Learning perceptions of Smart Grid class with laboratory for undergraduate students
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© 2019, Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature.Due to the modernization of the electrical grid and the commitments to it made by several governments and industries around the world, the work of engineers specialized in the electrical field is necessary more than ever. However, in recent years, the number of engineers working in this area has been decreasing, while almost half of their current population is prone to retirement. To solve this problem, universities began to modify their electrical engineering programs and courses, giving more focus to the implementation of Smart Grid technology. Although various approaches have been used in teaching methodologies to educate new engineers, it is also necessary to evaluate if the contents given in such classes are being properly taught. This paper proposes a new syllabus and new Smart Grid class, which is based on hand on experiments in a Smart Grid laboratory. This proposal promotes and trains undergraduate students in the use of the new technologies that are being deployed in the electrical industry nowadays, and it includes a discussion of the social, economic and environmental implications of the new ways to generate and distribute electrical power. To evaluate if the class methodology in our project was successfully implemented, a student perception survey was applied to analyze the way the undergraduate students perceived the Smart Grid class given to them. Additionally, signal detection theory and fuzzy logic type 1 and type 2 were used to compare their answers with the ones given by the professor as part of assessing the efficiency of the class syllabus and the teaching methodology for the purpose of improving their quality in future courses. The results obtained showed that the students acquired a synthesis of learning and analytical thinking to equip them with the competencies to solve the various challenges of electrical grid modernization. Additionally, the proposed new class methodology utilized innovative hands-on activities in laboratory practices that reinforced the learning of the most relevant theoretical concepts of the Smart Grid technology.