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Strategies to Develop an Online/Hybrid Signals and Systems Course

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Online and Remote Teaching

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer Engineering Division (ECE)

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--44270

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/44270

Download Count

81

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Paper Authors

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Mary Yvonne Lanzerotti Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7802-1117

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Dr. Lanzerotti is a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. She has conducted research presented at 2017 ASEE on learner-centered teaching techniques in her classes at Air Force Institute of Technology, where she was an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering. She has also held positions at the United States Military Academy and at IBM at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where she was Instruction Fetch Unit Integrator of the POWER4 microprocessor and co-author on the POWER6 introduction paper at ISSCC. She is author or co-author of six patents and 22 technical journal articles. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Physical Society, and is a Senior Member of the IEEE. She received her A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University, M. Phil. from University of Cambridge (U.K.), and her Ph.D. from Cornell University, all in physics. Her primary research interests are electronic warfare and complex signal processing in the RF domain, and hardware security.

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Scott Dunning Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Scott Dunning is the Director of the School of Engineering Technology at the University of Maine. He serves as the academic dean for approximately five hundred students and directs four engineering technology programs. He is the past Chair of the En

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R. Michael Buehrer Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. R. Michael Buehrer joined Virginia Tech from Bell Labs as an Assistant Professor with the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2001. He is currently a Professor of Electrical Engineering and is the director of Wireless @ Virginia Tech, a comprehensive research group focusing on wireless communications. During 2009 Dr. Buehrer was a visiting researcher at the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences (LTS) a federal research lab which focuses on telecommunication challenges for national defense. While at LTS, his research focus was in the area of cognitive radio with a particular emphasis on statistical learning techniques.

His current research interests include geolocation, position location networks, iterative receiver design, dynamic spectrum sharing, cognitive radio, communication theory, Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) communications, intelligent antenna techniques, Ultra Wideband, spread spectrum, interference avoidance, and propagation modeling. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of Naval Research, and several industrial sponsors.

Dr. Buehrer has authored or co-authored over 50 journal and approximately 125 conference papers and holds 11 patents in the area of wireless communications. In 2010 he was co-recipient of the Fred W. Ellersick MILCOM Award for the best paper in the unclassified technical program. He is currently a Senior Member of IEEE, and an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Communications and IEEE Wireless Communications Letters. He was formerly an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technologies, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and IEEE Transactions on Education. In 2003 he was named Outstanding New Assistant Professor by the Virginia Tech College of Engineering and in 2014 Dr. Buehrer won the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Award for Teaching Excellence.

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Ahmad Safaai-Jazi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Nektaria Tryfona Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Nektaria Tryfona is a Collegiate Associate Professor at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She received her B.Eng. and Ph.D in Computer Engineering and Informatics from the Polytechnic School, University of Patras, Greece.
She has extensive experience on building data management and database solutions for large-scale systems in collaboration with industrial and governmental agencies, and academic partners. She has published her work in peer-reviewed international conferences and journals.

Her current research interests include data management, data valuation and AI and engineering education. Her teaching/mentoring activities focus on developing and offering classes in project-based learning environments as well as, advising and mentoring students working in industry-driven problems.

Before joining Virginia Tech, she was tenured Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department, Aalborg University, Denmark, a Senior R&D Engineer in industry and academic research centers in USA and Europe, and the founder and Director of DataLab, George Mason University.

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Jianqiang Zhang Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Mr. Zhang is a Senior Learning Data Analyst at the Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) at Virginia Tech, where he acts as a technical lead for several online teaching & learning platforms, and contributes to the learning data analytics efforts. He earned his Master of Arts in Education with a focus on Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) and is working towards his PhD in IDT, Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics with a focus on English as a Second Language (ESL), Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus on English for Special Purposes (ESP). His professional and academic interest spans accros multiple disciplines, including instructional design, learning analytics, user experience (UX), accessibility, and software/application design & development. Mr. Zhang has presented at regional and international conferences, published in academic journals and served as a volunteer peer reviewer for the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) conferences.

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Luke Lester Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Luke F. Lester, an IEEE and SPIE Fellow, received the B.S. in Engineering Physics in 1984 and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1992, both from Cornell University. He joined Virginia Tech in 2013 as the Head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and was named the Roanoke Electric Steel Professor in 2016. Prior to joining VT, he was a professor of ECE at the University of New Mexico (UNM) from 1994 to 2013, and most recently the Interim Department Chair and the Endowed Chair Professor in Microelectronics there. Before 1994, Dr. Lester worked as an engineer for the General Electric Electronics Laboratory in Syracuse, New York for 6 years where he worked on transistors for mm-wave applications. There in 1986 he co-invented the first Pseudomorphic HEMT, a device that was later highlighted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest transistor. By 1991 as a PhD student at Cornell, he researched and developed the first strained quantum well lasers with mm-wave bandwidths. These lasers are now the industry standard for optical transmitters in data and telecommunications. In all, Dr. Lester has over 30 years experience in III-V semiconductor devices and advanced fabrication techniques. In 2001, he was a co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Zia Laser, Inc., a startup company using quantum dot laser technology to develop products for communications and computer/microprocessor applications. The company was later acquired by Innolume, GmbH. He was a US Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow in 2006 and 2007. Dr. Lester’s other awards and honors include: a 1986 IEE Electronics Letters Premium Award for the first transistor amplifier at 94 GHz; the 1994 Martin Marietta Manager’s Award; the Best Paper Award at SPIE’s Photonics West 2000 for reporting a quantum dot laser with the lowest semiconductor laser threshold; and the 2012 Harold E. Edgerton Award of the SPIE for his pioneering work on ultrafast quantum dot mode-locked lasers. He has published 140 journal articles and some 250 other publications and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics.

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Max Mikel-Stites Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4574-1414

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Max Mikel-Stites is pursuing master's degrees in engineering mechanics and mathematics at Virginia Tech. He studies the biomechanics of hearing in parasitoid flies and is passionate about the physics of Marvel superheroes and scientific communication. His general research interests include biological modeling on both organismal and population scales, biological physics, and agent-based modeling. He graduated with degrees in applied mathematics and physics & astronomy from the University of Rochester.

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Kenneth Reid University of Indianapolis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2337-7495

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Kenneth Reid is the Associate Dean and Director of Engineering at the R. B. Annis School of Engineering at the University of Indianapolis. He and his coauthors were awarded the Wickenden award (Journal of Engineering Education, 2014) and Best Paper award, Educational Research and Methods Division (ASEE, 2014). He was awarded an IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award (2013) for designing the B.S. degree in Engineering Education. He is a co-PI on the “Engineering for Us All” (e4usa) project to develop a high school engineering course “for all”. He is active in engineering within K-12, (Technology Student Association Board of Directors) and has written multiple texts in Engineering, Mathematics and Digital Electronics. He earned a PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University, is a Senior Member of IEEE, on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Education Society, and a Member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Abstract

Background Online course offerings greatly facilitate the expansion a department’s pool of potential students making them an important asset in an administrator’s enrollment management toolbox. At the same time, the convenience and enhanced access of online courses make them popular with many students. From a faculty perspective, the flexibility in workplace location and time management that is afforded by online courses is a significant employee benefit. All of these positive factors contribute to the persistence and desirability of online courses. Even more so, the past two and a half years have motivated many universities to transition from traditional in-person instruction to mostly virtual instruction. This transition involved developing new approaches to pedagogy as well as student assessment. During this same time period, there has been an unprecedented growth in student usage of online support materials and support services. This paper focuses on how a large mid-Atlantic university is developing a signals and systems course in online, hybrid and in-person modalities.

Purpose This work describes a case study conducted at a large mid-Atlantic university in a sophomore-level “Signals and Systems” core course in electrical engineering and computer engineering. Over the course of several offerings (from Spring 2021 – Fall 2022) we aim to increase the student response rate to a course-wide survey asking students to self-report their attainment of the course Learning Objectives and to increase the percentage of students who rate their ability to achieve the course Learning Objectives as either “Good” or “Excellent”. This paper describes our efforts toward achieving this aim.

In the Spring 2022 offering of the online/hybrid section of the course, we introduced “student-produced podcasts” to increase student engagement with the course material and course learning objectives. These are introduced in the course through the use of video quizzes [17]. We aim to show that through the introduction of the “student-produced podcasts”, students can increase the extent to which they attain the five Learning Objectives. In addition, we aim to show that the introduction of the “student-produced podcasts” also promotes student engagement, increases broader participation and active learning, and prepares students for their educational journey for “just-in-time training” and future professional development.

Willingness of the student populations to provide online course-end feedback is viewed as a potential indicator of increased engagement in the courses in response to these introduced interventions. We are pleased to report preliminary results that show that the percentage of students who respond to the online course-end student survey increased from 38% in Spring 2021, to 45% in Fall 2021, and to 54% in Spring 2022 offerings of the course.

Lanzerotti, M. Y., & Dunning, S., & Buehrer, R. M., & Safaai-Jazi, A., & Tryfona, N., & Zhang, J., & Lester, L., & Mikel-Stites, M., & Reid, K. (2023, June), Strategies to Develop an Online/Hybrid Signals and Systems Course Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--44270

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2023 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015