At-home laboratories are inexpensive hardware kits that students take home and work on much like a problem set. The kits have an embedded microcontroller and communicate to the student’s home PC over a serial port. The home PC provides the needed computational horsepower for experiment control, data collection, data analysis and reporting. The microcontroller handles real-time control tasks. Two first-generation kits were developed, a fourth-order, linear mass-spring-damper system for frequency response and system identification, and an analog filtering system that uses music and synthetic sound as an input for understanding the properties of analog filters. Twenty five kits were constructed and used by students. Based on this pilot, improved, second generation kits have been designed.

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