EDUCATION


In April 2018 I decided to do some work on web based Learning and Teaching material to support practical work in Electronics and Embedded Systems. This was intended to re-visit material from my time as senior teaching fellow in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering as a starting point for new work.

TRIAL1: Introductory Course [April 2018]

A short introductory course was created based on an earlier piece of work, S0110 First Year Introduction to Digital Electronics. This material, together with a simple logic tutor, allowed practical work to be done by a student at home. The Logic utor was battery powered and had two switches to generate logi levels for cirucit testing. The only test equipment required was a simple Digital Multimeter (DMM). Tools required were wire stripper, wire cutter, small pliers and small screwdriver.

PILOT STUDIES

The next three pieces of work were all used as pilot studies for a potential research project. The title of this research would be Can the use of audio material, in online content delivery and support of practical work, improve the student learning experience in electronics and embedded systems?

(1) INVESTIGATION: The use of the Semi-Structured (Qualitative) Interview to gather data. [January 2019]

The material used for the investigation was a simple introduction to combinational logic. Diagrams using switches, lamps and a power supply were used to illustrate the basic Logic functions AND and OR. This work was designed for use by a student not studying electronics. Some sections had descriptions using audio and others using text on the screen. This allowed the interview to be used to gather data on the use of audio in learning and teaching material from the student perspective.

(2) TRIAL2: An introduction to Sequential Logic

This is a comprehensive introduction to sequential logic based partly on an earlier piece of work ELEC1620 Introduction to Sequential Logic. The aim of this material was to show how the basic Logic Gates can be interconected to make circuits that behave in a very different way. These new circuits retain the output value caused by one input signal until another signal is sent to change it. These circuits behave as a "memory" retaining the output value until changed by another input signal or by switching off the power supply. These circuits were investigated practically using a device containing a selection of gates to create the complete system on one chip. Some sections had descriptions using audio and others using text on the screen. This allowed an interview to be used to gather data on the use of audio in learning and teaching material from the student perspective.

(3) TRIAL3: The use of Bistables as a divider, counter and a basic PWM circuit

This is a continuation of sequential logic showing how the J-K bistable can be used as an R-S latch, a D-type latch, a divider and a counter. A digital square wave input to a single J-K bistable was monitored on an Oscilloscope to observe the divider action between Clock input and Q output. The next section of the course used a BBC Microbit as a means of generating inputs to the digital logic circuits and of monitoring outputs. This introduced the idea of computer control as the two students working on this pilot study also worked on the Python code as well. Student interaction when working with online material and the tutor was interesting especially when different sections constructed by each student were connected together to form a larger system. This larger system was a basic PWM circuit using an eight stage counter and digital comparators with an eight input switch.

The use of audio was not a major factor in this trial but the use of the computer also suggested other ways in which audio could interact with an online program. An interview with both students was used to gather data on the use of a micro-computer in learning and teaching material from the student perspective.

NEW RESEARCH 2021

This work was prompted by a request for any information about the use of the 16mm Muray Viewer. A Web user got in touch after finding EDUTRONIC as a site which mentioned the Muray Viewer. I decided to try to create a few web pages about the operation of the viewer, how it was used and equipment often used with it. The pagss on the additional equipment will be completed if they are useful in the future. The link to this work is HERE.

In future all new projects will be found HERE


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