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Evolving Education Paradigms: Friend Or Foe?

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.248.1 - 4.248.10

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Paper Authors

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William B. Hudson

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Donald M. Gruenbacher

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2632

Evolving Education Paradigms, Friend or Foe?

William B. Hudson, Donald M. Gruenbacher Kansas State University


Not long ago successful instruction required only that an instructor be current with subject matter and present this material in a logical and cohesive manner. Many instructors went beyond the lecture and provided students with laboratories to reinforce key concepts. Recently the instructional landscape has begun to change. Some say these changes are in response to a changing student population, others believe that asynchronous instruction must be implemented to meet the changing needs of society and still others are of the opinion that classes need to focus on teaching the process of learning as much as the material to meet the ever expanding knowledge base. Regardless of the motivation many engineering courses are being "reworked" to utilize the ever increasing technologies brought about by the computer revolution. This paper presents the observations of two instructors that have implemented some of the new instructional tools and techniques in an introductory computer engineering course of approximately 100 students. No claim is made that this paper is a how to guide, rather, this paper is a collection of observations and concerns expressed by instructors and students associated with this course. The authors’ intent in this document is to start closing the evaluation loop on what is appropriate and educationally sound use of technology in the classroom.

Course Background

EECE 241 is a required core course for Electrical and Computer Engineering students and a service course for other curricula. The presentation format has evolved to an integrated lecture and laboratory experience serving in excess of 100 students each semester. Previously the large number of students in this course was accommodated by using multiple faculty members instructing different course sections. This, while providing good faculty student interactions, resulted in heavy faculty teaching assignments and a student experience that differed depending on the instructor.

To reduce faculty teaching loads and to provide more consistency in material coverage the course was restructured to a large group lecture and a small group recitation environment (less than 14 students), with evening exams, and evening review sessions. The recitation meets each week for one hour and 50 minutes and lecture occurs twice a week in 50 minute blocks of time. The lecture is conducted by a faculty member while graduate and upper level students are tasked with recitation activities. The recitation activities are the same for each section and are coordinated with the lecture topics.

The stated goals for this course are: 1) allow reasonable faculty time commitment,

Hudson, W. B., & Gruenbacher, D. M. (1999, June), Evolving Education Paradigms: Friend Or Foe? Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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