Development of a Concept Inventory Test for Signal and Power Integrity in Electronic Design


Signal and power integrity in electronic design is not an easy subject to teach as it involves both electrical circuit and electromagnetic field as well physical structure of active and passive components. Great effort has been made to develop teaching and evaluating materials for the subject in engineering schools, especially at undergraduate level. This paper describes our work on the development and evaluation of a concept inventory test on signal and power integrity. Major concepts of signal and power integrity are discussed and our justification in making the concept inventory test is presented. The test has been shown to be a good tool to teach high speed digital electronic design at PCB and system levels. The usefulness of the test in evaluating a graduate-level class on signal and power integrity is presented from the data obtained from a pretest and post-test given to students of the class. The data shows the average of 13% grade improvement from the pre-test to post-test. The individual grade changes vary from -17% to 44%. Another set of test results from a Chinese university also shows clear improvement of student grades of a post-test over a pre-test.

Meeting Name

39th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education (2009: Oct. 18-21, San Antonio, TX)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Laboratory

Keywords and Phrases

Chinese Universities; Concept Inventories; Electrical Circuit; Electronic Design; Engineering Schools; Graduate-Level; High-Speed Digital Design; High-Speed Digital Electronics; Individual Grades; Passive Components; Physical Structures; Power Integrity; Student Grades; System Levels; Test Results; Design; Electromagnetic Fields; Engineering Education; Printed Circuit Design; Printed Circuit Manufacture; Quality Assurance; Students; Testing; Printed Circuit Boards; Concept Inventory Test; High Speed Digital Design; Printed Circuit Board; Signal And Power Integrity

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0190-5848; 2377-634X

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2009 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2009

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