Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Engineering--Study and teaching, Automatic data collection systems


Engineering Education | Industrial Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


The hands-on experience for engineering students is often lacking with class sizes increasing and classroom resources under constant pressure. Even with smaller class sizes and studio classrooms there is only so much equipment and technical support to run experiments and allow for student interaction. Network-based data collection and control may alleviate some of these issues and allow for more hands-on experiences, although remote, in the classroom. This paper discusses the interesting problems and not so obvious pitfalls of setting up some simple network-based data acquisition systems for a multidisciplinary freshman level engineering course. The course as currently taught includes some sensor calibration and feedback/control projects using LabVIEW that are introduced in the last six weeks of the term. In groups of three or four students, they develop a basic understanding of interfacing to sensors and using LabVIEW through a series of guided exercises. The projects assigned are all team based, so it is always a concern that each student in the team develops a good understanding of sensor calibration, data acquisition and control fundamentals. Too often one student will operate the system and the other students just stand to the side watching. With the limited number of control experiments and data acquisition systems, there have been few options for improving the experience. This paper discusses the options and approaches currently in development for this rather difficult approach. We address how this might be integrated into the existing freshman course and how it might improve student learning.This approach may also have a role for many other courses by bringing more applied problems into the classroom through the network-based laboratory experience.


© 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation.

Publisher Citation

Daniels, S. B., & Li, C. Q., & Harding, W. D. (2012, June), Network-based Data Collection for a Project-based Freshman Class Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas.