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Review Of An Engineering Technology Graduate Course Project To Develop Undergraduate Course Laboratory Curriculum

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Graduate Education and Undergraduate Research in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1094.1 - 11.1094.6



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Paper Authors


John Denton Purdue University

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John P. Denton is an Associate Professor for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University. His primary teaching responsibilities are electronic communications and advanced circuit analysis courses. He has won four outstanding teaching awards in ECET.

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Grant Richards Purdue University

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Grant P. Richards is pursuing a Ph.D. in Technology at Purdue University focusing on the use of visualization technology in electromagnetic education. He currently serves as a Graduate Instructor for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University in electronic communications. He has won the university’s award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching.

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

Review of an Engineering Technology Graduate Course Project to Develop Undergraduate Course Laboratory Curriculum

Abstract – This paper details a graduate course project to develop a laboratory series for an undergraduate course in wireless communications. The methodology and outcomes of the project are examined. The project produced a successful and well-received series of laboratories which have been fully implemented into existing undergraduate curriculum. Graduate student participants were able to meet the technical challenges of the project with minimal faculty assistance; however, some experienced difficulty in developing conceptual questions and threads when developing laboratory analysis exercises.


This paper addresses a collaborative method in which members of an engineering technology graduate course elected to revive and enhance an undergraduate electronics communications laboratory course as a component of a group project. Although material presented herein contains specific technical detail pertaining to the given project, the overall approach and methods can be adapted to curricula across a range of disciplines. The process and implementation of this idea is not new;1,2 however, this work includes the additional complexity of utilizing graduate student input and perspectives in the development of curriculum beyond technical aspects of laboratory experiments.

A primary outcome of this project was to provide graduate students with a challenging and useful project and exposure to undergraduate curriculum development. Implementation of this type of collaborative development activity has many positive effects for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students.

• Faculty realize benefit from a technological update of undergraduate laboratory content in an expedited time frame. • The process of the group collaboration in the graduate course creates a team environment where the faculty role changes from ‘teacher’ to ‘project leader’ with the student having a more collegial role. • Graduate students gain exposure to the curriculum development process. • Graduate students exhibit increased commitment and enthusiasm knowing the project will be fully implemented, thoroughly tested by undergraduate students, and will have a significant impact on the laboratory content of a course. • Undergraduate students benefit from an updated laboratory experience with increased relevance, exposure to graduate students in roles other than teaching assistants, and exposure to the processes used in the development of engineering projects.

Graduate teaching assistant training programs provide graduate students with an introduction to techniques in lecturing, problem solving, interaction with undergraduate students, and grading.3,4 While the University provides GTA training which allows students to successfully assist in instruction, very few are exposed to the curriculum development process for the

Denton, J., & Richards, G. (2006, June), Review Of An Engineering Technology Graduate Course Project To Develop Undergraduate Course Laboratory Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--565

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