Laboratory focussed learning of core electronic engineering concepts in the first year of an honours degree programme

K. Sugden*, D.J. Webb, R.P. Reeves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


In common with most universities teaching electronic engineering in the UK, Aston University has seen a shift in the profile of its incoming students in recent years. The educational background of students has moved away from traditional Alevel maths and science and if anything this variation is set to increase with the introduction of engineering diplomas. Another major change to the circumstances of undergraduate students relates to the introduction of tuition fees in 1998 which has resulted in an increased likelihood of them working during term time. This may have resulted in students tending to concentrate on elements of the course that directly provide marks contributing to the degree classification. In the light of these factors a root and branch rethink of the electronic engineering degree programme structures at Aston was required. The factors taken into account during the course revision were:. Changes to the qualifications of incoming students. Changes to the background and experience of incoming students. Increase in overseas students, some with very limited practical experience. Student focus on work directly leading to marks. Modular compartmentalisation of knowledge. The need for provision of continuous feedback on performance We discuss these issues with specific reference to a 40 credit first year electronic engineering course and detail the new course structure and evaluate the effectiveness of the changes. The new approach appears to have been successful both educationally and with regards to student satisfaction. The first cohort of students from the new course will graduate in 2010 and results from student surveys relating particularly to project and design work will be presented at the conference.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Engineering Education Conference 2010 (EE2010)
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventEngineering Education 2010: Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jul 20108 Jul 2010


ConferenceEngineering Education 2010
Abbreviated titleEE 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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