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Proceedings for the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference


Rapidly changing technology advances demand the revisions of engineering and technology courses so that they continue to serve students and industry in a relevant way. In a typical engineering technology department, students from different majors are usually required to take an introductory electrical engineering course. Due to the multidisciplinary background of students, such a course has traditionally been a challenge to teach so as to make it interesting and useful to all students. Therefore innovative teaching methods have to be employed in order to accommodate different backgrounds and learning styles.

In our department, a basic electrical engineering course is offered for sophomore students majoring in mechanical and electrical engineering technology. The course is usually taught in the fall and is meant to be an introductory course for EET students but also serves as a survey of electrical engineering for MET students. Because of this duality, the course has to be carefully designed, especially the laboratory component, to keep students interested and engaged throughout the semester. Topics covered include dc and ac circuits, Wheatstone bridge, electric machines, resonance circuits, RLC transient response, basic operation of electronics and digital circuits including diodes, transistors, power supplies, amplifiers, and logic gates.

In this paper, we describe our experience teaching the course and how the redesign of the laboratory component has greatly enhanced the student learning experience independently of their majors of studies. Results showed that activities relating concepts to real world applications were more appealing. For instance, students enjoyed performing experiments involving the use of transducers such as strain gauges. Assessments results to meet certain accreditation criteria including direct and indirect measurements are also discussed with emphasis on the successes and lessons learned from the implementation process.


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