June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computers in Education
22.136.1 - 22.136.6
Active Learning Exercises in Computer Organization and ArchitectureAbstractCurrent computer science and computer engineering students have grown up using computers ona regular basis. However, they often enter college with no knowledge of how a computerfunctions and frequently with substantial misconceptions regarding their functioning. The earlierthese misconceptions can be replaced by a more accurate model of the computer’s operation, themore readily the student will be able to integrate computer science concepts into their workingknowledge of the world.Research in education has long shown that active learning techniques are particularly effective inhelping students to overcome pre-existing misconceptions. In this paper we present an activityfor exploring basic concepts of computer architecture and organization. In this activity, studentsplay the role of various computer components such as program counter, instruction register, andact out the process of fetching, decoding, and executing instructions. Through this game-likeactivity, students are also introduced to the idea of constructing algorithms from simpleinstructions. Because this activity does not assume prior knowledge of computing or electricalengineering it can be used with a wide variety of audiences. It has been used successfully withengineering, education and liberal arts majors, as well as high school students who haveexpressed an interest in computer engineering.
Jalkio, J. A., & Schupp, D. R. (2011, June), Active Learning Exercises in Computer Organization and Architecture Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17417
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