Audio Hi-Fidelity Amplifier by T08G2Yz


									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

Research Problem

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

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

• 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
Syllabus Design
• Distillation of sophomore & junior level college
• 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
   – 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-
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
                    …a piece of electronics
                    that concretely
                    illustrates the first ¾ of
                    the course using sound
                    (and vision, and solder
                    scent), as well as
Hi-fi Amp Project
Syllabus Features---
Experiment Rewards
• Every subject had accompanying
• Designed for immediate sensory
  – 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
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

• 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
  – 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
Some Scenes

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