Audio Hi-Fidelity Amplifier by T08G2Yz

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									A New Pedagogy in Electrical
 and Computer Engineering:
   A Conceptual Approach

        Zeynep Dilli1, Neil Goldsman,
      Janet A. Schmidt, Lee Harper and
               Steven I. Marcus

University of Maryland, College Park
   Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

(1) dilli@eng.umd.edu
Research Problem

Can we teach elements of advanced
technology at an early level on a
conceptual basis?

 Hypothesis:
We can teach college-level electronics
with applications to high-school
students by emphasizing concepts.
Introduction

• Developed an experimental
  program for high-school students
• Covers fundamental ECE areas
• Lecture and laboratory components
• Uses concepts and experience
  rather than higher mathematics
  and theory
• Enthusiastic student response:
  Successful lab experiments, good
  exam results, survey answers
Program Goals
• Teach college-level electronics with the following
  features in mind:
   –   Enjoyable experiential introduction to ECE
   –   Teach within context of a specific project or application
   –   Hands-on laboratory experience
   –   Conceptual background for later analytical study
• Providing
   – Early exposure to ECE material
   – Relevance and contribution of ECE to daily life
   – Assistance for an informed career choice
• Evaluate the conceptual vs. mathematical
  approach
Syllabus Design
• Distillation of sophomore & junior level college
  courses
• Topics introduced:
   – Overview of ECE
   – Basic electronics & signal concepts
   – PN-junction diodes, operational amplifiers, filtering,
     bipolar junction transistors
   – Basic hi-fi amplifier design, implementation and
     fabrication
   – Digital logic & digital circuits, computer technology
   – Opto-electronics
• Kolb Learning Styles represented: Convergers
  and Assimilators
Syllabus Features---
Practical Links
• Immediate links to the real world for every
  syllabus point
   – Electric field concept  cathode ray tubes
   – Frequency/amplitude of signals  pitch and loudness
     of musical notes
   – Rectification  AC-DC conversion, power supplies
   – Operational amplifiers  summing, subtracting,
     differentiating amplifiers
   – Filtering  Stereo equalizers
   – Hi-fi audio amplifier: Students fabricated their own
   – Digital logic design  Vending machine algorithm
   – Photonics  Arcade game LaserAim
• Getting students to identify the fruits of
  technology in daily life; contributing to self-
  motivation
Practical Link Example:
Hi-fi Amp Project




Two-channel amp schematic




Optional tone control circuit
Hi-fi Amp Project
Students built their own
amplifiers, taking home
working electronics of
their own handiwork and
experience…
                    …a piece of electronics
                    that concretely
                    illustrates the first ¾ of
                    the course using sound
                    (and vision, and solder
                    scent), as well as
                    intellect.
Hi-fi Amp Project
Syllabus Features---
Experiment Rewards
• Every subject had accompanying
  experiments
• Designed for immediate sensory
  feedback
  – LEDs as current or level indicators
  – LEDs as 1/0 indicators
  – Computer interface keeping score for the
    arcade game
• Physical reinforcement to the more
  abstract concepts
 Experiment Design
 Example
Summing amplifier experiment




BJT basics experiment;
bottom: circuit, right: lab sheet
Sensory Feedback Example


                                                 Hit indicators




                                                  Target indicators


LaserAim game                               Targets
Shows connection: photonics, electronics,
computers & optical communications
Implementation

• Morning lecture, afternoon lab, five
  days a week
• Standard lab setup, working in pairs
  except for individual hi-fi amp fab
• Empty lab templates provided to
  indicate what should be observed
• Co-curricular modules: Biotechnology
  and artificial intelligence discussions;
  laser sensor lab tour
Program Outcomes

• Focus groups, exam, student comments, survey
• Exam results: six students got 90% or higher
• Example questions:




                                     (Sophomore level)




                                     (Junior level)
Program Outcomes

• Focus groups & end-of-semester
  surveys identify benefits for students
  and educators
• Student gains:
  – Ability of identifying ECE in daily life
  – Hands-on experience: lab equipment and
    procedure, debugging experience
  – “It works!”
  – High-average in mid-program exam;
    working, practical, packaged audio
    amplifiers
  – Informed career decision
Program Outcomes

• Educator gains:
  – Early exposure to ECE material
  – Early experience of lab work and problems
  – Students appreciate:
    • conceptual focus
    • immediate feedback in experiments
  – Kolb Learning Styles: Convergers and
    Assimilators benefited likewise
  – Appeal to self-motivation effective
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