The Classroom of the Future: An Internet-Delivered National Course on Thermal Management of Electronics

By Bhavnani, Sushil H.; Bar-Cohen, Avram et al. | Journal of Engineering Education, October 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Classroom of the Future: An Internet-Delivered National Course on Thermal Management of Electronics


Bhavnani, Sushil H., Bar-Cohen, Avram, Joshi, Yogendra K., Journal of Engineering Education


ABsTRAcT

Teaching inter-disciplinary material poses special challenges due to the diversity of student backgrounds. This problem is compounded if the material being taught is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students. Mechanical Engineering faculty members from three universities have come together to address this problem using a layered, multimedia delivery mechanism via the Internet. This has resulted in thefirst-ever, five, fill-duplex, In ternet course taught at any ofthe three partner universities: Auburn University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Minnesota. With the addition of colleagues from industrial sites such as Philips in the Netherlands and three other universities in Japan, Singapore, and Australia, the next offering will expand to become an international course. The authors hope to illustrate that a course delivered over the Internet adds significantly to the learning process in a cost-effective manner.

I. INTRODUCTION

Rapid advances in electronics manufacturing processes have led to continuing increases in the number of transistors that can be integrated onto a single chip. Dissipating the heat that is generated in this very small region is an increasingly complex problem. Thermal management of electronics is an area of study that encompasses knowledge from subject areas that include heat transfer, stress analysis, reliability, circuit design, and the integrated circuit manufacturing process. Teaching this complex subject matter successfully requires the use of non-traditional teaching methods. It is widely recognized that advanced engineering students are quite capable of self-learning if the material is presented in a structured environment. Multimedia tools prevalent on the Internet can be used to provide an asynchronous self-learning environment.

II. IMPLEMENTATION

The course was taught during Winter Quarter 1999 to students at four sites; three sites located at the three partner universities, and the fourth at an industrial location-Lockheed-Martin Tactical Defense Systems, in Eagan, Minnesota. The interaction between the different sites is shown in figure 1, which also lists the students that participated. The unique interaction with a fifth site shown in figure 1 will be described later in this paper.

The commercially available video-conferencing software package CU-SeeMe was used along with appropriate video-cards and a video camera. The low price of these components (all for under $200 per workstation) should make this format easy to implement at other universities as well. The video-conference was facilitated through the Auburn University reflector. The images originated at the University of Minnesota, were captured with TV cameras, normally used for broadcasting courses through the University's RF link, and were then converted to a form suitable for Internet transmission. As can be seen from the following list, the minimum computational platform requirements are quite modest.

A. Hardware Requirements

Intel Pentium(R) PC:

-166 MHz with 32 MB RAM

-6 MB free hard disk space

-Full Duplex sound card

-Windows 95/98/NT

-Ethernet(R)/LAN connection preferred

-a camera w/microphone (example: Logitech Quickcam(R))

-software, White Pine CU-SeeMe(R)-http://www.wpine.com/ (allows eight sites to be connected at a time)

-speakers

III. COURSE STUCTURE

The class was held between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Central Time every Thursday, in order to avoid scheduling conflicts among the various sites. The course was structured as follows:

Class time: new pedagogical material, followed by discussion of homework assignments and case studies

Work load: 25 pages of reading per week, 1-2 hours of prerecorded lecture viewing (asynchronously via internet streaming video), one exam, nine homework assignments, three engineering case studies

Grade: 45%, three written case study reports and presentations; 20% take-home final exam; 25% homework, 10% class participation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Classroom of the Future: An Internet-Delivered National Course on Thermal Management of Electronics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?