Want to learn about electronic hardware like a fader? Take a self-paced university course in Electric Circuits and Systems for $15.00.
Analog Circuits and Electronics
A large number of analog circuits and electronics courses have been eliminated from many university programs due to the lack of faculty to teach them.
With the explosion of electronic gadgets, the need to know how to analyze and design electronic hardware is the greatest it has even been.
The Analog University
The Analog University was established (http://www.willowelectronics.com/page2.html) several years ago as an attempt to preserve courses in analog circuits and electronics. The Analog University currently offers nine analog lecture courses for self-paced instruction. These are in the form of an e-book (http://stores.lulu.com/willowepublishing) and sell for $19.00 per single course. These are the actual class notes of lecture courses in the electrical engineering program at Michigan State University taught by Dr. Gregory M. Wierzba (http://www.egr.msu.edu/~wierzba/).
These e-books are unique in that they consist of very detailed lecture notes. A typical course has about 250 pages. These lecture notes are much more than a bunch of power point slides that you might find with many on-line courses. They really help students see all of the steps in analyzing or designing a circuit.
Besides lecture notes, these e-books also contain approximately 100 pages of Supplemental Problems and Solutions. These are the homework problems and solutions that were used in teaching the course at Michigan State University over several semesters. Many of these homeworks are taken from hobbyist magazines and application notes.
How effective are these courses?
One measure of success is the enthusiasm students have for circuit design. Michigan State University has an audio student organization called Audio Enthusiasts and Engineers or AEE. Most AEE members are electrical engineering students who have taken one or more of these analog courses. Students propose, design and build whatever audio circuits they are interested in. You can see some of the details of this at the AEE web site (http://aeemsu.com/).
What is needed?
What is needed are the videos to go along with the e-book lecture notes to complete the classroom experience. These videos would help any electrical engineering student when studying for exams or trying to do homework. These videos would also allow anyone*, hobbyist or engineer, to take this 3-credit course at their own pace. (*The background for ECE 201 is an algebra course and an introductory course in calculus.)
A YouTube Channel ( https://www.youtube.com/user/ECE201msu ) was created to show potential backers what the video lectures for ECE 201: Electric Circuits and Systems I would be like. The index of the ECE 201 e-book with the hyperlinks to these sample videos is available at :
What is the funding for?
This project would fund the recording and editing of one entire course, ECE 201: Electric Circuits and Systems I. If successful, we would then proceed to seek further funding to create the videos for the other courses at The Analog University.
The current e-books for a single lecture course without the videos sell for $19.00. If this project is funded, the price of the ECE 201 e-book with the videos would stay the same at $19.00. This $19.00 price covers the cost of maintaining the e-book.
How long will it take to do the work?
The average time for recoding and editing a single video is about 2 hours. It would take approximately 60 more videos to cover the lecture part of the course and about 20 more videos to cover supplemental problems and solutions.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
These courses have been taught by Dr. Wierzba for nearly 35 years. We have made over 50 YouTube videos for his lab courses and for AEE. Sample videos have been finished for this project and can be viewed at our ECE 201 YouTube Channel listed above.
As with any project, the work can be overwhelming. We have budgeted time based on our past experience. But we would have to compensate for any problems that might arise with the final production.
At most universities, the cost of tuition for a 3-credit course is several thousand dollars. Part of this tuition pays for the faculty member to give live lectures, to give homework and exams, and to grade student performance.
Just like most open on-line courses, you will get recorded lectures, recorded homework solutions and recorded exam solutions. What is different here is that all recordings are edited for accuracy and quality. You also get very detailed lecture notes and not just a set of power point bullets.
I will also include a suggested self-paced syllabus for you to take the course on your own schedule. Unlike my university courses, you get to grade yourself.
There is capture software for YouTube videos but the resolution may not be as good.
My homepage ( http://www.egr.msu.edu/~wierzba/ ) has tabs for 5 lab courses. All of my lab lecture videos are there for viewing and downloading (as well as a link to the course YouTube Channel). These videos are slightly better in quality than the YouTube videos. I would consider doing the same for this course but because there are at least 90 videos, the real issue is organization. I am considering making a DVD available if I can keep the cost low.