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Toward The Development Of A Mobile Studio Environment

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1351.1 - 10.1351.10



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Paper Authors

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Mohamed Chouikha

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Don Millard

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Toward the Development of a Mobile Studio Environment Don Millard, Mohamed Chouikha

Rensselaer/Howard University


This paper presents an overview of Rensselaer's "mobile studio" engineering teaching environment that is currently being used in circuits and electronics courses designed for college sophomores and juniors. The paper discusses the deployment of HP Tablet PCs along with mobile technologies at Rensselaer and Howard University to: 1) eliminate the boundaries between the theory and fundamentals provided in a lecture; 2) help students apply theoretical concepts in directed problem sessions; and 3) enable exploration of engineering principles, devices, and systems that have historically been restricted to specific laboratory facilities. The paper’s presentation will demonstrate the pedagogical practices, the interactive materials, and accompanying hardware/software that turn the Tablet PC into a mobile laboratory suite - integrating a function generator, multimeter, 5v power supply, and scope. A description of the initial pilot project deployment is provided along with an explanation of how the student’s laboratory results will be integrated into a WebCT course management system (from connections to the hardware system) for automatic grading and review.


Engineering students are typically running multiple applications while simultaneously using browsers, instant messaging and search engines on their computers. This modus operandi results in competition for the user’s attention and impedes the ability to focus – with the notable exception of the engrossment involved with a computer game.1, 2 Consequently, the shortened attention spans, lowered tolerance for repetition, and dependence on computers seriously challenges educators to provide information in more dynamic, compelling, thorough, and interactive ways.3

As designs have become increasingly complex and electronic in nature, companies must deal with the issue that the jobs which support today’s products require advanced hands-on skills in science, math, engineering and technology.4, 5 Shortened attention spans impede students from staying engaged and focused in math and science classrooms, resulting in poorer performance and diminished interest in pursuing technical careers.2, 6 Although there is a rising demand for electrical and electronic goods, foreign competition for electronic products and increasing use of engineering services performed in other countries are negatively impacting employment growth in the U.S. In contrast, the number of graduating engineers in other countries is on the rise – now placing the U.S. behind China, Japan and India.7

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Chouikha, M., & Millard, D. (2005, June), Toward The Development Of A Mobile Studio Environment Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14984

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