Asee peer logo

Empowering Students with Self-Regulation in a Project-Based Embedded Systems Course

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

CoED: Potpourri

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jiawen Wang University of Detroit Mercy

visit author page

Dr. Jiawen Wang holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University. All his interests lie in research of how to make learning happen. His interest in recent years is more related to engineering education.

visit author page


Chaomin Luo University of Detroit Mercy Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Chaomin Luo received his Ph.D. in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Waterloo, Canada in 2008, where he was awarded Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada; received the Best Student Paper Presentation Award at the SWORD’2007 Conference, earned his M.Sc. in Engineering Systems and Computing at University of Guelph, Canada, and his B.Eng. degree in Radio Engineering from Southeast University, China. He is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at University of Detroit Mercy, Michigan, USA. He was awarded Faculty Research Awards in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016 at University of Detroit Mercy, Michigan, USA. His research interests include engineering education, robotics and automation, control, autonomous systems, computational intelligence and machine learning.

Dr. Luo was the General Co-Chair of the 1st IEEE International Workshop on Computational Intelligence in Smart Technologies (IEEE-CIST 2015), and Journal Special Issues Chair, IEEE 2016 International Conference on Smart Technologies (IEEE-SmarTech), USA. He was the Publicity Chair in the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics. He was on the Conference Committee in the 2012 International Conference on Information and Automation and International Symposium on Biomedical Engineering and also the Publicity Chair in the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics. Also, he was Chair and Vice Chair of IEEE SEM - Computational Intelligence Chapter and is currently a Chair of IEEE SEM - Computational Intelligence Chapter and Chair of Education Committee of IEEE SEM.

Dr. Luo serves as the Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Complex Systems – Computing, Sensing and Control; Associate Editor of International journal of Robotics and Automation (IJRA); and Associate Editor of International Journal of Swarm Intelligence Research (IJSIR). He has organized and chaired several special sessions on topics of Intelligent Vehicle Systems and Bio-inspired Intelligence in IEEE reputed international conferences such as IEEE-IJCNN, IEEE-SSCI, etc. He was the Panelist in the Department of Defense, USA, 2015-2016, 2016-2017 NDSEG Fellowship program, and National Science Foundation, USA, GRFP program, 2016-2017.

visit author page


Wenbing Zhao Cleveland State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Zhao is a Full Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cleveland State University (CSU). He earned his Ph.D. at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2002. Dr. Zhao has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1990, and a Master of Science degree in Physics in 1993, both at Peking University, Beijing, China. Dr. Zhao also received a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1998 at University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Zhao joined CSU faculty in 2004. He is currently serving as the director of the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, and the Chair of the Graduate Program Committee in the Department of EECS, the ABET coordinator for the BS in Computer Science Program, and a member of the faculty senate at CSU. Dr. Zhao has authored a research monograph titled: “Building Dependable Distributed Systems” published by Scrivener Publishing, an imprint of John Wiley and Sons. Furthermore, Dr. Zhao published over 150 peer-reviewed papers on fault tolerant and dependable systems (three of them won the best paper award), computer vision and motion analysis, physics, and education. Dr. Zhao’s research is supported in part by the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, Ohio State Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and by Cleveland State University. Dr. Zhao has served on the organizing committee and the technical program committee for numerous international conferences. Dr. Zhao is an Associate Editor for IEEE Access, an Academic Editor for PeerJ Computer Science, and is a member of the editorial board for International Journal of Parallel Emergent and Distributed Systems, International Journal of Distributed Systems and Technologies, International Journal of Performability Engineering, International Journal of Handheld Computing Research. Dr. Zhao is a senior member of IEEE.

visit author page


Xinde Li School of Automation, Southeast University

visit author page

Xinde Li earned his Ph.D. in Control Theory and Control Engineering, from Department of Control Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST),Wuhan, China, in 2007. Afterwards, he joined School of Automation, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, where he is currently a Professor and Ph.D. Supervisor. During the period from 2012 to 2013, he was a visiting scholar in School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also a Postdoc Research Fellow from 2016.1 to 2016.9 in Department of ECE, National University of Singapore.
His research interests include information fusion, object recognition, computer vision, intelligent robot, and human–robot interaction.
He has published 70+ SCI and EI papers and holds 10+ national patents. He is the PC member of several top international conferences, i.e. IJCAI. He is also the invited reviewer of several reputed international journals, i.e. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems、IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems, etc. He is also the associate editor of International Journal of Robotics and Automation Technology.
He was granted a “Talent of Qing Lan Project” award of Jiangsu province and a “Six Major Top-talent Plan” award of Jiangsu province, China.
He is a Standing member, the Specialty Committee of Intelligent Robotics, CAAI, a Vice secretary-general, Standing member, the Specialty Committee on Youth, CAAI. a Member, the Specialty Committee of Robotics, CAA. a Member, the Specialty Committee on Youth, CAA, and a Senior Member, IEEE.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Empowering Students with Self-Assessments in a Project-Based Embedded Systems Course

Project-based methodology (PBM) for teaching and learning is not new, but to achieve its best potential always demands attention to meaningfully-constructed details in its application to course design. This paper reports how we implemented PBM in a graduate-level Embedded System course with particular attention to making use of students’ self-assessments (therefore meta-cognitive ability) as part of the self-regulation on the path from sub-tasks to the ultimate project to complete.

Specifically, as every big project is usually attacked, we divided the project of robot building into multiple sub-tasks as lab assignments. But what we particularly stressed is the importance of having the big picture (i.e. the ultimate goal of the project) in mind while completing the sub-tasks. To complete the sub-tasks is then not just for completion’s sake; students were handling each sub-task in a meaningful way understanding the significance of the skills in training - such as hardware and software co-design, algorithm design, debugging, and systems integration - in relation to their final product.

An additional element we designed into the course was the self-assessment by students for each sub-task. This element is not only an opportunity for the instructor to learn about students’ strengths and weaknesses but also for students to engage in self-reflection, which would then lead to the completion of the first self-regulation cycle (plan, perform, and evaluation), a process of making self-adjustment towards the ultimate goal. We believe students will feel empowered if they can are provided the opportunities to take leadership in the learning process of planning, performing, evaluation, and the next phase of planning towards the final goal. In this sense, instructors empower students by conceding teaching or lecturing and by allowing students to take ownership of learning.

The above as well as other aspects of course will be reported in the context of aligning the course to ABET learning outcomes. Students’ self-assessments and course evaluations as well as the instructor’s instructional notes will be collected and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively to identify the successes and regrets of our effort to empower the students in the context of a project-based engineering course.

Wang, J., & Luo, C., & Zhao, W., & Li, X. (2017, June), Empowering Students with Self-Regulation in a Project-Based Embedded Systems Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015