CIAMBITAL, University of Almeria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 4537-4543
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1130
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design is part of the syllabus of the bachelor’s degree in industrial Electronics Engineering from University of Almería. Due to time constraints and the sheer number of topics to cover in the electronics related subjects, PCB design through software tools is reduced to an introduction as a lesson of the last year's subjects.

Even when this approach has sufficed in regard of students fulfilling the course needs (namely develop a PCB using a software design tool of choice), student discomfort with current plan along with academic performance decreasing over the years has shown room for improvement. A survey was introduced to 4th year students to grasp their level of confidence and opinion. Results reveal that many students find the amount of time required to finish their assignments while acquiring skill on the software tool cumbersome.

The students' perception is attributed to the late introduction of PCB design software in the degree. This might imply an imbalance between the main transversal skills in electronic related subjects, namely physical instrumentation, simulation and circuit design, where PCB design software belongs to the last one. Consequently, PCB design through software tools should be introduced early in the degree, making possible for students to develop that set of transversal skill much further.

To improve the current situation and boost student development in circuit design, as teachers belonging to the Electronic Technology Area of Knowledge, have decided to develop a PCB design Small Private Online Course (SPOC). Even when aiming for a mainly autonomous, fully online course, its primary goal is local; to serve as support to provide a more solid PCB design background for our students.

Along this paper we revise the course from a curricular development point of view. At first the objectives we need to fulfill are laid out for all the main aspects of the course, then explaining the strategies considered to cover them. The compatibility of the designed course with the rest of the subjects and its scalability into a fully-fledged SPOC are also considered.
SPOC, printed circuit board design, transversal skills development, Electronics.