If you want to review the entire proposal narrative, including references with links, it is available in PDF formathere.
Modern Electronic Techniques
John E. Furneaux and Eric R. I. Abraham
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019
We propose to redesign the laboratory portion of the first two years of the curriculum for all majors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. We will start with the 1-year electronics laboratory, PHY2302/2312, currently similar to electronics laboratory courses taught at many institutions. The course involves rote learning of electronic components and "cookbook" methods of circuit creation. From surveys of faculty and students, we find that this results in neither substantial student interest in the subject nor in sophisticated skills for future laboratory work in academia or industry. The objectives of this project are:
To achieve these goals, we will modernize the hardware and computer software of the electronics laboratory, and integrate this new technology into the course. We will utilize the industry-standard computer-based design tools, including LabVIEW, SPICE, and circuit board CAD programs. This will facilitate the construction of useful and robust devices, both hardware and software, that will be transferred into other laboratory classes, particularly introductory physics laboratories. As these are standard courses in most physics curricula, the physics community has considerable interest in innovative developments. As part of this project, we will implement methods, which have resulted from education research and have resulted in successful innovations in our standard classroom teaching, into these laboratory courses. There is considerable institutional support for this and similar projects. This support is demonstrated both financially and programmatically; the Instructional Development Program is assisting substantially, particularly with assessment, dissemination, and faculty development.