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Picturing signals [electrical engineering education]

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2 Author(s)
Yantorno, R.E. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Temple Univ., Philadelphia, PA, USA ; McFann, J.-A.

The challenge of engineering educators is to prepare engineering students for their careers as practicing engineers. To that end, educators should have some idea about what tools engineering students will need, and how they should go about using those tools to solve some of the problems that they will encounter in industry. Those tools are qualitative analysis and visual thinking. To enhance the visual thinking of engineering students, new teaching approaches have been introduced into the classical "signals and systems" junior electrical engineering course. This involves the use of visual problem solving, graphical analysis and solution prediction prior to the students starting to do any calculations. Collaborative work is encouraged and required, with students working together to redo quizzes and tests as well as taking in-class quizzes in teams. This was done for two reasons. The first was to help the student learn the course material. The second was to utilize another method to help them improve their right-brain thinking skills. It should be noted that there are a number of right-brain thinking skills but the two that are relevant to this paper are visual thinking and interpersonal skills. One of the left-brain thinking skills is associated with the traditional engineering education approach, i.e., mathematics.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE '98. 28th Annual  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

4-7 Nov. 1998

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