Development of modular and accessible teaching labs, incorporating modelling and practical experimentation

Yehdego Habtay


Practical laboratory experimentation has always been a crucial part of engineering education and its effectiveness in facilitating learning is universally acknowledged. Huge advances in computer science, coupled with significant increases in the cost of ever more complex and sophisticated laboratory set-ups, have led to engineering schools’ adopting computer models and simulation software. Although simulation-based laboratory work does enhance the learning experience, it plays a more effective role alongside practical experimentation rather than as a replacement. This case study presents the results and experience gained from an enquiry-based learning of power-converter development laboratory work to support a power electronic converter module at the University of Greenwich. The approach taken allows students to learn the basics of the module through a combination of modelling, simulation and practical experimentation. The modular and portable nature of the laboratory set-ups afforded the students more time and opportunity to explore the subject matter and integrate the laboratory experience with the concepts covered in the lectures. The feedback from students, which was gathered from the students through the university’s EVASYS system, strongly indicated that the approach led to a sustained improvement in students’ learning experience and satisfaction with the module.


enquiry-based learning, power electronics, modular

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