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The Evolution Of An Eet Program's Introductory Course In Electricity/Electronics

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

New Electrical ET Course Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1136.1 - 8.1136.10

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Paper Authors

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Aaron Gold

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Walter Banzhaf

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

Session 2548

The Evolution of an EET Program’s Introductory Course in Electricity/Electronics

Walter Banzhaf, Aaron Gold

Ward College of Technology, University of Hartford


A new course (EL 110) was developed in 1999 for first-semester students entering our four-year baccalaureate programs in electronic and audio engineering technology. In recent years we had noticed that very few of our entering students had experience with technical aspects of electricity and electronics, and we realized that students found the traditional first-semester DC circuits course both daunting and uninteresting. This phenomenon, and different approaches to addressing the problem, have been reported by others.1,2,3,4 Our students didn't do well in the fundamental electronics courses (DC and AC circuit analysis, solid-state devices) which are prerequisites for the “fun” courses involving amplifiers, oscillators, filters, etc. Our faculty felt that giving students a "survey" course in first semester to give a broad overview of and an appreciation for the electronics, and moving the DC circuits course into the second semester, would improve retention and motivation. We felt that it was critical to the success of EL 110 that the lab experiences be interesting and enjoyable. An additional benefit to our students is that they get to complete the first math course (college algebra) before taking the DC fundamentals in the second semester.

A complete description of the new course, including a detailed syllabus and examples of innovative laboratory experiences, was presented at the 2000 ASEE Annual Conference.5 Since then, a new population of students has been added: those majoring in Interactive Information Technology (IIT), which is not a technical major. For IIT students, whose math skills, technical background and interests are quite different from the electronic and audio ET students, EL 110 is the only course in electronics they will take. In fall 2002, fully half of the 70 students in EL 110 majored in IIT. Adding this new population of students required that we make some significant changes to the course, particularly the laboratory portion. In a like manner, Biswajit Ray describes how his college created, and then updated, a three-credit course for non-science majors.6

This paper will focus on the changes that were made to the laboratory portion of EL 110 for the fall of 2002, when a large percentage of the students were IIT students, and when for the first time a newly-created laboratory project board was used.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Gold, A., & Banzhaf, W. (2003, June), The Evolution Of An Eet Program's Introductory Course In Electricity/Electronics Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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