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Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to Motivate Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) Students

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

COED: IOT and Cybersecurity

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Curtis Cohenour P.E. Ohio University

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Dr. Cohenour is an Assistant Professor in the Ohio University Engineering Technology and Management Department, in Athens, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1980, a Master of Science degree from Ohio University in 1988, and a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University in 2009. He is a registered professional engineer in West Virginia, and Ohio.

Dr. Cohenour has worked in Industry as an electrical engineer and project manager. He joined Ohio University in 2002 as a research engineer working for the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center. He has worked on projects covering a wide variety of avionics and navigation systems such as, the Instrument Landing System (ILS), Microwave Landing System (MLS), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), LAAS, WAAS, and GPS.

His recent work has included research with the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, aimed at understanding and correcting image geo-registration errors from a number of airborne platforms.

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An Internet of Things (IoT) lab activity is introduced into an Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) electronics survey course not only for the pedagogical benefit but as a means to motivate students. Pre and post lab surveys are used to evaluate both the learning and motivational benefits of the lab experience.

The primary objective of this lab is to create enthusiasm for learning. The students use their personal smart phone to connect to the Arduino. This opens up an endless array of possibilities. In addition the lab supports the following learning outcomes: students have experience with networking, and students create an IoT application.

The existing electronics survey course uses the Arduino Uno as a platform to introduce real time programing and basic electronics. An additional lab activity is introduced using the IoT. The lab uses an IoT package called Blynk [1], Blynk has an Arduino library that provides an interface to the Blynk server. The student must create code to interface between the Arduino Input Output (IO) and the libraries. The Arduino is connected to the Blynk server via the USB programming interface. The student then down loads the Blynk app to his/her phone. Once the Blynk app is configured the student can communicate wirelessly between the phone and the Arduino. Based on random observation the student’s response is typically “cool”.

The Blynk software and app are free. There is enough “energy” (credit) included with the app download to allow the student to complete the lab activity at no cost. Additional “energy” is available for $0.99 in case the student makes a mistake or wants to try to explore other applications. Measuring “cool” is difficult but pre and post lab surveys are used to judge the students reaction to the lab experience. The resulting data is analyzed. The results are used to determine if the IoT lab should be made a permanent part of the course.

Cohenour, C. (2018, June), Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to Motivate Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31215

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