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An Integrated Learning Approach Used in Computer Architecture

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Computing Research I

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Chaomin Luo Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Chaomin Luo received his Ph.D. in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Waterloo, in 2008, his M.Sc. in Engineering Systems and Computing at University of Guelph, Canada, and his B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing, China. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at the Mississippi State University. He was panelist in the Department of Defense, USA, 2015-2016, 2016-2017 NDSEG Fellowship program and panelist in 2017 NSF GRFP Panelist program. He was the General Co-Chair of 2015 IEEE International Workshop on Computational Intelligence in Smart Technologies, and Journal Special Issues Chair, IEEE 2016 International Conference on Smart Technologies, Cleveland, OH. Currently, he is Associate Editor of International Journal of Robotics and Automation, and International Journal of Swarm Intelligence Research. He was the Publicity Chair in 2011 IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics. He was on the Conference Committee in 2012 International Conference on Information and Automation and International Symposium on Biomedical Engineering and Publicity Chair in 2012 IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics. He was a Chair of IEEE SEM - Computational Intelligence Chapter; a Vice Chair of IEEE SEM- Robotics and Automation and Chair of Education Committee of IEEE SEM. He has extensively published in reputed journal and conference proceedings, such as IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on SMC, IEEE-ICRA, and IEEE-IROS, etc. His research interests include engineering education, computational intelligence, intelligent systems and control, robotics and autonomous systems, and applied artificial intelligence and machine learning for autonomous systems. He received the Best Paper Award in the IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation (IEEE ICIA2017). He is an ASEE, INFORMS, and IEEE member. He is currently an Associate Editor of The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IEEE-IROS 2019) .

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Student-centered learning has been discovered as the most effective pedagogy for teaching and learning science process skills and content. However, in some difficult curriculum, use of student-centered learning pedagogy only for enhancement of engineering student skills has its drawback. This paper addresses a back-and-forth based pedagogy integrated with the student-centered learning for engineering and computer science student curriculum enhancement in Computer Architecture course. The objective of this Computer Architecture course offered for electrical engineering, computer engineering, software engineering and computer science students is to cultivate an understanding of modern computing technology through an in-depth study and learning of the interface between hardware and software.

This paper describes a new course curriculum development that dedicates to enhancing the quality of student learning by such an integrated learning pedagogy. In the back-and-forth base learning, course materials are logically decomposed into interconnected pieces. The previous section will be frequently reviewed by the instructor later on a back and forth basis, while some assignments are assigned to students for enhancement of their learning quality. This paper describes preliminary evidence that a back-and-forth methodology can effectively improve student learning in the senior-level and graduate level semester-long Computer Architecture course by learning assessment.

A series of well-prepared review problems and assignments were assigned to students to cover various topics in this course, which assist in student learning enhancement of hardware and programming skills in Computer Architecture course. Teaching and learning strategies by the back-and-forth based methodology associated with student-centered learning were implemented with learning outcomes of this course by analysis of assignments. Satisfactory performance was evaluated by various milestone review sessions, assignments, in-class exercises, exams and other activities.

This curriculum is mainly focused on a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer systems and architecture. Students learn MIPS assembly language, fundamentals of hardware technologies, computer arithmetic, pipe-lining, memory hierarchies, and I/O., while corresponding review questions, assignments, and in-class exercises were assigned to students frequently in a back-and-forth mode to apply the models they have learned to deeply understand computer architecture and organization. For evolution of outcomes, milestone questionnaires were utilized to analyze and interpret results to meet requirements of application and design of computer architecture and organization. The teaching quality was effectively assessed by student self-assessment and course assessment. Results of learning outcomes and assessment indicate that this integrated learning pedagogy is effective and efficient in student learning and improving the quality of computer design and organization.

Luo, C. (2019, June), An Integrated Learning Approach Used in Computer Architecture Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32069

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