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The Implementation of Experimental Centric Pedagogy in 13 ECE Programs - The View from Students and Instructors

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Collection

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Trends in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/p.26185

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26185

Download Count

61

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Paper Authors

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Kenneth A. Connor Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Kenneth Connor is a professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE) where he teaches courses on electromagnetics, electronics and instrumentation, plasma physics, electric power, and general engineering. His research involves plasma physics, electromagnetics, photonics, biomedical sensors, engineering education, diversity in the engineering workforce, and technology enhanced learning. He learned problem solving from his father (ran a gray iron foundry), his mother (a nurse) and grandparents (dairy farmers). He has had the great good fortune to always work with amazing people, most recently professors teaching circuits and electronics from 13 HBCU ECE programs and the faculty, staff and students of the SMART LIGHTING ERC, where he is Education Director. He was ECSE Department Head from 2001 to 2008 and served on the board of the ECE Department Heads Association from 2003 to 2008.

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Dianna Newman University at Albany/SUNY

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Dr. Dianna Newman is a research professor at the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany/SUNY. Her major areas of study are program evaluation with an emphasis in STEM related programs. She has numerous chapters, articles, and papers on technology-supported teaching and learning as well as systems-change stages pertaining to technology adoption.

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Kathy Ann Gullie Ph.D. Evaluation Consortium University at Albany/SUNY

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Dr. Kathy Gullie has extensive experience as a Senior Evaluator and Research Associate through the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany/SUNY. She is currently the principal investigator in several educational grants including an NSF engineering grant supporting Historically Black University and Colleges; "Building Learning Communities to Improve Student Achievement: Albany City School District” , and “Educational Leadership Program Enhancement Project at Syracuse University” Teacher Leadership Quality Program. She is also the PI on both “Syracuse City School District Title II B Mathematics and Science Partnership: Science Project and Mathematics MSP Grant initiatives.

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Yacob Astatke Morgan State University

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Dr. Yacob Astatke completed both his Doctor of Engineering and B.S.E.E. degrees from Morgan State University (MSU) and his M.S.E.E. from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a full time faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at MSU since August 1994 and currently serves as the Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering. Dr. Astatke is the winner of the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) “National Outstanding Teaching Award," and the 2012 ASEE Mid-Atlantic Region "Distinguished Teacher" Award. He teaches courses in both analog and digital electronic circuit design and instrumentation, with a focus on wireless communication. He has more than 15 years experience in the development and delivery of synchronous and asynchronous web-based course supplements for electrical engineering courses. Dr. Astatke played a leading role in the development and implementation of the first completely online undergraduate ECE program in the State of Maryland. He has published over 50 papers and presented his research work at regional, national and international conferences. He also runs several exciting summer camps geared towards middle school, high school, and community college students to expose and increase their interest in pursuing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Dr. Astatke travels to Ethiopia every summer to provide training and guest lectures related to the use of the mobile laboratory technology and pedagogy to enhance the ECE curriculum at five different universities.

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Charles J. Kim Howard University

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Charles Kim is a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University. He received a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1989, and worked as a researcher at Texas A&M University before he took an assistant professor at the University of Suwon in 1994. Since 1999, he is with Howard University. Dr. Kim's research interests include energy systems, fault detection and anticipation, embedded computing, safety-critical computer systems, and intelligent systems application. Dr. Kim is active in practicing experiential learning in engineering education with personal instrumentation such as mobile studio.

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John Okyere Attia P.E. Prairie View A&M University

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Dr. John Okyere Attia is Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering at Prairie View A&M University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the field of Electronics, Circuit Analysis, Instrumentation Systems, and VLSI Design. Dr. Attia earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Houston, an M.S. from University of Toronto and B.S. from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Dr. Attia has over 75 publications including four engineering books. His research interests include innovative electronic circuit designs for radiation environment, radiation testing, and power electronics. Dr. Attia is the author of the CRC book, Electronics and Circuits Analysis Using MATLAB, 2nd Edition He has twice received outstanding Teaching Awards. In addition, he is a member of the following honor societies: Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Kappa Alpha Kappa and Eta Kappa Nu. Dr. Attia is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

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Petru Andrei Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Dr. Petru Andrei is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Florida A&M University and Florida Stat University (FAMU-FSU) College of Engineering. He is the FSU campus education director for the NSF-ERC Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM) and has much experience in recruiting and advising graduate, undergraduate, REU, and K-12 students, as well as in working with RET teachers. Dr. Andrei has published over 100 articles in computational electronics, electromagnetics, energy storage devices, and large scale systems.

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Mandoye Ndoye Tuskegee University

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Abstract

13 HBCU electrical and computer engineering programs are cooperating on a project to implement and expand experimental centric based instructional pedagogy (ECP) in engineering curricula. The key goal of the project is the production of a larger number of better prepared African American engineers, as well as other students who have a better public understanding of technology and its role in STEM education and policy. What is ECP and why should it lead to more and better educated African American engineers? The guiding hypothesis is that students and instructors or more motivated and engaged and engineering education works best in a learning environment in which experimentation plays a central role rather than existing on the periphery as is too often the case at too many engineering schools. The cost of building, maintaining, supporting and using expensive, limited-access experimental facilities has historically made it difficult to fully integrate hands-on, hardware-based learning experiences into our classrooms. The recent availability of personal instrumentation (e.g. Mobile Studio, Analog Discovery, myDAQ and others) has so lowered the traditional barriers to implementation that ECP is now feasible just about anywhere and anytime. All of the partner schools have successfully changed circuits and electronics intensive courses throughout their undergraduate programs to incorporate experiments and other activities built around Analog Discovery. These efforts have fundamentally changed what both students and instructors experience inside and outside the classroom. A coordinated assessment program involving common surveys, student and instructor interviews, observations, etc. has collected solidly positive responses from everyone involved. The ECP project is still definitely a work in progress, so key open issues will also be addressed, including the following. If experimentation is to play a central role in circuits and electronics education, what is the critical skill set for both students and instructors? Clearly both must be better experimenters than has likely been the case. Many faculty have commented that it has been a long time since they were regularly in the lab. Now with personal instrumentation they are effectively in the lab all of the time. Students previously also could work on their courses knowing that they had little responsibility or opportunity to continue to experiment on their own outside of their traditional labs. Now everyone must be enthusiastic and willing to tinker with ideas with little or no formal infrastructure for support. This means that troubleshooting and debugging skills are very important. In the end, everyone must more-or-less be able to move seamlessly from the theoretical to the real world and back, which is, of course, exactly what we expect of practicing engineers. This ability to be more like a real engineer while still a student is what we expect to be the source of increased motivation and retention among students and probably also among instructors.

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