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A Project-based Learning Approach to Teaching Computer Vision at the Undergraduate Level

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering Problem-based and Active Learning

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.91.1 - 26.91.12



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Paper Authors


Sami Khorbotly Valparaiso University

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Received the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Beirut Arab University, Beirut, Lebanon in 2001. He then received the M.S. and Ph. D. degrees both in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Akron, Akron, OH in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Frederick F. Jenny Professor of emerging technologies at Valparaiso University. He teaches in the areas of digital systems and digital signal & image processing. His research interests include digital circuits design, fixed-point DSP, and robotic systems.

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A Project-Based Learning Approach to Teaching Computer Vision At the Undergraduate LevelImage processing and computer vision are gaining a growing popularity in various fields ofengineering including instrumentation, robotics, and security systems. As a result, Electrical andComputer Engineering educators are increasingly incorporating these traditionally graduatetopics in their undergraduate curricula.This paper describes a course that was offered as a senior level technical elective to teach imageprocessing and computer vision. Due to the extremely applied nature of the class topics, andconsidering the numerous studies showing the effectiveness of inductive learning, the class wasdeveloped and taught using the project-based learning methodology. This methodology is ahybrid approach combining both instruction-based (deductive) and problem-based (inductive)learning realms.The paper describes in details the course objectives as well as the various class activities that areused to achieve them. These activities can be categorized into traditional lectures, where studentsacquire basic knowledge, and assigned projects that require students to both use their previouslyacquired knowledge and develop brand new skills to complete.The paper also discusses the challenges encountered while developing and teaching the class. Inthe class development phase, the major challenges are identifying projects that cover all thecourse topics and creating effective assessment rubrics to fairly evaluate the students’understanding of the materials. While teaching the class, a big challenge is dealing with the classresistance to the new learning paradigm. A significant number of students sees project-basedlearning to be nothing but a way for sluggish professors to avoid preparing for classes. The paperdiscusses the approaches used to face all these challenges.The paper is concluded with a discussion of the assessment results collected from the last twoofferings of the course. These assessment results include both the faculty assessment reports aswell as the student evaluations of the course.

Khorbotly, S. (2015, June), A Project-based Learning Approach to Teaching Computer Vision at the Undergraduate Level Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23432

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