Circuits 101 is an online, interactive, introductory course covering basic analog circuit topics from component measurements to RLC circuits. Designed for NI ELVIS II/II+.

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This set of online, interactive, and mobile-friendly labs introduces the basic concepts of analog circuit design normally taught in a first-year Introduction to Electrical Engineering course. For each topic, students will go through a hands-on experience with both simulated and physical components, reinforcing the theory taught in lecture. Built in knowledge checks, just-in-time help features, and note taking capabilities, guide the student through the lab to ensure proper understanding and introductory videos for each topic give relevant real-world background for each topic, answering the question, “when would I use this in the real world?”

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  • Students learn the fundamental concepts involved in analog circuit design, from basic component measurements and ohm's law to series and parallel capacitance and RLC circuits
  • Students will go through both simulated and physical guided experiments to reinforce the theory taught through lecture




Level University
Topic Analog Circuits
Style Laboratory
Prerequisite Skills None


Basic Component Measurements

In this lab, students will learn how to measure voltage and current using a digital multimeter (DMM). Students will also generate signals using a function generator and measure the signals using an oscilloscope. Finally students will learn how to identify sine, square, and triangular waves and be able to determine the frequency and amplitude of a measured signal

Ohm's Law

This lab provides an introduction to Ohm's law, an underlying concept for all electrical engineering applications. Students will verify the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance. Students will also learn the basics of circuit simulation in NI Multisim by opening a simulated circuit and using simulation tools to take measurements of a circuit. Lastly, students will learn to reconfigure the components of a circuit schematic to create a different circuit.

Kirchhoff's Voltage Law

This lab introduces Kirchhoff's Voltage Law (KVL) for circuits connected in series. Students will build a simulated series-connected circuit from scratch, demonstrating and verifying KVL in the process.

Kirchhoff's Current Law

In this lab, students will explore parallel circuit designs and use Kirchhoff's Current Law to determine the current flowing through each loop of a parallel circuit.

Thevenin and Norton Equivalent Circuits

This lab introduces Thevenin's and Norton's Theorem, two theorems that allow us to simplify DC circuit networks, by reducing them to equivalent power supplies and resistances; this allows for a quicker analysis of RL resistance changes. In this lab, students will practice transforming circuits into their Thevenin and Norton equivalents and verify that they are equivalent to the original circuits

Voltage Divider and Resistance Bridge

This lab introduces the concept of a voltage divider and the whetstone bridge. Students will explore these circuits in simulation and then build them physically to compare their results. Students will be tasked to take the voltage at several points in the circuits and then asked to explain their results with the data they gathered through exploring the circuit.

Series and Parallel Capacitors

This lab introduces the concepts of storing electric charge using capacitors. It also goes over the series and parallel configurations of capacitors and how they affect the total capacitance in a circuit.

RC Circuits

This lab combines the concepts of resistors and capacitors into one circuit and introduces RC circuits. Students will explore concepts such as the time constant, charging time of the circuit, and how the resistor and capacitor values affect these qualities

RLC Circuits

This lab introduces the concept of an inductor and second-order circuits Students will explore RLC circuits and determine the resonant frequency of RLC circuits.

Transformers and Turn Relationships

This lab introduces the concept power transformation with transformers and how AC voltage can be stepped-up and stepped-down depending on the turn relationships on different legs of the transformer.

Related Resources


These labs enable students to apply the skills they learn.

Electronics 102



The NI Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS) is a versatile laboratory platform that enables educators to teach over 20 different courses across science and engineering departments. The NI ELVIS integrates 12 common lab instruments including an oscilloscope, function...

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Multisim is a circuit simulation tool built for educators to teach analog, digital, and power electronics by connecting simulation to experimentation. 

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Detailed Requirements

Required Software

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  • Multisim 14.0 or later (Requires license)
  • NI ELVISmx 15.0 or later

Required Hardware

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