Deeper Theoretical Understanding by Means of Practical Experience in Electric and Electronic Circuits for Freshmen
A traditional way to teach bachelor students in electrical engineering is organized such that theoretical knowledge is predominant in the first year while applications and practical experiences are reserved for later stages of their education. In this contribution, we want to introduce a reverse approach: In a freshmen course at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Science, students gain hands-on experience with resistances, condensers and other active parts, like transistors or relays from the very first day. We present how the combination of practical experience directly linked with theoretical knowledge enhances students' learning. It promotes deeper understanding of the theory and a better transfer between theory and practice. This teaching approach is adapted to address two main goal s: First, to give practical experience to first-semester students as a basis for further laboratory and working situations. Second, to create a deeper and more sustainable understanding of physics by directly observing the effects that are described in formulas. The key to success is to find an efficient solution to carry out this approach with the given spatial and financial resources - which means, to do it in the lecture hall with very few material resources. To show that this innovative teaching concept really enhances the competencies of the students, an innovative evaluation approach was used where the students have to reflect upon their competencies before and after the course.