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Board 66: Work in Progress: Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Project-Based Learning to Teach Embedded Systems

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ECE Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Sohum A. Sohoni Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Sohoni is an Assistant Professor in Engineering at the Polytechnic School at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU, he was an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University. His research interests are broadly in the areas of computer architecture and performance analysis, and in engineering and computing education. He has published in ACM SIGMETRICS, IEEE Transactions on Computers, the International Journal of Engineering Education, and Advances in Engineering Education. His research is supported through various internal and external funding agencies including the National Science Foundation.
He serves as the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division in ASEE, and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Engineering Education Transformations. He is also the Associate Director of the Indo-Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education.

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Shawn S. Jordan Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus Orcid 16x16

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SHAWN JORDAN, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches context-centered electrical engineering and embedded systems design courses, and studies the use of context in both K-12 and undergraduate engineering design education. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2010) and M.S./B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Jordan is PI on several NSF-funded projects related to design, including an NSF Early CAREER Award entitled “CAREER: Engineering Design Across Navajo Culture, Community, and Society” and “Might Young Makers be the Engineers of the Future?,” and is a Co-PI on the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Departments grant “Additive Innovation: An Educational Ecosystem of Making and Risk Taking.” He was named one of ASEE PRISM’s “20 Faculty Under 40” in 2014, and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama in 2017.

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Javeed Kittur Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Javeed Kittur is currently a first year doctoral student (Engineering Education Systems & Design) at Arizona State University, USA. He received Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from B.V.Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology, Hubli, India in 2011. He has worked with Tata Consultancy Services as Assistant Systems Engineer from 2011-2012, Bangalore, India. He completed his M.Tech in Power Systems from The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore, India in 2014. He has worked as an Assistant Professor (2014 to 2018) in the department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, KLE Technological University, Hubli. He is a certified IUCEE International Engineering Educator. He is awarded with the ‘Ing.Paed.IGIP’ title at ICTIEE, 2018.

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Nielsen L. Pereira Purdue University

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Nielsen Pereira is an Assistant Professor of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. His research interests include the design and assessment of learning in varied gifted and talented education contexts, understanding gifted and talented student experiences in talent development programs, and conceptual, contextual, and measurement issues in the identification of gifted and talented populations. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Gifted and Talented International and on the editorial board member for the Journal of Advanced Academics and Gifted Child Quarterly.

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Embedded systems, smart electronics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are topics that are rapidly evolving, not just in research and development laboratories, but in the real world of industrial and consumer products. Because of the fast pace of technological progress, the evolution of standards, and the non-stop growth in the application space, it is impossible to teach our students everything that they need to master. How then, can we best prepare students with a diverse set of needs and abilities to be productive when they join the workforce in this technical area of such high projected need?

This paper describes a third-year undergraduate course aimed at teaching students how to design embedded systems. The course draws upon two pedagogical concepts: (1) differentiated instruction, where curriculum is designed to help students with a variety of different skill levels and interests to succeed and grow beyond their current level of mastery, and (2) project-based learning, where curriculum relies heavily on hands-on projects such that students learn theory through application in real-world settings.

The course walks students through idea generation, requirements specification, design, manufacturing, and testing, ending with a public demonstration of their product. Outcomes for the course are defined not just for technical competence, but also for other areas such as design, critical thinking, teamwork, professionalism and communication. This paper provides details and the rationale behind the choices made by the instructors and describes a study in progress on the effectiveness of a differentiated instruction project-based learning approach to teaching embedded systems.

Sohoni, S. A., & Jordan, S. S., & Kittur, J., & Pereira, N. L. (2019, June), Board 66: Work in Progress: Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Project-Based Learning to Teach Embedded Systems Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32401

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