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Work in Progress: Online Electrical Engineering Laboratories Sessions: Analysis, Challenges, and Border Environment

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session

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Paper Authors


Martha L. Torres University of Texas at El Paso

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Martha Torres is a PhD student from University of Texas at El Paso, Tx (UTEP). She is Electrical Engineering and MSc in Electrical Engineering major in Telecommunications. Her research is focused on Wireless sensor network technologies. Currently, she is a teaching assistant at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UTEP on Circuits Laboratories for Summer and Fall 2020.

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Virgilio Ernesto Gonzalez University of Texas at El Paso Orcid 16x16

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Virgilio Gonzalez, Associate Chair and Professor of Practice in Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, started his first appointment at UTEP in 2001. He received the UT System Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. From 1996 to 2001 he was the Technology Planning manager for AT&T-Alestra in Mexico; and before that was the Telecommunications Director for ITESM in Mexico. His research areas are in Communications Networks, Fiber Optics, Wireless Sensors, Process Automation, and Engineering Education.

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Due to global COVID-19 crisis, the adoption of online delivery methods supported by accessible technologies, applications, and academic learning platforms has accelerated. There is a larger demand for remote teaching and learning of courses for companies, universities, and grade schools. Distance education has become one of the learning options most used by universities, where interactive learning is presented and students can review the content of the courses on an academic platform and study in their own time with face-to-face tutoring sessions or remote in case of specific doubts. The online education is focused on learning content more than the communication between students and tutors. At [SCHOOL, Department] , we have additional challenges due to the geographic location in the border of USA and Mexico because some of our students are living in Mexico and we are supporting them virtually. The online learning for laboratories was implemented using remote access to the equipment in the physical laboratories at the university, alternatively, students acquired portable equipment designed for work at home creating an environment similar to a real laboratory but with some limitations. Students opted for one method or another depending on vendor availability or their resources. This paper explores the differences, as well as the limitations, between the tools used for distance learning in the circuits laboratories. As a case of study there is a comparison between face-to-face and remote laboratory sessions, and personal laboratory at home scenarios. We will outline the observed student benefits and challenges, and the response of students due to geographic limitations.

Torres, M. L., & Gonzalez, V. E. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Online Electrical Engineering Laboratories Sessions: Analysis, Challenges, and Border Environment Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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