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A hands-on laboratory-driven Electrical Engineering 2-year curriculum for distance and at-home learning

FIPSE Pandora Box project

Meeting record

Meeting dates, time, and place


Email list for contacts

The group email alias is pandora@u.washington.edu

To contact individuals or a subset of the group, use the email below:

  • UW personnel (add suffix .washington.edu): campion@engr, nlowell@u, dszatmary@ese, soma@ee, riskin@ee, bcorrigan@ese, laurajc@u,blee@engr
  • U of Alaska Fairbanks: mike.sfraga@alaska.edu, ffjda@uaf.edu
  • Seattle-area Community Colleges: flee@bcc.ctc.edu, rlhamber@uswest.net, tgriffith@sccd.ctc.edu
  • AEA Washington: terry_byington@aeanet.org
  • Prentice Hall: Tom_Robbins@prenhall.com, Paul_A_Schneider@prenhall.com
  • Cypress Semiconductors: lje@cypress.com
  • UW grant administrator: Pamela Eisenheim, eisenheim@ee.washington.edu
  • FIPSE program manager: Joan Straumanis, Joan_Straumanis@ed.gov

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Agendas and minutes

Agendas are created from previous meetings' action items and new items. Effort will be made to post the agenda a few days in advance of the meeting, and to post the minutes within a week or so of the meeting. Corrections and clarifications should be sent to Mani.


October 30, 2000, 10:30-11:20, EE1 203

Attendees: Michael Campion, John Evans, Nana Lowell, Eve Riskin, Mani Soma, Tom Griffith

Discussion items:

  • Quick review of milestones for first year (from the project web site).
  • Alaska Fairbanks representative will be Professor John Aspnes. His email has been added to the email list.
  • The design and construction of the lab kit is proceeding with 3 undergraduate students and assistance from Cypress. The function generator is pretty much done, the data acquisition design is about 30% completed, and the USB interface design is proceeding the slowest. The fall-quarter weekly meeting schedule with the students working on the lab kit is Wednesdays 10:30-11:20, EE1 433. Any person on this project team is welcome to attend.
  • Mani's plan is to focus on creating a first completed version of all instructional materials for EE 233 during winter quarter so that the course may be offered in spring quarter.
  • Courses offered off-site: it is most likely that the Tutored Video Instruction model (using local instructors / TAs working with UW instructors) will be used at community colleges who can afford to hire instructors / TAs and at Alaska Fairbanks. Otherwise, the courses will be offered with all instruction provided by UW.
  • Chat rooms: ideas on managed chat rooms (with a live TA monitoring the discussions) and un-managed discussion boards. Check on AOL Live Chat to see how they do it.
  • EDGE and UWEO are hiring an instructional designer to work with us on this project.
  • Questions and discussion re assessment.
  • Sub-budgets for partners both within and without the UW will be set up. Please contact Pamela Eisenheim to get your sub-budget number.

Action items:

  1. Michael: to provide the specifications for instructional materials so Mani can start developing them.
  2. Michael: to update on the status of hiring an instructional designer.
  3. Mani: to set up a Cypress review of the lab kit design and construction status.

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November 27, 2000, 10:30-11:20, EE1 203

Attendees: Michael, Bill Corrigan, John, Eve, Mani 

Discussion items:

  • Brief review of FIPSE annual meeting in San Diego (Nov. 16-18, 2000). Large meeting of all FIPSE grantees and program staff. Key meeting was with the program manager in charge of each project to discuss progress, possible problems, etc. We are in our first year so there is not much to report. A panel on distance-learning lab was mostly focused on "virtual" lab done via the web for physics, biology, chemistry. We are the only group (at least so far) working on a hands-on lab paradigm. Next year's meeting will be in Washington DC.
  • Michael / Bill: to provide the specifications for instructional materials so Mani can start developing them. Discussion focuses on materials to complement the textbook, FAQ, and lab creation as in the proposal. The add-on materials will be written based on topics and not for a specific textbook so that instructors can choose their own textbooks. These materials assume that there is a TA or instructor who can help with students' questions when they take the courses via distance learning. A complete "Self-Study" intended for totally independent use (i.e. without assistance from an instructor or TA) will be developed much later, after we gain some experience in using the materials in class at UW, Alaska, and CCs. There is no current Self-Study we can use as a template, so we will be the guinea pig for this experiment.
  • Unless there is a better suggestion or specific objection, we plan to call the lab kit "Pandora box". It could open up a new spectrum in education or it could totally mess things up, so Pandora seems to be an appropriate name.
  • Development for EE 233 will take place during Winter. Maybe some work on EE 215 and EE 235 but this depends on Mani's and Eve's availability. No promise.
  • Michael / Bill: to update on the status of hiring an instructional designer. It looks very promising that there will be a person hired within the next few weeks. The new person will initially spend a lot of time on this project working with us.
  • Mani: to set up a Cypress review of the lab kit design and construction status. Meeting will be set up at Cypress some time in December, preferably on a Monday. We will ask the students to bring the first lab kit prototype to the team meeting in December so people can see what it looks like now. The lab kit production was discussed with respect to cost and which company to do it. Suggestions include National Instruments (marketer of LabView), Tektronix, HP, Tandy / RadioShack. We will approach these companies once the first few prototypes are completed during winter quarter.
  • Questions were raised (based on Frank Lee's email) about a model for the UW to work with partners: who does registration for the local students, who keeps tuition fees, who gets to count the enrollment, etc. At the December meeting, Bill will report on a model currently in use with community colleges. Basically the local partner will take care of all these matters (including keeping the tuition fees). There are still some issues to be discussed with regard to how UW provides instructional materials, cost, etc.
  • Room change for future meetings. Due to space shortage, the current meeting room 203 will be converted to laboratory. Future meetings, beginning with the next meeting (December 18), will be in room 243 (conference room near the department chair office, in the EE front office complex).

Action items:

  1. Michael: to create an email alias (probably pandora@u.washington.edu) to include all people on the email list above.
  2. Michael / Bill: to present and discuss a model how the UW interacts with partners in course offerings.
  3. Mani: to get the students to bring the current lab kit to the December meeting to talk about their work so far.

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December 18, 2000, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403 (phone 206-543-5192)

Attendees: John, Rich Christie, Tom (NSCC), Michael, Eve, Nana, Frank Lee (BCC), Mani, Dan Forshee, Jake

Discussion items:

  1. Michael: to update re hiring the instructional designer. Still looking. If you know some good candidates, please inform Michael.
  2. Michael: to create an email alias (probably pandora@u.washington.edu) to include all people on the email list above. Completed.
  3. Michael: to present and discuss a model how the UW interacts with partners in course offerings. Example of a possible arrangement is described below. A case-by-case arrangement is also possible by working with UWEO.
    • the CC pays the UW (most likely UWEO) $500 per course per year and $15 per student.
    • the CC keeps all tuition fees and claims the enrollment as part of their accounting.
    • the CC handles all transcripts and administrative issues.
    • the CC will receive all instructional materials from the UW.
  4. Other issues in working with local instructors:
    • the materials are designed to provide maximum flexibility for the local instructor. The local instructor can use his / her own lecture plan using UW contents and add in contents as appropriate. Or the local instructor can follow exactly the UW lecture plan and contents with little changes. Consultation with a UW instructor is available.
    • the local instructor can choose the textbook and does not have to use the same text as recommended by UW.
    • we plan to conduct summer workshops to train local instructors and to discuss these issues in more depth.
  5. Credit transfer issues for students:
    • The EE department will be requested to approve the transfer of credits for the courses developed by this project. Rich (current chair of EE Undergraduate Curriculum Committee) does not foresee any problem with this approval. Paperwork will be done via the College and the UW to permit this transfer.
    • If the total number of transfer credits exceeds 90 credits, we need to work with the department / College / UW to make sure this is acceptable.
  6. Mani's students: to bring the current lab kit to the meeting to talk about their work so far. Dan and Jake discussed their work and showed a first-cut implementation of a functional generator. Issues were raised with respect to ADA accessibility, usability, flexibility, cost, performance, etc. The first generation of prototypes (to be completed in early March, with minimum user interface) will focus on flexibility, cost, and performance. Once we get a better software interface, the other issues will be addressed. Another student will start working on the user interface in winter quarter.
  7. John: to discuss results of the Cypress design review in early December. The review generally went well. Many issues were raised with respect to the USB interface, manufacturing of the prototype, and possible design improvements for the second generation. We are consulting regularly with Cypress technical staff in this prototype design and manufacturing.

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January 22, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 203 (no phone)

Attendees: Rich, Tom, Michael, Eve, Nana, Bill, Mani, Laurie Collins (OEA), Angela Linse (CELT)

Discussion items:

  1. Michael: proposing a possible certificate offering based on the 4 courses in this program. Questions were raised with respect to prerequisites (how to ensure competency / skills / knowledge, check what CSE did with prereq to CSE 143 in their offering, any example from UWEO offering, etc.), who are the customers of this certificate program (people going for associate degrees with some additional knowledge in EE, continuing education for industry workers, people changing careers, etc.).
  2. Mani: to discuss progress in writing materials for EE 233. Slow progress in creating instructor handbook and student handbook. There are materials on web sites (especially from industry web sites) using interactive animation methods to illustrate circuit operations. Knowledge of Java is required to write these scripts, and it takes time to learn Java well enough to start creating these interactive materials for EE 233.
  3. Eve: to update regarding the extension of this project to offer a 4-year BSEE degree in distance-learning format. The extension will be formulated as a Tools for Transformation project (TFT) to submit to UW for internal funding. The idea is to extend the lab kit to accommodate senior-level experiments in a specialty track in EE, and to add teamwork, active learning, and student interactions into the distance-learning format. The eventual goal is to offer a 4-year BSEE degree on-line. We are probably the first school attempting this offer. Many issues were raised and will need more discussions as the proposal is developed further: how to transfer credits, how to guarantee quality control of courses, how to meet ABET EC 2000 criteria, how to train instructors, who will be the instructors, how the EE department retains control of the curriculum offering, how EE and UWEO work together to administer the program, etc. The proposal is still being written by Eve, who will send the first draft to all to review and improve. Budget will be developed with the entire team. The target is to submit the TFT proposal in late winter quarter or early spring quarter, and if all goes well, get funding to start work beginning summer quarter. Eve is the lead in this TFT effort.

Action items:

  1. Michael: to check on schemes to validate prerequisites in the certificate program.
  2. Eve: to complete first draft of TFT proposal and send the draft to team for suggestions, improvements, etc.

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Febuary 26, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403 (phone 206-543-5192)

Attendees: Jim Peckol, Nana, Laurie, Rich Christie, and Eve

Discussion items:

  1. Jim Peckol: description of the Embedded and Real Time Systems Programming Certificate Program to be offered through UWEO via Distance Learning format in Spring 2001. Students will buy a Motorola Coldfire board for $450 to be used for 3 (noncredit) courses. The distance learning courses will start this Spring. Students can start at any time and are self-paced, so to implement teamwork as we have in our TFT proposal, would not be currently possible. Students are given 6 months to complete a course. There is a 50-60% dropout rate because students have other commitments in their lives besides just taking courses. Jim is available to students by email. Once students enroll in a course, they receive access to a web site. Assignments are submitted by email although Jim is looking into giving remote access to the instructor to the students' machines. Currently, all assignments are software only. Students typically take 2 exams per course. So far, they have not implemented streaming media. Jim suggested that we contact Barbara Smith of UWEO about how they screen students before enrolling them in the courses. Jim also screens the students himself. He said that students could apply to waive prior courses but they must demonstrate profiency in the material. He also said that Barbara Smith has materials for DL courses that we might find useful in developing our DL courses. Finally, Jim would be willing to be a guinea pig for our teamwork and/or interaction plans in his courses.
  2. Michael: to check on schemes to validate prerequisites in the certificate program. EDGE / UWEO will have a small committee to review applications to the certificate program. The UWEO advising office will play the same validation role that the EE advising office plays for on-campus students.
  3. Eve: to complete first draft of TFT proposal and send the draft to team for suggestions, improvements, etc. Eve gave an update on the TFT proposal. She has incorporated comments from Michael, Nana, and Laurie. She will meet Angela on 2/28 and Mani on 3/2. Be sure to send in budget requests. She hopes to get the proposal submitted before Spring Quarter.
  4. Eve / Laurie / Nana: Update on UW activities in distance learning and seminars and such. We skipped the discussion of the Catalyst Distance Learning course since almost everyone in the room had attended it.

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March 26, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403 (phone 206-543-5192)

Attendees: Michael, Bob Lee, Nana, Laurie, Rich, Eve, Mani, and Bill

Discussion items:

  1. Michael: introduction of Bob Lee, new instructional designer. Bob has experience in teaching community colleges and in web designs. His email is blee@engr.washington.edu and he sits in room 308, Engineering Annex. After Bob gets settled down, he will start working with Eve and Mani.
  2. Eve: update of TFT proposal. Work on budget almost completed. The first draft will be sent to team members for review / corrections before the submission to UW (planned for 4/15/01). Members of the proposed advisory board have been contacted and are supportive of the proposal. Jeng-Nenq has tools (claimed to be better than Netmeeting) that we can use, and EDGE will test these tools in their courses first.
  3. Mani: we are proceeding to fabricate 3 lab boxes to test with a few teams in EE 371 this quarter. Progress is much slower than expected with undergraduate students busy due to finals in winter. EE 233 materials are being edited. Mani will also meet with Eve weekly this quarter to develop EE 235 materials, especially hands-on laboratory experiments. Cypress is now in contact with EE department chair and UW OTT to discuss possible licensing of the box for manufacturing.
  4. New business: both Eve and Mani have used Catalyst tools (E-Post, WebQ, etc.) to manage student interactions and to do surveys, and these tools perform very well. During winter quarter, the major problem was the slow access but Catalyst has upgraded their server and things are better now. Eve will assign a portion of the course grade for students participating in the bulletin board set up by E-Post. A one-half TA in EE 235 is used to monitor and reply to students' postings.

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April 23, 2001, 10:30-11:20, Loew 355 (** note different location **)

Attendees: Michael, Bob, Nana, Laurie, Rich, Eve, Mani, John, Frank Lee, and Bill

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT proposal was submitted to UW on schedule (April 16). The TFT selection committee does not meet till the end of May, so there will be a wait before we know whether it is Yes or No or Maybe.
  2. Bob: discussing issues relating to the original proposal (who does what, when, etc.) since he is new to the project. Many issues were discussed but it was not clear there were any conclusions outside the framework set by the proposal.

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May 21, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403

Attendees: Michael, Bob, Nana, Laurie, Rich, and Eve

Discussion items:

  1. We congratulated Nana on her promotion to Director of OEA.
  2. Eve: Eddy Ferre, an EE undergrad, will be working with her this summer to add interactive examples to the EE235 lecture notes. They can be used to teach concepts such as convolution.
  3. Bob and Michael pointed out the need to have the examples WELL DOCUMENTED for posterity. In addition, they expressed concerns that this would take up too much of Bob's time. Eve mentioned that she would not come to Bob until they have a nicely working demo. It was suggested that Bob work next on EE371 to allow time to get the EE235 interactive demos working properly.
  4. Bob: working on EE233. He is still wondering how a glossary of terms for the course should be done. He has Mani's instructor guide and mentioned the need for a "narrative" for the students -- perhaps this could simply be the course textbook, but it might need to be something more.
  5. For EE235, it was pointed out that Eve needs to greatly supplement her lecture notes with the things that she says in class. One way to do this is include links in the lecture notes to web sites that demonstrate real-world examples of the material being covered. An example is pointing to a web site where they play music backwards (and discuss the Satanic content of it) when the concept of time reversal is taught. Eve plans to spend time this summer beefing up the lecture notes. In addition, it was suggested that she tape record part of a lecture this quarter to try to capture some of what she says in class that isn't part of the notes. She will do this ASAP.
  6. Laurie handed out the Assessment form for the Pandora Box and we briefly read Mani's comments on how the student assessment went this past Friday.
  7. We picked Monday at 10:30 AM for summer FIPSE meetings for July, August, and September.
  8. Michael warned us that if the program is to be launched in the winter, it needs to be included in the autumn Extension catalog which comes out in July. He will email out text for this in the next couple of weeks for our comments.
  9. Bob will send out a link to an MIT Distance Learning web site.

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June 18, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403

Attendees: Michael C., Mike Murphy, Bob, Laurie, Rich, Eve, Paul Schneider, and Mani

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT update. Need to do our homework before meeting with Debra to hear TFT review feedback (talk to people who have worked with TFT and Debra). Need to contact Catalyst people again to ask for beta testing of their Virtual Case tools for possible use in the proposed TFT project. Kathryn from the EE speech research group has an interesting idea of designing a speech-to-text tool to automatically summarize an instructor oral lecture into a page of text (or a few lines of text or nothing at all). The group decided not to incorporate the idea to the TFT proposal at this time.
  2. Laurie / Mani: preliminary assessment results and actions taken based on students' feedback. OEA will set up a web site to report on assessment of this project. Mani to meet with Laurie for more detailed discussion on this web site.
  3. Bob: status of developing materials
  4. Mani: documents for FIPSE annual report (due to FIPSE July 9, 2001). Mani will send the report questions to Michael C. and Laurie to collect information to include inthe prorgress report. The report is due to FIPSE on July 15 (hardcopy and an update of the project abstract on the FIPSE web site).
  5. Rich: materials are available for EE 215. Rich has provided all his electronic materials to Bob. Some more work will be necessary to turn these materials into the form appropriate for distance learning. We should compensate Rich for his work in developing these materials. The issue of how much notes to generate in addition to the materials already available in textbooks was discussed again. Interaction between faculty and students or between student teams as part of classwork was another matter, which we hope to address in the TFT proposal.
  6. Michael C. mentioned that EDGE / UWEO would proceed to offer 215 in winter 2002. It was strongly recommended that the 215 instructor at UW for winter 2002 be hired as the distance learning instructor as well, so that one variable is removed in the assessment of the effectiveness of the distance learning offering. Michael C. will check on this matter.
  7. New business. Michael C. submitted a paper to the Asynchronous Learning Conference (November 2001) and will inform us if the paper is accepted for presentation.

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July 16, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403

Attendees: Michael C., Mike Murphy, Laurie, Nana, Eddy Ferre, Frank Lee, and Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT update. Eve was absent. Mani reported that the revised budget was submitted and we are now waiting to hear from the UW. Quick summary of Eve's meeting with Prof. Brad Holt (Chair of UW Faculty Senate) regarding Senate concerns in distance-learning offerings.
  2. Mani: FIPSE annual report update. Report was sent in on time and also posted on the project web site. We requested a carryover and will hear from FIPSE. The two handbooks developed for EE 233 should also be posted on the web site since they are mentioned in the report.
  3. Laurie: OEA project assessment web site. The assessment web site is up and linked to the project web site. Laurie will remove the password protection so the site is accessible to any interested party. Laurie will continue to work with Ceon Ramon (EE 233 summer instructor) and our partner in Alaska to assess the values of the 233 course materials. Students in EE 233 will be asked to complete a survey about the value of the student handbook. Laurie will also check to see if Ceon is willing to give us his notes developed to supplement our materials.
  4. Michael C.: Bob would like to meet with Eve's students to see the animated lessons developed for EE 235.
  5. With regard to EE 215 materials, Bob will work directly with Rich to get the course ready to offer in Winter 2002. The advertisement is already in the Fall catalog and UWEO brochures. These advertisements will be sent to the AEA mailing list and the IEEE mailing list. The admission to these courses will be handled jointly between EDGE and the EE department (as represented by Rich, the EE Undergraduate Study Program chair).
  6. Frank Lee: BCC offers EE 215 only once a year in spring quarter. The enrollment is about 15. Other offers from this project will be on-line.
  7. Lab box: Mani and Michael C. will contact Tektronix and National Instruments to see if we can get them to help produce the lab box for winter quarter. In the meantime, we will try to step up the development to get the lab box ready.
  8. Eddy: lesson 2 for EE 235 has been completed. Now that the templates have been developed, the lessons can be implemented more rapidly. The Flash plug-in is free for standard web browsers such as Netscape and IE. The bandwidth to transmit the web pages with animation does not seem to be a problem. We mentioned FIPSE's concerns that most distance-learning students only have access to 56K modems and would be unable to download large files. Another distribution mechanism is CD (650 MB capacity, without compression) if the files get too large for download in the future.
  9. Michael Murphy mentioned that up to 6 hours of video can be stored on one CD, which seems to be more sufficient than what we need for each course.

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August 20, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403

Attendees: Ceon, Bob, Michael C., Mike Murphy, Laurie, Nana, Eddy, Frank Lee, Eve, and Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT update. No news. Matching fund looks OK.
  2. Bob: presented EE 215 lesson 1, latest work on EE 235 Flash by Eve's students. Good feedback from the people at the meeting. EE 235 lesson is also topic-oriented like EE 233, so the lessons do not depend on a specific text or a fixed lecture time.
  3. Update from Laurie: feedback re EE 233 Student Handbook. Feedback conducted in EE 233 summer quarter with help from Ceon. Usage of the handbook was quite low to zero. Many students did not know about the handbook or did not look at it. Our plan now is to focus on the interactive Flash development to help students practice problem-solving skills, rather than on a text-based handbook.
  4. Update from Mani: we are contacting National Instruments (marketer of LabView) to see if they are interested in producing the box in significant volume. The user interface will also be based on LabView. The latest re-design of the hardware has replaced all the mechanical controls with electronic controls and the new version of the function generator has been tested in late August.
  5. Update about students: these are the students working on our Flash development. EE 235: Eddy and Wai Shan. EE 233: Jason Brouwer and Jason Kwan. EE 215: Brian Tocco, one more TBA. Jessica Tsao will be proof-reading all the web pages for all courses.
  6. Meeting with UW Catalyst project (after the fipse meeting): we had a productive meeting with Scott and Kurt to learn more about what they do and how we can work together. We will learn how to use their tools (EE 540 in Fall quarter will be used as a case study for VirtualCase tool) and apply it to the new TFT grant work.

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September 17, 2001, 10:30-11:20, EE1 403

Attendees: Rich, Michael C, Ceon, Bob, Laurie, Michael M., Eve, and Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT update. The funding is in limbo since we do not really know what Debra is looking for. Issues about the Faculty Senate seemed to be resolved after Eve and Mani met with Brad Holt. Eve will keep checking and see.
  2. Eve: videos as support for courses. The proposal mentions 10 hours of videos per course but this is not a rigid requirement. For each course, the videos may cover guest talks by industry to demonstrate the practical applications of the concepts taught in the course, laboratory practices, use of instrumentation, or regular faculty lectures. EDGE asserts that it is possible to transmit videos using low-bandwidth methods for distance-learning students. The videos are also distributed by CD as part of the course materials. It is nice to be able to search the videos based on indexing and transcript. EDGE also has been able to integrate videos with presentation and text. Check out some of their examples and give them feedback. Michael C. will send the url to the group. The driver for the contents of the videos is the faculty course developer (this was one of the key clarification about participant roles).
  3. All: monthly meeting schedule for fall quarter. The monthly meetings remain on Mondays, 10:30-11:20 AM. The dates are October 22, November 19, and December 17. The room will be posted on this web site.
  4. Michael C.: development schedule for EE 215 as a case study. Michael C. distributed a large spreadsheet of the development schedule as a basis for discussion. Please give feedback to Michael so that a template can be set up for future course developments using 215 as a case study. One item brought up by Laurie: where does assesssment development fit into the schedule? Laurie will send a proposed assessment schedule to Michael to incorporate.
  5. Laurie: we should assemble a consistent student review group and use this group to provide feedback on course design, materials, web pages, etc. We should use students in UW class at this time. Instructors of 215, 233, and 235 will be requested to help providing this student group as appropriate.

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October 22, 2001, 10:30-11:20, MEB 251

Attendance: Michael M., Michael C., Rich, Ceon, Laurie, Bob, Jennifer Harris (a new RA on the project who will work with Laurie).

Discussion items:

  1. Eve: TFT update. Debra Friedman wrote that there is a moratorium on TFT funding so we won't hear anything about our proposal until this is resolved.
  2. Michael C.: 215 progress (including updated 215 development schedule). Michael C. presented a revised schedule for EE215 development. The plan is that Bob will put Rich's text and graphics on web pages and Ceon will review them. In addition, OEA will evaluate them, hopefully in enough time to use the feedback to improve the web pages. It was suggested that the EE215 web pages be opened up to Ceon's current on-campus course to allow them to find typos, bugs, etc.
  3. Eve: interactive web page development update. The current EE235 class on-campus is using the animated web pages. So far, the feedback has been positive. She will solicit volunteers in the class (which she is teaching 10/22 and 10/23) to meet with Laurie to evaluate the web pages.
  4. There was a detailed discussion on how to best present material in EE215 and whether video, FLASH, or a combination of both would be best.
  5. Rich: working with a student Brian on animating web pages for ee215. they are about 1/3 the way done through the notes and may not be all the way done before the class goes on-line in Winter 2002. Rich has drafted a storyboard for a video on using the lab in EE215. Ceon and Bob will meet on Friday to discuss the video further.
  6. Laurie will visit Ceon's class on Wednesday and will meet with groups of students in the current offering of EE215 to get their input on the EE215 web pages. In addition, Ceon has a group of 5 students who completed the course this summer and have been very helpful to him. He will see if they are willing to view the EE215 web pages and provide feedback. Eve is checking with Pam Eisenheim to see if Ceon can buy these students lunch on the grant to thank them for their help.
  7. Michael is looking for faculty volunteers to attend the information session on the EE certificate program (the 4 on-line courses). It is Tuesday, October 30, 6-7 PM in EE1 025.

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November 19, 2001, 10:30-11:20, MEB 243

Attendance: Michael C., Ceon, Laurie, Jennifer, Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Rich, Ceon and Michael C.: 215 progress. Seven students applied at this time. Need 17 to break even. Ten might be sufficient to offer the class. Lab video for 215 is OK. Ceon and Rich have expressed hesitation about shooting video outside a normal class lecture. Ceon has already gone through the course material and identified key areas to emphasize with video, but the question of who would go on camera was left open. Eve and Denise were mentioned as candidates. Taping would have to happen next quarter but we need to decide whether to tape any class session. We have initial versions of all 215 materials that will be used next quarter: text/graphics, Flash animations, labs (including generic lab video that still needs to be edited), etc. We'll incorporate the lecture video later, and Ceon expressed a desire to look at interactive tools such as videoconferencing.
  2. Jennifer and Laurie: report on the focus group conducted with current EE 215 students. Their full report is being sent to everyone in the group (also posted on the evaluation web site), but some of the conclusions were:
    • Students liked the animations.
    • They wanted more control of site navigation through an interactive table of contents or clickable key words.
    • The course syllabus is identical to the on-campus syllabus, including requirements to conduct labs in teams and attend sessions on campus.
    • There were questions about whether some content was correct -- pointing to the need for additional proofreading by students and faculty. Even if it is correct, some sections led to confusion and may need to be rewritten.
    • In the version of the site they reviewed, there were no opportunities to get feedback from an instructor. This will be resolved when entered into the UW Online course management system.
  3. Eve and Mani: FIPSE annual meeting update. We met with Joan Straumanis and reported the first year progress. The poster session was well attended especially when Eve was the demonstrator of the concepts developed in this project.

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December 17, 2001, 10:30-11:20, MEB 243

Attendance: Michael C., Rich, Laurie, Jennifer, Eve, Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Winter monthly meeting schedule (please bring your calendar). Dates set for January 14, February 25, and March 11 (all Mondays), 11:30-12:20. Room for meetings: EE1 M406.
  2. Jennifer and Laurie: EE 215 feedback. Many issues were brought up for discussion and resolutions at the meeting:
    1. Web navigation: need Back to Top button, issues with links (too many links are not good either).
    2. Table of contents should be provided for the entire course and maybe for each lesson.
    3. Animation receives good feedback.
    4. "This is obvious" did not go over too well.
    5. E-Post is good.
    6. Provide email link to instructors.
    7. Post the information about the textbook on line so students can consult the textbook for more information, practice problems, answers to selected problems, etc. The web materials are not intended to replace a textbook.
  3. All participants: Class videotaping for 215. We have videos for laboratory techniques. The video of key topics could be done if we can arrange for Ceon or another instructor to lecture to a group of students during winter quarter. Ceon says he knows the key topics and possible difficulties students have but he does not want to lecture to an empty classroom. Another issue is the format of these "key topics" videotapes: are they just another set of lectures or some sort of question/anwer sessions or some problem-solving sessions?
  4. We should also find ways to link videos to some form of transcript. Rich has examples from the IEEE for EDGE to look at.
  5. Rich reviewed lab videos for 215.
  6. There are problems with respect to file versions and synchronization between various versions, which EDGE will fix after Bob Lee returns.
  7. Issues in teamwork in quiz section and lab: how to implement and promote teamwork in distance learning? For now, the only option is individual work with some degrees of teaming via E-Post and synchronized discussion sessions. This is the problem addressed in the TFT proposal but we did not get funding due to moratorium by the UW. Jenq-Neng Hwang has a prototype software for interactive whiteboard but EDGE is still checking it out (Spring 2002).
  8. Paper publications and conference presentations. We need to begin sending papers to conferences to disseminate our work.
  9. All participants: quick progress update. Eve reported that Eddy was selected as a Mary Gates award winner ($4,500 fellowship) and he will present his work with this project at a colloquium in spring 2002.

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January 14, 2002, 11:30-12:20, EE1 M406

Attendance: Michael C., Bob Lee, Michael M., Eddy, Rich, Laurie, Jennifer, Eve, Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. EE 215L videotapes of key topics and possible students' difficulties. Format for video is 1-on-1 question / answer session. Rich will do this. Student participants: check with 215 this quarter. List of topics for the session: Bob Lee has the list created by Ceon that can be used to start with. Please provide this list to Rich in advance. TTh are best for EDGE to do taping.
  2. EE 215 at Highline Community College: Rich will get back to Rebecca. Issues about licensing or free access for now can be resolved with UWEO and EDGE.
  3. Version of materials: EDGE needs to inform Rich about a scheme to keep track of versions of materials to avoid editing / re-editing of outdated documents. Same issues will emerge with other courses.
  4. All participants: quick progress update.
    • Eddy / Eve: Physics has some web software to customize problems for students (one dataset per student) and automatic grading. Software licenses from Illinois. Will check and let us know.
    • TFT proposal about teamwork: the "Peer review" tool is not a good fit. A 'shared white board' is a better option.
    • Students are still working on more Flash web pages for 233 and 235.
  5. Publications: we need to submit experimental in-progress works to conferences. There are many conferences in DL and engineering education that will accept work in progress. Check the web. Some standard conferences are ASEE, Frontiers in Education (FIE), www.syllabus.com (SYLLABUS conference), American Association of Colleges & Universities Annual Meeting, Instructional Communications Council, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, League for Innovation, Clearinghouse for Distance Teaching & Learning conferences.

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February 25, 2002, 11:30-12:20, EE1 M406

Attendance: Michael C., Bob Lee, Michael M. (via Homemeeting software), Rich, Jennifer, Eve, Ceon, Mani.

Discussion items:

  1. Demo of Jenq-Neng Hwang's software by EDGE. Most of the meeting was devoted to the demo. The tool has many interesting capabilities and some concerns still being worked out by EDGE. Too much information to be summarized here, and it changes fast anyway.
  2. Progress updates:
    • Michael C: the deadline for applications to the certificate program is march 8. it will definitely start in the spring with ee215. 7 of the 8 students who applied before are still interested in taking ee215. so far 2 or 3 more have come in. Ceon will teach it.
    • Rich did another round of reviewing and revising the materials for EE215. Jennica made 1 video already and will do another shortly.
    • Jennifer suggested that OEA do a focus group in May with students from the DL offering of EE215. Also suggested doing a focus group with EE233 this spring since it will be offered in the summer.
    • Bob Lee: will meet with Ceon about EE215 to set up a discussion forum. Will finish up details of the EE215 web pages with Ceon or Rich.
    • Eve: has been wordsmithing EE235 lessons. will start sending to Bob.still waiting for Eddy to do some more convolution demos.

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March 18, 2002, 11:30-12:20, EE1 M406

Attendance: Michael C., Bob Lee, Rich, Jennifer, Eve, Ceon, Laurie, John, Mani, Lorne, Jeff, Kevin, Luke.

Discussion items:

  1. Meeting schedule set for Spring quarter. Mondays, 1:30-2:20, April 22, May 20, June 10. EE1 M306.
  2. Hardware design of prototype Pandora box (Kevin, Lorne, Luke). The students presented the hardware design of the box, from the functional and block diagram views (no detailed technical presentation). There were several questions from Rich regarding power design. Lorne will meet with Rich independently for power review. A more detailed hardware design review will also be conducted on Saturday 04-06 for John Evans and Rich.
  3. Rich (EE 215): completed 4 problem-solving videos; notes being reviewed by Gennica. Ceon will be the instructor for the Spring offering.
  4. Ceon: notes look good. Labs OK. Denice Wilson is working on new labs.
  5. Eve: at lesson 21 in EE 235. Will complete in Spring.
  6. Mani: will try the web pages in EE 233 in Spring quarter in Scott Dunham's class. These are the Flash-based web exercises for students to go along with the powerpoint lecture presentations.
  7. Michael C: EE 215 via EDGE attracts 7 to 8 students.
  8. Need to begin taping EE 233 lab videos.

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April 6, 2002, 10:00-13:00, EE1 403

Pandora box hardware design review with John Evans. Frank Lee (BCC) attended a part of the session. Luke, Kevin, Lorne presented the design schematics and answered John's questions. More detailed notes to follow on this web page.

  1. All participants: quick progress update.
  2. New business.

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April 22, 2002, 1:30-2:20, EE1 M306

Proposed agenda:

  1. All participants: quick progress update.
  2. New business.

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May 20, 2002, 1:30-2:20, EE1 M306

Proposed agenda:

  1. All participants: quick progress update.
  2. New business.

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June 10, 2002, 1:30-2:20, EE1 M306

Proposed agenda:

  1. All participants: quick progress update.
  2. New business.

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Pandora box

Source: http://www.pantheon.org/mythica/articles/p/pandora.html

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her and he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her many with talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, "all-gifted".

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.

Source: http://encarta.msn.com

Pandora, in Greek mythology, first woman on earth, created by the god Hephaestus at the request of the god Zeus. Zeus wished to counteract the blessing of fire, which had been stolen from the gods by the Titan Prometheus and given to human beings. Endowed by the gods with every attribute of beauty and goodness, Pandora was sent to Epimetheus, who was happy to have her for his wife, although he had been warned by his brother Prometheus never to accept anything from Zeus. In bestowing their gifts on Pandora, the gods had given her a box, warning her never to open it. Her curiosity finally overcame her, however, and she opened the mysterious box, from which flew innumerable plagues for the body and sorrows for the mind. In terror, she tried to shut the box, but only Hope, the one good thing among many evils the box had contained, remained to comfort humanity in its misfortunes. In another legend, the box contained blessings that would have been preserved if Pandora had not allowed them to escape.

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