How to Increase and Retain Interest in Power Quality Lectures
Keywords:laboratory activities, pedagogical tools, power quality, teaching in engineering, teaching methodology
This article discusses about Power Quality (PQ) as a teaching subject and addresses the methodology employed in the theoretical/expositive PQ lectures for undergraduate students held at the Laboratory of Analysis of Power Quality Monitoring – LAMQEE, located at São Carlos School of Engineering (EESC), University of São Paulo (USP). It will be covering challenges handled, positive aspects and new learning opportunities based at adopted methodology. Theoretical classes were supported by new tools of pedagogical aid to develop learning skills. Examples of tools that could be mentioned are real time computer simulations projected in multi-media equipment, discussions of technical-scientific articles, as well as the use of a Digital Arbitrary Signal Generator combined with a PQ analyzer. With the aim of increase and retain the enrolled students’ interest, practical exercises were added to the course and provided with performance comments concluded activities. This methodology was implemented with the vital cooperation of a student of the Program of Education Improvement (PAE) supported by USP. The PQ classes supervised in association of a PAE scholarship support in teaching activities, promoted better interest and involvement of students during the lectures. Additionally, it improves the teaching atmosphere quality, satisfy and lectures content. Students’ self-confidence on the subject PQ concepts and developed performs was verified and the enhanced number of final course papers in topics correlated to PQ. Despite challenges and upgrades that should be applied, the effects observed so far show that many of the pedagogical instruments, when correctly applied, are capable of enhance the study and attention of significant topics associated to PQ. Likewise, the instruments also encourage and inspire students to learn PQ subjects key and initiate them to the academic research atmosphere and upcoming professional activities. Finally, other activities are still on the list of actions for future work, for example, it would be recommended to have a feedback mechanism of the students, validating all the methodology adopted, strengths and weaknesses of the material developed, the presentation of the lesson and the attendance after the lecture.
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