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Using the Mobile Studio to Facilitate Non-Traditional Approaches to Education and Outreach

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Technology in the ECE Classroom

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1646.1 - 22.1646.15



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth A. Connor Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Frederick C Berry Milwaukee School of Engineering Orcid 16x16

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Mohamed F. Chouikha Howard University

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Dianna Newman University at Albany/SUNY

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Meghan Morris Deyoe The Evaluation Consortium

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Gavin Anaya

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William Brubaker Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Using the Mobile Studio to Facilitate Non-Traditional Approaches to Education and OutreachSTEM education with significant engineering content at all levels from kindergarten throughgrad school generally requires expensive, complex equipment and thus is typically built aroundelaborate facilities with well-trained staff support. Mobile Studio Pedagogy (using the MobileStudio Desktop software and the I/O board) makes it possible for students to carry theirenthusiasm for engineering and science from the classroom to any place they have a computer. Itgives them access any time and any place to a full electronics laboratory for the price of atextbook. Students have a portable lab in which tinkering is again possible; requiring only aspark of interest - not a big budget. With a good start provided by interested and dedicatedteachers, student accomplishments are only limited by their imagination. Since the Mobile Studioprovides a portable lab facility, students can apply the tools they use in the classroom in theirpersonal projects. The most obvious examples involve tinkering with cars (e.g. finding securitysystem workarounds for someone building a car from an early 90’s GM drivetrain) and robotics(e.g. adding a real Electrical Engineering component to a project for a robotics competition).Maybe less obvious are the kind of activities that make us so proud of our students fromfinishing that great idea they had in their high school science fair to help handicapped drivers tovisiting the science classes in their old high school to show how exciting engineering can be.Having students share these experiences with their peers provides the best kind of motivation.With the Mobile Studio, teachers are also free to reconfigure their courses, especially those withsignificant lab/experimental content, in quite new ways. Many instrumentation-based courseofferings can now be held in normal classrooms rather than in specially outfitted facilities. It isno longer necessary to tie students and instructors to the usual lectures, recitations and labs,especially since it is possible to give hardware-based homework. When combined with onlinelectures and paper and pencil homework, we are now free to organize courses in ways we wouldnever have imagined in the past. Mobile Studio pedagogy has been deployed and utilized inseveral electrical engineering, general engineering and physics courses to, for example, betterenable instructors to employ the Kolb cycle of learning in their courses. Inertia from bothstudents and faculty and the need for new types of learning materials can reduce the acceptanceand effectiveness of new methodologies, but significant progress, demonstrated through anextensive evaluation process, has been made at several institutions.

Connor, K. A., & Berry, F. C., & Chouikha, M. F., & Newman, D., & Deyoe, M. M., & Anaya, G., & Brubaker, W. (2011, June), Using the Mobile Studio to Facilitate Non-Traditional Approaches to Education and Outreach Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18553

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