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A Project-Based Hands-On Digital Logic Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

ECE Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.89.1 - 22.89.10



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Paper Authors


Nuri Yilmazer Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Nuri Yilmazer received the B.S. degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey in 1996, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from University of Florida and Syracuse University in 2000 and 2006 respectively. He worked as a Post Doctoral Research Associate in Computational Electromagnetics Laboratory at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2007. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX. His current research interests include adaptive array processing, signal processing, and smart antennas.

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Muhittin Yilmaz Texas A&M University, Kingsville


Remzi Seker University of Arkansas, Little Rock

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Dr. Remzi Seker received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in December 2002. His research areas are security and safety-critical computer systems. Dr. Seker, as a researcher, focuses on protection mechanisms from the asymmetric threats that arise from rapid, yet necessary use of technology. He is co-author of one of the very first papers that was published on Mobile Phishing and possible techniques for preventing it. Aside from professional research and scholarly efforts, Dr. Seker participates in variety of activities to increase public awareness on information assurance and security. Dr. Seker is currently an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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A PROJECT BASED HANDS-ON DIGITAL LOGIC COURSEA number of teaching methodologies have been utilized to increase the student learningeffectiveness for advanced and complex engineering problems. An interactive and visualcomputerized teaching tool was developed and shown to improve student understanding of thedigital logic circuit concepts [1]. Also, a hybrid software/hardware approach was proveneffective to promote the understanding of the theoretical concepts by integrating the theory withhands-on computer simulations [2]. In addition, this study presents a project-based designapproach in a Digital Logic Design (DLD) course, a sophomore-level core course offered at theElectrical Engineering Department of _____, and evaluates its effectiveness. The goal was tooffer hands-on laboratory learning opportunities for a course currently taught in traditionallecture style, to implement a problem-driven system synthesis approach to enhance studenteducational experiences such as critical and creative thinking as well as system design skills andto quantify the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.The project-based DLD course was implemented during the Fall-2009 semester and includedtwenty students, fourteen of whom were Hispanics. Each student studied the basic laboratoryequipments and components such as breadboards, function generators and standard digitalintegrated circuits during the first five laboratory sessions with the close supervision of thelaboratory assistant. Then, the two-student teams ensuring diversity were formed and wereassigned three short week-long projects involving the analysis, design, and practical applicationsof digital logic design concepts. Finally, the course instructor developed and assigned a commoncomprehensive semester project to all teams in the second part of the semester. The semesterproject required extensive research on theory and practical applications, time and projectmanagement, good communication and teamwork skills, critical thinking, and a complete systemdesign and technical documentation. The teams conducted research, elaborated on various designalternatives and designed their own logic circuits. Weekly faculty-team meetings ensuredsatisfactory and timely project progress and allowed a steady feedback on design alternatives.The teams also documented their scientific findings of the design and project development stepsin a technical report format. The teams were evaluated based on their design performance andreport preparations while the project effectiveness was measured via two project surveys.The project surveys have demonstrated the effectiveness of the problem-driven design projects inthe hands-on laboratory environment to improve the student learning experience. In the finalsurvey, when compared to other courses on a 1-5 scale with 1 indicating ‘much smaller effect’and 5 indicating ‘much greater effect’, the students average rating was 4.53 for the improvementson both critical thinking skills and ability to apply scientific knowledge. Also, the improvementof a student system, component, or process design ability was verified via the rating of 4.47. Thestudents also stated that they tend to apply theories or concepts to practical problems or in newsituations in about 85% of the times. Additionally, a supplementary survey included the studenttestimonials about their educational achievements and long-lasting effects of the modifiedcourse.REFERENCES:[1] Charles Hacker, Renate Sitte, 'Inter active Teaching of Elementary Digital Logic Design withWinLogiLab', IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 47, no.2, pp 196-203, May 2004.[2] Mahmoud K Quweider, Anna Hernandez, 'A Hybrid Software/Hardware Approach forTeaching Digital Logic Design for Computer Science Undergraduates', Proceedings of the 2004American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, 2004-327.

Yilmazer, N., & Yilmaz, M., & Seker, R. (2011, June), A Project-Based Hands-On Digital Logic Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17371

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