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A Novel Structure for Measurement and Instrumentation Courses

[+] Author Affiliations
L. Ken Lauderbaugh Saunders

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO

Paper No. IMECE2002-32074, pp. 1007-1011; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2002-32074
From:
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Dynamic Systems and Control
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3629-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME

abstract

This paper presents a new approach to the design of undergraduate measurement and instrumentation courses. Measurement and instrumentation courses are typically taught as a combination of lab procedures and measurement technology, with a bit of statistics thrown in. These courses are typically structured as a laboratory supporting a lecture course. A new approach to this course has been developed and implemented. In this new approach, a combination of lectures and independent research support independent laboratory experiments coupled with rigorous technical writing assignments. The new instructional design consists of a series of lectures conducted during the first half of the course. These lectures cover general topics needed for most of the laboratories. Students are given reading/research and homework assignments throughout the course to cover the “technology” of sensors and measurement systems. These lectures and assignments support the conducting of 11 open ended labs and a term project: each requiring an extensive lab report. This new approach is proving to be very effective. The interest level of the students has improved greatly. Instead of simply applying a known sensor to a given problem, the students are now able to identify a measurement problem, determine and research appropriate sensors, design an experimental system, document results and prepare a technical argument. A detailed discussion of this approach is included. Student feedback and anecdotal evidence are also included.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Instrumentation

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