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Experiences of Teaching Computer Game and Multimedia Sequence Courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Program

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Computer and InformationTechnology-Related Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.679.1 - 22.679.13



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Paper Authors


Li Tan Purdue University, North Central

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Dr. Li Tan is currently with the College of Engineering and Technology at Purdue University North Central, Westville, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1992. Dr. Tan is a senior member of IEEE. His principal technical areas include digital signal processing, adaptive signal processing, and digital communications. He has published a number of papers in these areas. He has authored and co-authored three textbooks: Digital Signal Processing: Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier/Academic Press, 2007; Fundamentals of Analog and Digital Signal Processing, Second Edition, AuthorHouse, 2008, and Analog Signal Processing and Filter Design, Linus Publications, 2009.

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Experiences of Teaching Computer Game and Multimedia Sequence Courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology ProgramAbstractIn the age of computer technology, engineering technology students always find courses withcomputer game related applications more motivating and interesting than traditional coursestaught using classical methods. In fact, many young students who have chosen their career pathin engineering technology are greatly influenced by current game industry. Furthermore, themajority of technology students also perceive a higher learning effect when working on gameassignments and projects rather than weekly paper exercises and textbook reading. To take thisfact into an account to enhance our electrical and computer engineering technology (ECET)program as well as student retention, we have designed and implemented computer game andmultimedia sequence courses in our curriculum. The first course is an introduction to computergame, where software, Alice [2], is adopted to develop programming concepts and fundamentalmultimedia working knowledge for audio, image, animation, and video data. The second coursein the sequence requires students perform multimedia programming using the well-knownsoftware, Direct X10 [3]. The sequence is designed for our sophomore and junior level students.Although the first course requires no prerequisite, it serves as a prerequisite for the secondcourse. Each course with 4-credit hours is offered in a blended mode, in which half of class time(three hours per week) is allocated on site for instructor’s lectures and students’ demonstrations,while the other half (three hours per week) is on line for student development with theinstructor’s on-line help. We find that the sequence courses stimulate students to achieve their required skills andknowledge in the ECET curriculum via developing their computer game assignments andprojects as a vehicle. As a result, the sequence essentially establishes a bridge between thecomputer game courses and the traditional signal processing courses with multimediaapplications offered in our ECET program. In this paper, we first outline the sequence contentand present pedagogies for teaching the sequence courses. Most importantly, we examine courseassessment and analyze outcomes of the student learning effects on their upper level coursestudy. The performance comparisons with the pros and cons, between the students who havecompleted the game and multimedia sequence courses and the traditional students who are usedto do paper exercises and textbook reading, are addressed. Finally, the further development andimprovement of sequence content are also proposed.Partial list of References:[1] G. Sindre, L. Natvig, M. Jahre, “Experimental Validation of the Learning Effects for aPedagogical Game in Computer Fundamentals,” IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol. 52, No.1, February 2009.[2] W. Dann, S. Cooper, R. Pausch, Learning to Program with Alice. Second Edition, PrenticeHall, 2008.[3] W. Jones, Beginning DirectX10. Premier/Thomson-Course, 2008[4] Z. Li, M. Drew, Fundamentals of Multimedia, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458,2004.[5] L. Tan, Digital Signal Processing: Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier/Academic Press,2007.[6] L. Tan, J. Jiang, “Improving Digital Signal Processing Course with Real-time ProcessingExperiences for Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Students,” ASEE AnnualConference, June 2010.[7] L. Tan, J. Jiang, “Teaching Advanced Digital Signal Processing with MultimediaApplications in Engineering Technology Programs,” ASEE Annual Conference, June 2009.

Tan, L. (2011, June), Experiences of Teaching Computer Game and Multimedia Sequence Courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17960

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