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The Importance of Introducing the OCTC Method to Undergraduate Students as a Tool for Circuit Analysis and Amplifier Design

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
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Technologies 2020, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies8010007
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOCAST 2019: Modern Circuits and Systems Technologies on Electronics)
The open-circuit-time-constant (OCTC) method is an approximate analytical computationally simple approach applicable to baseband amplifiers and cascades of them. It has a dual purpose: a) to estimate the dominant pole, and the −3dB bandwidth frequency, and b) to identify actual or parasitic component values primarily responsible for this bandwidth guiding the designer in optimizing component values and circuit architecture. The present study focuses on the teaching of OCTC and the analysis of students’ depth of understanding. The OCTC module is part of the course “Electronics III” aimed towards advanced undergraduate students who are asked to solve two sets of problems analytically and simulate the circuits using LTspice and compare the results. The paper discusses students’ misconceptions and the evaluation of students’ performance via assignment grades, an anonymous sampling test and final exams (four exams during two academic years). A quantitative evaluation of the students’ perspective of the course is also presented based on two anonymous surveys, at the beginning and the end of the semester. According to the evaluation results, the proposed way of introducing the OCTC method along with the simulation exercises was beneficial for the students and improved their academic performance and attitude towards the course. View Full-Text
Keywords: OCTC; −3dB frequency; bandwidth; amplifiers; LTspice; misconceptions; circuit analysis; amplifier design OCTC; −3dB frequency; bandwidth; amplifiers; LTspice; misconceptions; circuit analysis; amplifier design
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Voudoukis, N.; Dimas, C.; Asimakopoulos, K.; Baxevanakis, D.; Papafotis, K.; Oustoglou, K.; Sotiriadis, P.P. The Importance of Introducing the OCTC Method to Undergraduate Students as a Tool for Circuit Analysis and Amplifier Design. Technologies 2020, 8, 7.

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