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Work in Progress: A Modular Course on Sensors, Instrumentation, and Measurement: Supporting a Diversity of Learners' Agency of Self-direction

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Experimentation and Laboratory-oriented Studies Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35597

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/35597

Download Count

166

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Paper Authors

biography

Brian D. Storey Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Brian Storey is professor of mechanical engineering at Olin College.

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biography

Bradley A. Minch Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Bradley A. Minch received the B.S. degree with distinction in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in May 1991. In June 1997, he received the Ph.D. degree in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he worked under the supervision of Carver Mead. From August 1997 to July 2004, he was Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell. From August 2004 to May 2009, he was Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin College) in Needham, MA. He is currently Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Olin College. His research interests include low-voltage/low-power analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design, translinear circuits, log-domain filters, neuromorphic circuits, and floating-gate circuits. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA).

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Linda Vanasupa Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Linda Vanasupa has been a professor of materials engineering at the California Polytechnic State University since 1991. She is currently a visiting professor of materials engineering at Olin College. Her life's work is focused on creating ways of learning, living and being that are alternatives to the industrial era solutions--alternatives that nourish ourselves, one another and the places in which we live. Her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees are in materials science and engineering from Stanford University and her B.S. degree in metallurgical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.

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Abstract

Electric circuits is a common course for engineering. Understanding circuit and component behavior requires connecting one to connect the concept of invisible electron motion to voltage measurements, making this course challenging for some. This 10-module course was designed to enable concrete understanding. It uses the voltage divider as a basic instrumentation circuit for sensors and advances to filtering, feedback, and amplification circuits using operational and instrumentation amplifiers. During the course, students use breadboards and circuit components to design, build and test circuits that measure: temperature, weight, relative humidity, their heartbeat, their blood pressure, and distance by ultrasonic echo-location. By the end of the course, students are able to: apply Kirchoff's law to design of low-pass, high-pass and bandpass filters, amplifiers, and 2nd order roll-off filters; measurement of frequency response of a filtering circuit using a Bode plot; create a calibration curve (or transfer function) for a sensing circuit; use computational tools to analyze data and transform measured data; troubleshoot an instrumentation a circuit. A feature of the course is that it is designed to support self-directed learning for a diversity of learners, with an aim to strengthen their sense of mastery and agency. The design elements include: Textbook; video lectures; instructions that incorporate recommended "best practices" for neuro-diversity, instructional design and visual navigation. The materials have been piloted and refined over a period of 7 years with approximately 500 students. Course materials can be downloaded at no cost; future development includes low-cost, supporting hardware. This paper describes the design elements of the course and modules and a data set on what a cohort of roughly 90 students find helpful to their learning.

Storey, B. D., & Minch, B. A., & Vanasupa, L. (2020, June), Work in Progress: A Modular Course on Sensors, Instrumentation, and Measurement: Supporting a Diversity of Learners' Agency of Self-direction Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35597

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