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Control Theory Practices Applied to Teaching Practical Control Theory

[+] Author Affiliations
Leo Stocco, Ignacio Galiano, Francisco Paz, Roberto Rosales, David Feixo

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2017-72290, pp. V005T06A002; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5840-0
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Control theory is useful in a broad range of diverse applications that include mechanical, electrical and chemical systems. This work extends the application of control theory from achieving a desired technical outcome to achieving a desired pedagogical outcome. In this paper, the desired outcome is the teaching and learning of applied control systems theory. In the proposed model, the student is the plant, their skill set is the set point, the instructor is the controller, and either an exam or a project-based-learning (PBL) course is the sensor. The PBL course is used to evaluate the actual skill set of the students and the difference between the actual and desired skill set (error signal) is fed back to the professor to initiate curricular changes. This model is shown to be applicable at various levels. At the micro level, examinations within a course are used to optimize that course. At the intermediate level, a PBL course is used as the sensor for a conventional lecture-based course. At the macro level, the departmental program as a whole is matched to the needs of industry in pursuit of a 100% employment rate of its students.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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