June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Computers in Education
The importance of preparing the next-generation workforce in engineering cannot be overstated. Undergraduate engineering education is vitally important to this venture and must undergo continuous improvements to meet dynamically changing needs in industry research and development. Of the many areas of engineering that benefit from pedagogical innovations, this study focuses on the context of teaching wireless communications.
Wireless communications is a dynamic field, responsible for advances in cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other technologies and systems using the wireless medium for communications. Engineers recruited by industry are expected to design new and innovative systems for wireless technologies as the field continues to expand in its applications, which include mobile devices, peripherals, and networks. This constantly changing and evolving industry in wireless communications requires undergraduate engineering students to learn more advanced engineering concepts. We argue that sophisticated principles can be effectively introduced at the undergraduate level. Current state-of-the-art technologies normally taught to graduate students are now being explored in undergraduate education, and novel methods of instruction are necessary to provide a scaffold for advanced learning at the undergraduate level.
To enhance learning as interactive decisional aids, serious games in education are proposed to better educate, motivate, and engage students. Games may also be used to acquaint students with machine thought in a robust manner. In this research, a game exploring wireless communication concepts is created. A quasi-experimental study is then performed to determine the effects of an intervention of access to a wireless communication concepts and interactive quiz game on student performance using numerically scored quizzes. This was implemented in a wireless communications course of 30 students in an undergraduate engineering program. Nonparametric comparative analyses are performed to determine the effect of the game intervention so as to answer the following research question: What is the change in student performances in an undergraduate communications course that uses a game intervention to deepen understanding of wireless topics in the course material?
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