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Diversified Projects in Microcontroller Class Enhances Undergraduate Students’ Learning, Design, and Research

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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

Microprocessor, Microcontrollers, and Embedded Systems Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.553.1 - 26.553.13



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Paper Authors


Vicky Fang Cedarville University

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Zhengwei Fang
Associate Professor of Computer Engineering
School of Engineering and Computer Science
Cedarville University

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Sam L. SanGregory Cedarville University

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Professor of Electrical Engineering and Assistant Dean School of Engineering and Computer Science, Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH.

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Clint Kohl Cedarville University

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Dr. Kohl joined the faculty of Cedarville University in the fall of 1994. His graduate research involved the development of a new magneto-resistive non-volatile memory technology. His areas of interest include digital electronics, micro controllers, programmable logic devices, and embedded systems. He has enjoyed advising numerous autonomous robotic competition teams. Dr. Kohl is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Educators.
Ph.D., Iowa State University
M.S.E.E., University of North Dakota
B.S.E.E., South Dakota State University

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Diversified Projects in Microcontroller Class Enhances Undergraduate Students’ Learning, Design and ResearchAbstractMicrocontroller class is a fundamental class for both Electrical and Computer Engineeringundergraduate students. Information from this class also prepares students’ knowledge and skillof senior design. During the first three years of teaching this class, traditional “ClassroomLecture plus Weekly Lab” model was adopted. The students usually obtained the backgroundknowledge in class and then applied them to the experiments in the lab. In order to improveundergraduates’ ability to design and research, a new teaching model was designed and adoptedto this class: After the students learned certain fundamental knowledge, they are asked to teamup to do a research on one of the microcontroller topics of their choice and pick up a project inthat area to implement. They will need to submit their project proposal along with the electricalcomponents list and the total cost for their project. Once approved, the team will need toimplement the project and give a demonstration and presentation to the whole class. Thestudents enjoy learning through the project research and implementation. The diversified projectallows them to explore a wider variety of aspects in microcontrollers and understand the topics ingreater depth. The diversified project shows them the significance of microcontroller techniqueand inspires their interests in Computer and Electrical Engineering. It also trains them in teamwork and manages their time more efficiently in their busy curriculum. It better prepares themfor the upcoming senior design.This paper will explain the new model that has been adopted in our microcontroller class. It willdemonstrate some of the fun projects that our students have implemented. It will alsodemonstrate the improved class outcomes and student evaluations.

Fang, V., & SanGregory, S. L., & Kohl, C. (2015, June), Diversified Projects in Microcontroller Class Enhances Undergraduate Students’ Learning, Design, and Research Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23891

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