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Design & Evaluation of a Multipurpose Course Structure for Teaching Digital Logic

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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

Insights for Teaching ECE Courses - Session II

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Brock J. LaMeres Montana State University

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Dr. Brock J. LaMeres is a Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Montana State University (MSU) and the Director of the Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC). LaMeres is also the Boeing Professor at MSU where he is responsible for initiatives to improve the professional skills of engineering graduates. LaMeres teaches and conducts research in the area of computer engineering. LaMeres is currently studying the effectiveness of online delivery of engineering content with emphasis on how the material can be modified to provide a personalized learning experience. LaMeres is also researching strategies to improve student engagement and how they can be used to improve diversity within engineering. LaMeres received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published over 90 manuscripts and 5 textbooks in the area of digital systems and engineering education. LaMeres has also been granted 13 US patents in the area of digital signal propagation. LaMeres is a member of ASEE, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Montana and Colorado. Prior to joining the MSU faculty, LaMeres worked as an R&D engineer for Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, CO where he designed electronic test equipment.

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Carolyn Plumb Montana State University

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Carolyn Plumb is the recently retired Director of Educational Innovation and Strategic Projects in the College of Engineering at Montana State University (MSU). Plumb has been involved in engineering education and program evaluation for over 25 years, and she continues to work on externally funded projects relating to engineering education.

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This paper presents the design and evaluation of a portable course to teach introductory digital logic. The goals of this course are to simultaneously meet existing accreditation criteria while providing a course that has the potential of being administered completely online. The online characteristic of the course gives the instructor the ability to teach the class in numerous delivery modes. These include an asynchronous online delivery or as supplementary resources for a synchronous face-to-face delivery. The inclusion of a low-cost portable lab kit provides additional flexibility by supporting either the traditional 2-hour on-campus lab section or a more asynchronous lab-anywhere mode. This paper will describe the design of the course, the corresponding learning objectives, the supporting learning activities, and the learning assessment. This paper will present student performance comparisons for different delivery modes collected over the past 4 years at a medium-sized land grant university. This paper will also provide data on the impact of an adaptive learning component of the course that was implemented for the more difficult course concepts. The adaptive learning component allows the student to receive additional computer instruction on a topic that varies the level of difficulty based on automated formative assessment. The adaptive learning component of the course was shown to have a significant impact on students with GPAs between 2.5 – 3.0 on one of the outcomes without needing instructor interaction. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program, thus all resources for the course are open to the engineering education community. This paper will be of interest to any engineering educator that teaches digital logic or anyone that has interest in augmenting their current course with online resources or switching to a portable lab kit.

LaMeres, B. J., & Plumb, C. (2019, June), Design & Evaluation of a Multipurpose Course Structure for Teaching Digital Logic Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32587

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