Syllabus for ELE-212



AC Circuits (ELE-212) is intended for students who plan to pursue an academic path in electronics. It continues and normally follows the course DC Circuits (ELE-211) and provides an introduction to alternating current, inductance, capacitance, inductive and capacitive reactance, fundamental ac circuitry, and single-phase transformer.

Knowledge of basic dc circuits (or a course equivalent to ELE-211, DC Circuits) and an understanding of basic trigonometric functions (or proficiency in a course equivalent to at least MAT-121, College Algebra) is needed to succeed in this course.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Identify a sine wave, square wave, and triangle wave.
  2. Calculate the period and peak voltage of a sine wave from a scope trace or graph.
  3. Use Ohm's law and Kirchhoff voltage and current laws to solve circuits containing resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
  4. Describe the behavior of both a capacitor and an inductor in an ac circuit.
  5. Calculate the currents, voltages, and phase angles in circuits containing resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
  6. Calculate the resonant frequency of an RLC circuit.
  7. Calculate the impedance at any frequency of an RLC circuit.
  8. Identify and calculate the three types of powers within an alternating current system: resistive (watts), reactive (VAR), and apparent (VA).


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University'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: 978-0558395391

Required Software

  • NI Circuit Design Suite (package), with NI Multisim (formerly Electronics Workbench Multisim), version 10.0.1, from National Instruments.

Note: NI Circuit Design Suite is a Windows-based product and will not run on Macs. You can run this software and other Windows software on your Mac using Apple's Boot Camp technology or third-party virtualization tools like Parallels or VMWare Fusion. These tools make it possible to run Mac OSX and a Windows operating system side by side. This solution will require a Windows license.


AC Circuits is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, a written assignment, and a module-ending test. Modules 3–7 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 seven written assignments, participate in five group activities involving circuit simulation problems, and take seven 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 seven 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, AC Circuits requires you to participate in five 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 3–7 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 tests consist of  twenty 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 University'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 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.

Note: You are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial) but may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

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 course not in your area of study), 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:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University 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.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University 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 University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

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 for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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