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A Paradigm For Assessing Student Learning In An Introductory Digital Signal Processing Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.85.1 - 12.85.9



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Paper Authors


Shonda Bernadin Georgia Southern University

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Shonda L. Bernadin is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Studies in the Department of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Technology at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Bernadin received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida A&M University in 1997, her M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Florida in 1999, and her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida State University in 2003.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Paradigm for Assessing Student Learning in an Introductory Digital Signal Processing Course


This paper presents research on designing and incorporating assessment measures for evaluating student learning in an introductory digital signal-processing (DSP) course. We teach Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students the first two years of their engineering curriculum in an engineering studies transfer program. One of their required courses is an introductory DSP course, which our students take during the second-year of their program. Due to the mathematical intensity of this course, traditional ECE programs offer the first signal-processing course during the third year of matriculation. There are many challenges that affect student learning of signal processing concepts by offering DSP in their second year, including less sophisticated mathematical foundation. Also, textbook selection becomes a challenge since the textbook for the course is not chosen by the instructor teaching this course, but by professors teaching the equivalent course at the degree-granting institution. One advantage to our university and ultimately, our engineering studies program, is the strong support to create a learning environment that fosters academic distinction, excellent teaching, and student success. Therefore, in our efforts to support and promote this objective, successful student learning must be a priority in the engineering studies transfer program. Data from several DSP courses has been collected, evaluated and used to create a paradigm for assessing student learning. This paper describes the paradigm, which is based on the reorganization of course content; and the incorporation of assessments that measure the effectiveness of student learning.


It is becoming an inevitable notion that measuring how well students learn in the academic environment, i.e. assessing student performance is a significant and important part of the academic learning process, as well as, the institutional accreditation process. Educators and students are now held accountable for how well information is learned. Consequently, innovative teaching and learning strategies must be developed that incorporate measurable techniques for assessing the learning process. According to Bollag’s article1, learning is assessed through student performances on practical exercises that mimic real-world situations. Using this definition, the process of assessing student learning must involve challenging and realistic opportunities. Therefore, educators must devote more time to developing experiences for their students that involve issues they would face as a professional in their field of study.

Furthermore, collegiate students today were born into a technologically advanced society. Technology is integrated into almost every aspect of their daily lives. By the time they reach elementary school age, they know how to surf the Internet, talk on a cellular phone, play sophisticated video games using technically advanced 3D-graphics, and watch television on a high-definition plasma television set. We live in an age where technology demands attention, interaction, excitement and engagement. Educators have to be cognizant of this fact and find ways to create a learning environment that engages a student whose attention is no longer focused on traditional classroom learning, but rather on one that incorporates technology and actively engages the student in the learning process.

Bernadin, S. (2007, June), A Paradigm For Assessing Student Learning In An Introductory Digital Signal Processing Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2083

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