Enhancing Laboratory Experiences with Portable Electronics Experiment Kits

Jason Yao, Loren Limberis, Steve Warren
2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
This paper presents the latest findings from using a custom portable electronics experiment kit (PEEK) in electronics courses offered as part of a general engineering program. Each PEEK includes National Instruments (NI) LabVIEW® virtual instruments running on a laptop, a portable NI myDAQ® personal data acquisition device, a Rapid Analysis and Signal Conditioning Laboratory (RASCL) unit, and supporting peripheral components. These tools provide a new form of laboratory experience that frees
more » ... ience that frees students from traditional benchtop settings and expands laboratory activities into more ubiquitous learning environments. Two electronics courses in a general engineering curriculum (ENGR 3014-Circuit Analysis and ENGR 3050-Instrumentation and Controls) were piloted for this NSF CCLI (TUES) project. The first course was offered twice; the latter once. Outcomes assessed within the ABET framework include students' ability to (a) apply math and science, (b) conduct experiments and interpret data, and (e) solve problems. Experimental and control groups were compared with respect to these outcomes. This paper focuses on the modified laboratory experience and the assessment of its effectiveness as a supplement to previously published work related to this project. It summarizes observed benefits from the use of these tools, such as more efficient task completion, the flexibility to complete tasks that remain unfinished during the scheduled laboratory session, and the ability for students to achieve laboratory objectives at their individual paces. Meanwhile, results from these general engineering courses remind that one must be cautious when considering employing to students who do not have sufficient background in electric circuits.
doi:10.18260/1-2--21328 fatcat:ycfgitqltnc6pcknxjmbtzoud4