Syllabus for ELE-211

DC Circuits


DC Circuits (ELE-211) is intended for students who plan to pursue an academic path in electronics. The course covers the fundamental concepts of electricity, batteries, dc series, parallel and complex circuits, electrical conductors, electromagnetism, magnetic circuits, and dc electrical indicating instruments. It is normally followed by, and is a prerequisite for, AC Circuits (ELE-212).


Proficiency in a course equivalent to at least MAT-115, Intermediate Algebra, is needed to succeed in this course.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain the difference between ac and dc electricity.

  1. Explain the causes of and differences between electric current, voltage, and power.

  1. State at least five methods of producing dc voltage sources.

  1. List the basic units of measurement for voltage, current, power, resistance, capacitance, and inductance.

  1. Use Ohm's law, Kirchhoff voltage and current laws, maximum power transfer theory, and superposition theory to solve circuit problems containing resistors, capacitors, and inductors.

  1. Draw the Thevenin equivalent circuit for a circuit containing two power sources and up to three resistors, and convert a Thevenin circuit to the Norton equivalent circuit.

  1. Describe the behavior of both a capacitor and an inductor in a dc circuit.

  1. Calculate the current and voltage in both an RC circuit and an inductive circuit.

  1. Describe the relationship between current and magnetism.

  1. Use the right-hand rule to determine the north and south poles of an electromagnet.

  1. Determine the MMF and flux density of an electromagnet.

  1. Identify from a picture digital and analog voltmeters, current meters, ohmmeters, and multimeters.

  1. Use a scientific calculator to solve circuit problems with values given using metric prefixes.

  1. Use circuit simulation software to simulate series and parallel circuits.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  • Electronics Technology Fundamentals, Conventional Flow Version, 3d ed., by Robert T. Paynter and B. J. Toby Boydell (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2009).

     ISBN-13: 978-0-558-39539-1

Required Software

  • NI Circuit Design Suite (package), with NI Multisim (formerly Electronics Workbench Multisim), latest version, from National Instruments.

Required Equipment

  • A scientific calculator is essential for activities and exams.


To participate fully in course activities, you need to have daily access to a personal computer. In addition, your computer system must meet the following minimum specifications:


DC Circuits is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials (readings and exercises from the course textbook and self-check quizzes from the textbook's companion Web site), a written assignment, and a module-ending test. Modules 3–6 also include circuit simulation problems that you complete as a group activity. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete eight (8) written assignments, participate in four (4) group activities involving circuit simulation problems, and take eight (8) online module tests. You are also required to take a proctored midterm examination. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments that consist of short-answer, essay-type questions and end-of-chapter problems selected from the textbook.

Online Participation

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum in Module 1, DC Circuits requires you to participate in four (4) group activities involving circuit simulation problems. Click link for the activities' ground rules.

Communication and collaboration among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. The circuit simulation problems provide an opportunity for you to apply textbook concepts and computational skills within an interactive team setting. In so doing, you can benefit from the help of your classmates and share your understanding of electrical circuits and chapter concepts.

You will be evaluated both on your group participation (i.e., how well you fulfill your team responsibilities of posting solutions, commenting on the work of others, and participating in team decisions) and on the quality of your work (i.e., the correctness and thoroughness of the final team reports).

Due dates for posting responses to the simulation problems are given in the course Calendar.

See Modules 3–6 for specific directions for completing the group activities and circuit simulation problems.

Module Tests

At the conclusion of each module, following the written assignment, is an online module test. The test for Module 1 consists of ten (10) multiple-choice questions and is 25 minutes long. All other module tests have twenty (20) multiple-choice questions and are up to 45 minutes long.

Consult the course Calendar for test deadlines.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored midterm examination. The exam requires that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester. Consult the course Calendar for the scheduling of this examination.

The proctored midterm exam covers all material assigned in Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. It is two hours long and consists of 25 multiple-choice questions like those on the module tests.

The exam is open book, but not open notes. In this regard you are permitted to use only a scientific (nongraphing) calculator and the authorized textbook. You are not allowed to consult a solutions manual, notes of any kind (including graded or ungraded activities), or any other reference sources or sources of information. The use of blank scratch paper for doing math calculations is permitted during online test administrations.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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