Document Type


Publication Date

June 2007

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

First Page


Last Page





labview, laboratory


Engineering | Engineering Education


The goal of this study, funded by the National Science Foundation, was to adapt the work of other researchers to improve the delivery of electronics lecture and laboratory content in the Electronics & Computer Technology (ECT) area. From the extensive research on ethnic and gender differences in learning styles, the evidence suggests that ethnic minorities and women work best when the material is organized so that students work in teams and have a high level of hands-on experimentation and problem-solving. We developed our materials to maximize these aspects since in our institution the “minority” constitutes the majority of our student body. This project created online lecture and laboratory materials for Tech 167—Control Systems, an upper division electronics course using Multisim and LabVIEW.The laboratory content of the course Tech 167 “Control Systems” has been revised. As a result, ten lab experiments were completed and pilot tested using Multisim, a computer simulation program. If the observations of the students who have tested these lab experiments in fall 2005 are an indication, there is no doubt that students who performed these experiments in groups learned more and were also able to provide meaningful feedback to improve them. The ten lab experiments were refined based on students’ feedback and were performed by all students enrolled in Tech 167 “Control System” in the fall 2006 semester. A kit containing all the components needed to perform the ten lab experiments was provided to each student. In this way, students were able to first use computer simulation for each lab experiment and then hardwire them using the kit. After comparing the results of the computer-simulated and the hardwired experiments, we found no significant differences in student achievement. However, there appears to be a difference in attitudinal measures. Students who used both the computer simulations and hardwired experiments reported that that they learned the material better.Students completed a pre-test and posttest of the Concept Inventory test. In addition, students took the General Attitudes Toward Computers test, Computer Thoughts Survey and the Computer Anxiety Rating test.


© 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. This article originally appeared in the proceedings of the 2007 ASEE Annual Conference, and can also be found online at this link.