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Teaching the Art of Fault Diagnosis in Electronics by a Virtual Learning Environment

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1 Author(s)
Record, P. ; Sch. of Eng. & Phys. Sci., Heriot-Watt Univ., Edinburgh, UK

A virtual learning environment (VLE) to improve understanding of simple faul tfinding was created from a series of Web pages, an online quiz with automated marking, and a local-area-network-based simulator. It was tested on 57 first-year students (in 2002) and 69 students in 2003, taking a module in engineering design in electrical engineering in which a battery charger was designed and constructed. The results indicate that there was better than 100% improvement in the number of working battery chargers in both tested years. In addition, the students who used the VLE produced more working chargers and were better able to identify circuit blocks than those that did not. The learning approach is described by the adaptive character of thought cited in the present paper.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 3 )