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Using Simulation Software For Electronics Engineering Technology Laboratory Instruction

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.701.1 - 5.701.12



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Hall

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

Session 3547

Using Simulation Software for Electronics Engineering Technology Laboratory Instruction Thomas M. Hall, Jr. Northwestern State University of Louisiana


To determine the effectiveness of offering electronics engineering technology laboratory courses on-line, computer simulations were compared with hands-on laboratories. Quantitative research on the achievement of students in each laboratory environment showed no statistically significant differences. Nevertheless, quantitative analysis of the students’ attitudes revealed a statistically significant bias toward the hardware laboratory in learning troubleshooting. A concurrent qualitative investigation produced several thoughtful recommendations for improving the computer simulation laboratory experience. This paper reports the results of the quantitative research, but it focuses on the conclusions, recommendations, and implications of the qualitative study.

I. Introduction

Northwestern State University of Louisiana has been improving its ties with area industry through partnerships. At the same time, the university is taking steps to increase access to education by using several technologically oriented methods in distance education. In part, these efforts have been motivated by a desire to expand the university’s ability to offer courses to industry, its employees, and to other people who are not free to attend class during traditional classroom periods. While there are many examples of lecture and discussion-group classes on- line, one hallmark of an electronics engineering technology program is that laboratory classes accompany most lecture courses. Though most of our lecture classes can be delivered at a distance, it is not possible to duplicate the hands-on experience of an electronics laboratory over the Internet. Even so, an on-line electronics engineering technology program should include concurrent laboratory instruction.

In recent years, many computer-aided simulation software packages have become commercially available. Further, there have been research efforts to contrast the effectiveness of using some of the software packages with the effectiveness of the traditional hands-on laboratory exercises. Much of the research effort to date has been designed to investigate the use of computer-aided software as a method to enhance, enrich, or improve traditional lecture or laboratory courses rather than using simulation software in place of hardware laboratories.

Hall, T. (2000, June), Using Simulation Software For Electronics Engineering Technology Laboratory Instruction Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8818

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