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A Hands-on Learning Approach to Introducing Computer Organization and Architecture to Early-college Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


D. Cenk Erdil Sacred Heart University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Erdil has joined Sacred Heart University’s School of Computer Science & Engineering in Fall 2017. Prior to SHU, he has held academic positions at Marist College, Columbia University, and Istanbul Bilgi University. His research interests include using Cloud Computing as Artificial Intelligence Infrastructures, Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet-of-Things, Teaching coding to P-12 students, and Health Informatics. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal and conference publications in grid and cloud computing. In the past, he designed and implemented a cloud-based public health informatics infrastructure. He is a founding member of the School of Engineering at Istanbul Bilgi University, and was the chair of its Computer Engineering Department. He also designed an adaptive resource-matching framework for large-scale, autonomous grid computing environments, using epidemic dissemination protocols. He is the founding director of Engineers Without Borders International, Turkey branch. At the industry, Dr. Erdil has worked in management and software engineering roles for more than a decade at various organizations, including Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), and Turkish Airlines. He is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a senior member of Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); and a member of Engineers Without Borders International (EWB-I), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and Association for Information Systems (AIS).

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Kevin N. Bowlyn Sacred Heart University

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Kevin N. Bowlyn is an Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University. His current research interest is focused on a more efficient method for computing a fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm. His research interests are in digital hardware design, digital signal processing, low area-power circuit designs, embedded systems, and computer architecture.

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Joshua Randall Sacred Heart University

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We present a design and implementation of a lower-level computer organization and architecture course with hands-on components presented as blended-learning modules that are collectively designed to introduce core computer design concepts primarily to college students studying applied science and technology programs, such as computer science, and information technology.

With a particular focus on single-board computers and associated hardware modules, students are introduced to core computer components early in their coursework, and encouraged to study advanced engineering concepts as higher elective courses to help them better understand the underlying design of hardware modules. Hands-on activities and problem-based modules are re-designed with the flexibility to be applied in settings that involve all in-classroom cohorts, as well as courses offered in synchronous and/or asynchronous online learning methodologies, which is becoming of particular importance to educators under COVID-19 implications.

First cohort of this newly redesigned course was offered in Fall 2019, when, in the middle of the semester, all instructional methodology had to be switched to fully-online after health measures in October-November 2019. Second and third cohorts of the course are currently being offered in 2020-2021 academic year. Anonymous research data collected with these three cohorts of the revised course show that re-design of the course improved overall course reviews, while meeting educational goals to introduce students to core knowledge areas in computer organization and architecture.

Erdil, D. C., & Bowlyn, K. N., & Randall, J. (2021, July), A Hands-on Learning Approach to Introducing Computer Organization and Architecture to Early-college Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36584

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