San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1344.1 - 25.1344.11
The Rubber Band Rule and Other Innovative Techniques to Teach Introductory Circuit AnalysisFirst year engineering and technology students often struggle with the most fundamentalconcepts of circuit analysis. Textbooks often have numerous examples of “what” the variouscircuit examples look like but sometimes fall a bit short of “how” to go about solving them andhow to retain that methodology to memory. In addition, some circuit analysis principles are soobvious to the experienced engineer - author that they are overlooked or skimmed over intextbooks. This instructor has found that a number of simple concepts, when presented in relaxedclassroom or individual problem solving sessions, often turn the lights on for the beginningcircuits student.This paper describes pedagogical circuit analysis techniques, many of which are mnemonictechniques, some of which are tongue - in - cheek, utilized by the author to reinforce thosedescribed in textbooks and at the same time bring some fun into the classroom. Perhaps the mostcommon challenge of the first year circuits student is the recognition of series and parallelcomponent relationships when mixed in a circuit. “Einstein’s Rubber Band Rule,” highlightingthe entire node, “beginning at the end” of a circuit, unconnected components which are “flappin’in the wind,” are just some of the techniques utilized to aid the student in the understanding ofand solution of series - parallel circuits. When learning Thevenin’s and Norton’s Theorems,“opening your eyes” helps the student to remember to open current sources and short voltagesources. In AC circuit analysis, “Capacitors Ain’t Positive” helps students to remember the signof the phase angles of capacitive and inductive impedances. Of course, many of us still call on“ELI the ICE man” to help the student remember the relationship of voltage and current in bothinductive and capacitive circuits.
Globig, J. E., & Kozak, M. J. (2012, June), The Rubber Band Rule and Other Innovative Techniques to Teach Introductory Circuit Analysis Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22101
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