Modern control system analysis and design uses state space methods to develop models of both physical systems and their respective controllers. However, teaching state space to undergraduate students is often difficult due to the mathematical complexity and lack of visual validation when compared to classical control system design. The authors in this paper have employed state space analysis to design controllers for a reduced-order model of a synchronous generator to demonstrate the advantages of state space techniques over classical control design. The information in this paper was presented to both Electrical Engineering (EE) as well as Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) students as an out-of-class assignment to implement the various controller designs and reflect on the results. A survey was administered to these students after completion of the assignment to assess their active and reflective learning. This survey included both Likert scale as well as open-ended questions to gauge their ability to both build and simulate the control system as well as reflect on the importance of state space. Based on the survey results provided, students were generally able to implement the various controllers but the ECET students had difficulty relating their results to a more general understanding of the importance of state space.