Title

Interactive Tutorial for an Introductory Electrical Engineering Course

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date

2000

Conference/Sponsorship/Institution

American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference Proceedings

Location

St Louis, MO

Department

Electrical Engineering

Abstract

This paper presents a tutorial and diagnostic tool called, "What You Already Know." The objective of this tutorial is to prepare students for their first electrical engineering course, and it is designed to diagnose what the students already know and aid them in understanding some basic concepts through hands-on experience. The tutorial is computer-based and utilizes links between Microsoft Word and Excel to produce interactive graphs that can be modified by the student. Another version of this tutorial is available using Mathcad, a tool that allows the student to integrate text, mathematical computation, and graphics into a single worksheet. Students use the tutorial to assess their ability to visualize plots of sinusoids and exponentials in various mathematical forms. In addition, the tutorial checks student understanding of differentiation and integration of various waveforms. Other topics include simple design and optimization of single variable systems, and the matrix representation and solution of linear equations. In addition, the tutorial covers binary number systems and weighted sums. Students are asked to find the average and variance of sinusoidal signals and randomly selected sample values of resistors. The exercises were developed to help the instructor perform an "academic checkup" or "background check" of students taking their first course in electrical engineering during their second semester of the first year. However, it has been used as a diagnostic tool for other classes as well.

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