Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Conference Title

2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference

Conference Dates

Note: Postponed/canceled event due to COVID-19, but released papers

Date of Presentation



Open educational resources have been shown to have the potential to improve student learning outcomes while lowering student costs associated with curricular materials. University competitively awarded small grants of $2500 to encourage faculty to create or adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) to help reduce student costs or enhance the student learning experience. This paper outlines how the grant award was used to create open tutorial resources and lab materials that helped students independently learn to use the simulation software Simulink in conjunction with a Digital Signal Processing course. Students were required to review the OER materials and complete the lab experiments on their own, outside of class time. Having these tutorial resources available online freed up class time that previously had been used to demonstrate use of the software and to assist students as they completed lab exercises in class. The class time saved has been used for active in-class problem solving and for review sessions prior to examinations. The additional time available to work with students actively in class has had the salutary effect of improving student performance in the course (the class GPA has shown increasing trends after incorporation of the OER materials). Other positive effects of the OER grant are: (1) Student competence with Simulink is just as good when students learn and use the tool independently without consuming class time. (2) Student satisfaction with respect to the availability and effectiveness of the OER materials as measured by a survey is high.


Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference

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Originally published online by ASEE here:

© 2020 American Society for Engineering Education

See ECPE 121 - Simulink Labs documentation here.

See ECPE 121 - Introduction to Simulink video here.