Monday 15 February 2016
Studying media technology based courses at Solent is not just about learning how equipment is used, we also need to have some understanding how the equipment functions and works. This involves learning basic electronics. Electronic labs are conducted with both lectures and seminars, with the key theoretical information being delivered via lectures which are followed up with labs, helping with hands-on understanding and bringing the theory and practise together.
Most lab activities will start with a subject introduction, supported with a handout explaining the background detail of the experiment and tasks. In this example lab we will be looking closely at a high and low pass filter circuit, which is an example of a circuit that may be found in an audio/video interface stage of an electronic device.
The next part of the task is for the students to collect the necessary components from the loan store, along with the cables and wires, so that the test equipment can be attached to the circuit.
Breadboard is commonly used for electronic prototyping and temporary experiments, ideal for demonstrating electronic circuits. We will be using breadboard in the lab in order to create the high-pass filter circuit.
Students will be using equipment such as oscilloscopes and signal generators in this lab, so that they can test their creations and collect results from the experiment.
Students are encouraged to take notes during the lab sessions along with the results of their experiments, which can be analysed, plotted, and used in reports.
Seminars are designed to support the student learning of the theory of electronics, so learning to follow the lab activity carefully is important.
Students will normally work in a group within lab sessions, as this is common within the industry, and allows them to demonstrate team-working abilities.
Upon completion of their 1st year, media technology students will be expected to have a good basic understanding of electronics which can be built upon in 2nd and 3rd year as the content becomes more complex, and they have more assignments to work on. Some students may choose to build or develop a device as part of their final year project, in which case these labs and lectures are a vital part of the courses available at Solent.