June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Electrical and Computer
12.1404.1 - 12.1404.13
The Development of a Digital Telecommunication Laboratory
This paper describes an approach to the analysis, design and development of laboratory requirements. It uses learning objectives derived from laboratory experiments, as one component in an equipment selection process. We then delineate our strategy for a comparative assessment of this approach to one less directed.
The laboratory experience is an active learning experience that increases the technological, scientific and quantitative literacy of students; because it engages major cognitive processes which lead to meaningful learning. This higher order thinking allows students to assimilate, apply and retain more fully the information learned. The assimilation of information is of critical importance to students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, for it represents an accumulation of the body of knowledge of the discipline. Research shows that educational institutions facilitate the development of critical thinking when they incorporate an active learning style in their instructions and laboratory experiences. Experiential learning models presents us with the four modes on which learning styles are based – concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. Studies conducted on knowledge retention, found that using these learning modes, individually and in pair wise combination, from twenty –to- sixty percent increase in retention has been achieved. However when experiments are designed that includes all four stages of learning, retention rates of approximately ninety percent are possible. The laboratory experience supports experiential learning by emphasizing practical application, i.e. learning to do by doing. It is therefore an example of the “active experimentation” learning style exclusively; however, what is not clear is the extent to which the retention of technical knowledge can be enhanced by laboratory experiments that are systematically developed and structured with components from the various learning styles.
Recently the department was presented with an opportunity to update its digital telecommunication laboratory around state of the art communication equipment. There were several issues surrounding this equipment acquisition. Ultimately we sought to determine just what equipment we should select. Given our concern with experiential learning, we saw this as an opportunity to reexamine our laboratory experiences incorporating components from the various learning styles. We then used elements derived from these experiments as criteria for our equipment selection. We did not expect the results from this component would lead to the selection of a specific piece of equipment; rather we believe it establishes a framework on which the desired capabilities of our laboratory facility can be based. This aspect of our work guided our requirements and ultimately our equipment selection.
This study indicate that the craft interface, a component often de-emphasized in equipment acquisition in academic telecommunication laboratory, may significantly enhance the experiential learning of the participants, when it provides visual renditions of network elements, and network topologies, and the ability for the participant to centrally control the operations, administration, maintenance, provisioning and testing of the elements in a digital telecommunication network.
Moore, G. (2007, June), The Development Of A Digital Telecommunication Laboratory Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2388
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