Experiences in Using Open Source Software for Teaching Electronic Engineering CAD

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

Embedded systems and simulation distinguish modern professional electronic engineering from that learnt at school. First year undergraduates typically have little appreciation of engineering software capabilities and file handling beyond elementary word processing. This year we expedited blended teaching through the experiential based learning process via open source engineering software. Students engaged with the entire electronic engineering product creation process from inception, performance simulation, printed circuit board design, manufacture and assembly, to cabinet design and complete finished product.Currently students learn software skills using a mixture of electronic and mechanical engineering software packages. Although these have professional capability they are not available off-campus and are sometimes surprisingly poor in simulating real world devices. In this paper we report use of LTspice, FreePCB and OpenSCAD for the learning and teaching of analogue electronics simulation and manufacture. Comparison of the software options, the type of tasks undertaken, examples of student assignments and outputs, and learning achieved are presented. Examples of assignment based learning, integration between the open source packages and difficulties encountered are discussed. Evaluation of student attitudes and responses to this method of learning and teaching are also discussed, and the educational advantages of using this approach compared to the use of commercial packages is highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2015: Official Conference Proceedings
Place of PublicationJapan
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Pages1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2015
EventThe European Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2015: Official Conference Proceedings - Thistle Hotel, Brighton, 1-5 July 2015
Duration: 14 Sep 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe European Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2015: Official Conference Proceedings
Period14/09/15 → …

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