The project goal is to develop students' life-long team problem solving and communication skills through active learning experiences that simulate industrial situations. These experiences create team design activities that integrate problem solving, project planning, and oral and written communications.The project objectives require curriculum reform that revises two upper level courses and creates a new senior project design course. Both the instructional technique and the content of the two upper level courses change to prepare the student for the new senior project design experience.The instructional method focuses on supplementing traditional lectures with instructor-guided collaborative learning using computer control technology. Course content in a revised microcontroller course introduces modern technology such as C programming, logic analyzer use, and embedded design. An industrial electronics course now covers programmable logic controllers, data acquisition, and test instrument interfacing. These changes in course content require the purchase of control computers, data acquisition and logic analyzer boards, test instruments, and software.The senior capstone design course reinforces the skills that are developed in the team approaches in the two revised courses. Senior students will use the new equipment in team design projects that simulate graduates first assignments in industry.Throughout the three courses students use computer related projects as a vehicle to learn team communication and problem solving techniques. Group communications skills include written and oral exams, communication of team findings, generation of student portfolios, and final presentations.
Active Learning: Group Design Projects