Romanian Journal of Information Science and Technology (ROMJIST)

An open – access publication


ROMJIST is a publication of Romanian Academy,
Section for Information Science and Technology

Editor – in – Chief:
Radu-Emil Precup

Honorary Co-Editors-in-Chief:
Horia-Nicolai Teodorescu
Gheorghe Stefan

Secretariate (office):
Adriana Apostol
Adress for correspondence: (after 1st of January, 2019)

Editing of the printed version: Mihaela Marian (Publishing House of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest)

Technical editor
of the on-line version:
Lucian Milea (University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest)

• National Institute for R & D
in Microtechnologies
(IMT Bucharest),
• Association for Generic
and Industrial Technologies (ASTEGI),

ROMJIST Volume 26, No. 2, 2023, pp. 167-180, DOI: 10.59277/ROMJIST.2023.2.04

Raul ONET, Marius NEAG, Albert FAZAKAS, Paul MIRESAN, Gabriel PETRASUC, Iulian SULAREA, Alessandro BATTIGELLI, Michael MURRAY, Martin HILL
A Blended On-Campus and At-Home Approach to Laboratories on Electronic Circuits

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a blended approach to organizing laboratories for undergraduate Bachelor-level courses on electronics circuits and systems. The main idea is to combine on-campus laboratory sessions with at-home experiments performed individually by each student as homework. This way, students can enjoy the advantages of both on-campus and at-home experimental work while avoiding most of their limitations. An essential prerequisite is to provide each student with a portable laboratory kit. Such a kit was developed by the authors with the Erasmus+ project “Home Electronics Laboratory Platform (HELP)”. The HELP laboratory kit comprises of a portable signal generator & measurement instrument and an electronic board developed specifically for this purpose, which includes several functional blocks alongside the usual breadboard for assembling circuits with discrete components. The paper describes the HELP kit in some detail, then the results of an experiment designed to assess the impact of using it. An administrative unit of 18 third-year students was split randomly in two equal-size groups, one that had only traditional on-campus lab classes while the other nine students were given HELP kits and followed the proposed blended on-campus and at-home approach for their lab classes. All students received end-of-semester marks for both laboratory activity (as an average of four tests and homework completion) and a written exam (solving four problems on circuit analysis). The group that used HELP kits performed substantially better than their counterparts, both in respect to laboratory – average lab mark almost two points (out of ten) higher – and written exam – average exam mark over one point higher. These results indicate that the blended on-campus and at-home approach to laboratory classes helped improve the overall learning experience for students, with positive impact not only on their lab performance but on their understanding of electronic circuits, as well.

KEYWORDS: assessment of laboratory work; electrical engineering education; home electronics laboratory; online learning; portable electronic laboratory kits.

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