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WORK IN PROGRESS: Authentic disciplinary context in circuits-for-nonmajors

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

New Developments in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Brian E Faulkner Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Brian Faulkner's interests include teaching of modeling, engineering mathematics, textbook design, and engineering epistemology. He is also interested in best practices for service courses for nonmajors, particularly circuits-for-nonmajors, and the impact of authenticity of assessment tasks.

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WORK IN PROGRESS: Many engineering students who are not electrical engineers must take an electric circuits course. Such service courses present challenges for the instructor; students may arrive with little motivation to engage with content outside their chosen major. Previous research has already examined motivational issues in other service courses, such physics-for-life-scientists, mathematics-for-engineers, and chemistry-for-nonscientists. Little literature exists detailing best practices assessments in circuits-for-nonmajors. The author taught circuits-for-nonmajors (to primarily civil and chemical engineers) following a strictly applied approach. All circuits analyzed in class or on homework were circuits for authentic devices from the students' disciplines with realistic component values, such as household wiring, electrostatic precipitators, resistance thermometers, roadway lighting, or hydrogen fuel cells. This paper shares two examples of the applied circuits homework exercises, the task design philosophy and student responses to feedback surveys. The nonmajor students generally favor the applied problem approach over more abstract circuits homework.

Faulkner, B. E. (2020, June), WORK IN PROGRESS: Authentic disciplinary context in circuits-for-nonmajors Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35614

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