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In this paper, a progressive design learning approach is proposed in the course of ldquoapplied electronicsrdquo to help students to develop system design skills through an optoelectronic sensing project. This project offers a progressive guideline to lead student teams to design, build, and troubleshoot their optoelectronic systems. Such a system contains a light-source current stabilizer, a photodiode amplifier, a microcontroller system (including input and output), and optomechanical devices. In this approach, students are motivated to learn the required knowledge and skills in a future professional capacity. Those skills include designing specification, realizing teamwork and communication, and developing a variety of optoelectronic sensing techniques. Through this project, an optoelectronic sensing system is established called a spatial radiance distribution measurement system for various light sources. In particular, this kind of system is useful and important for LED industries. The course evaluations have been obtained from classmates and instructors and these results indicate that the objectives of this course are achieved.