useful to other instructors in their own approach to modifying electrical engineering labs.

I. Introduction

Engineering education is an important factor for sustained economic growth and progress through technological innovation. The analysis of global development suggests that the next economic revolution will occur around a knowledge-based economy, whose intellectual capital will be the measure of its ability to compete in the global marketplace. Given the above issues, the curriculum in general and the engineering curriculum in particular must be examined from a new and dynamic perspective1. To meet increasing demands for engineering professionals, several higher education institutions that traditionally offered degree programs in the liberal arts have started or are planning to offer engineering degree programs2.

The university enrolls about 8200 students in over 100 programs of study in the Arts, humanities, sciences, and business. A Software Engineering degree has recently received state approval and a program in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is under development (the proposal is in the approval phase at university level). A new science and engineering building is in the last phase of planning; it will house natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. The ECE program is conceived to be competitive within the engineering education field and to respond to the expected needs of the engineering profession. An ECE track has been established in the CS department. A similar ECE track is planned for implementation in the Physics department in order to help with the successful creation of the new ECE department Another improvement is the revision and modernization of the mathematics content in the curriculum 3. The envisioned ECE program will rely on proven innovative teaching methods based on a project-based, hands-on, active-learning approach to engineering education. The main teaching method to be adopted is studio-based4, 5, which combines hands-on experimenting with lecturing, as opposed to the traditional lectures and lab sessions. The use of projects in the curriculum motivates student learning and facilitates understanding of class material6. The developed curriculum allows students to graduate as engineers after taking a total of 126 semester credit hours distributed into core courses, cognate courses, electives, and general education requirements. The

Ieta, A., & Manseur, R., & Doyle, T. (2010, June), Restructuring Of An Electronics Lab Using Comprehensive Student Feedback Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15955

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