For the past 20 years, I have implemented active learning and project based learning activities to keep my students cognitively engaged and active in my classrooms. Three examples are shown below.

  • Implemented active learning in the classroom: the goal is to incorporate activities that keep students actively engaged during class.  

I have been using the Mobile Studio IOBoard TM and the newly released Analog Discovery IOBoard technology and pedagogy in my  Electric Circuits  and Introduction to Electrical Lab courses for the past 5 years. The Mobile Studio pedagogy uses a special hardware/software designed by researchers at  the Rensselaer Institute of Technology (RPI) to provide similar functionality to various types of ECE laboratory equipment. I used the Mobile Studio boards and pedagogy to design and deliver in class activities to my students that provide “hands-on” exploration of engineering design and implementation principles without the need of using laboratory facilities.  This approach significantly increases the course participation and engagement of the students in the classroom. It also has increased the students’ understanding and application of various ECE concepts and their desire to learn more by tinkering with the various circuits that they can easily build and test within a classroom or dormitory environment.

Mobile Studio Board vs Regular Lab Equipment

Student completing his EE laboratory experiment in the Library using the Mobile Studio Board

  • Implemented project-based learning by assigning classroom projects that relate to real-world situations

I have served as the project director and coordinator for the MSU Balloon Payload Program (BPP) for the past 8 years. The program is funded by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and involves 4 universities and colleges. I used the BPP to allow students enrolled in the Electric Circuits (EEGR-202) courses to experience the thrill of designing, building, testing, launching, and recovering payloads that are flown at heights reaching 100,000 feet using very large balloon satellites.  It gives the students the chance to work on a project that is similar to real-world scenarios such as those carried out by NASA engineers and scientists.  It allows the students to acquire and develop the skills required to succeed in the work place such as team work, time management, and designing and delivering a product (in this case a payload) that has very strict size, weight and functionality requirements.

Students putting payload together

Students preparing the payloads before the launch

Inflating the Balloon before the launch

Balloon and Payloads before the launch

Students with the payloads that have been recovered after 2 hours of tracking

Students with the payloads that have been tracked and recovered

Picture for payload at around 80,000 ft

Picture for payload at around 80,000 ft

  • Used technology to enhance engagement and learning: the goal is to engage students in self-directed learning and encourage them to take initiative and responsibility for their own learning.

I have used the Mobile Studio technology and pedagogy in coordination with other learning technologies such as the Blackboard LearnTM course content delivery portal software, the Panopto FocusTM audio/video lecture capture and delivery software, and the  Adobe ConnectTM software to enhance communication and collaboration with my students and engage and encourage them to pursue self-directed learning. I spearheaded the use of the Panopto FocusTM audio/video lecture capture software technology in the School of Engineering (SOE) to capture/record all of my lectures and make them available to his students on  a daily basis through streaming technology and podcasts. I always encourage my students to  engage in self-directed learning by allowing them to review the audio/video class lectures before coming to class and using the regular class time for more advanced analysis and discussion of the course contents.

Student Conducting EE Lab Demo the Adobe Connect online using video conferencing tool

Sample Panapto Lecture recording

Panapto Lecture recording usage statistics


Courses that I teach

1. Electric Circuits (EEGR 202 – 4 credits) sophomore level ECE core course

Teaching Method: Face to Face and/or Completely Online
Catalog Description: Includes Ohm’s and Kirchoff’s laws; analysis techniques including Nodal, Loop, Thevenin’s and Northon’s Theorem; V-I Laws of RLC elements, Phasor concepts, Two-Port and magnetically coupled networks.

A fun project that we do in the Spring semester is the Balloon Payload Project, where

Expected Course Outcomes: students will attain the ability to:

  • Apply, to electric circuit problems, mathematics skills such as linear analysis, matrices, calculus, ordinary differential equations, and complex numbers.
  • Apply basic circuit analysis techniques such as Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws, Nodal & Loop Analysis, Thevenin & Norton Theorems, Superposition, and Source Transformation in the time, and frequency domain.
  • Identify, formulate, and solve basic engineering design problems involving linear electric circuits.
  • Use a scientific calculator, math software applications (such as Excel, Matlab, and Maple) and the Electronics Workbench circuit simulator to solve problems related to electric circuits.

2. Intro to Electrical Lab (EEGR 203 – 1 credit)- sophomore level ECE core course

Teaching Method: Face to Face and/or Completely Online
Catalog Description: Involves report writing and the use of laboratory instruments and experiments relative to Kirchhoff’s laws, circuit linearity, transient response, and operational amplifiers.

3. Introduction to Electrical Engineering (EEGR 105)- freshman level ECE core course (Face to Face only)
Catalog Description: Introduction to the profession. Ethics and professional behavior.
Students are exposed to various specialties which may include use of the computer, analog and digital design, the use of laboratory instrumentation, and other general topics.
Expected Course Outcomes: students will attain the ability to:

  • Distinguish several areas of electrical and computer engineering
  • Understand the responsibilities of students pursuing a degree in the ECE department.
  • Meet with several department professors and know about their current research.

4. Communications Theory (EEGR 453 – 3 credits) senior level ECE elective course
Teaching Method: Face to Face and/or Completely Online
Course Objectives:

  • To give student insight to fundamental communications system elements
  • To develop analysis and design capabilities for digital communications
  • To provide an introduction to random signals
  • To see how a few state of the art communication systems are designed

Expected Course Outcomes: After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand how analog/digital information is transmitted from a source to a destination.
  • Evaluate the quality of the received analog or digital signal
  • Understand the different types of design constraints/goals to consider for the design of a specific analog or digital communication system.
  • Evaluate the trade-offs between various parameters, such as bandwidth and power that affect the performance of a communication system due to the design limitations.
  • Analyze a digital communication system link and propose a solution that meets an overall system requirement.