June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.659.1 - 15.659.11
HYBRID COURSE FORMAT FOR PROJECTS IN ROBOTICS
Abstract In this paper a hybrid course format is presented. It is an alternative way to introduce hands-on experience into an otherwise lecture-only format robotics course. The course runs as a lecture course for the first half of the semester. In the second half, it turns into a “studio” setting where the students meet during the regular weekly lecture hours in the robotics lab instead. Details of the project assignment, hardware, software, grading and course assessment are explained. Three sample projects are provided.
I. Introduction Robotics courses are commonly found in many universities. They include coverage of introductory background in industrial robotics and often utilize some form of robot motion simulation using software such as MATLAB. Robotics integrates computer programming, electronics and mechanical design into a final product or system. As such, it provides an exciting platform for hands-on learning1-7. However, the lecture-only format of the typical robotics courses cannot take full advantage of this. It is possible to change the format into a lecture-and-lab format, as is the case at many universities. But often there is no room in the curriculum for additional credits or additional resources, such as teaching assistants for the lab, are not available to accomplish this change. This paper presents a hybrid course format as an alternative way to introduce hands-on experience into an otherwise lecture-only format robotics course. The course runs as a lecture course for the first half of the semester. In the second half, it turns into a “studio” setting where the students still meet during the regular weekly lecture hours but in the robotics lab instead. They work on projects in teams and interact with the instructor, teaching assistant and other students. This format provides an attractive alternative to the common lecture-and-lab format since it reduces the number of hours students have to spend on campus by incorporating the lab into the regular lecture hours. Students appreciate this since most of them work to put themselves through school. The hybrid approach is different than a project assignment in a regular course since the students work on the projects with the guidance of the instructor during the regular lecture hours. After a brief review of the course content, the paper discusses the details of the project assignment. Three example projects are provided. Next assessment of the project and the course outcomes are presented. Finally, results of course offerings in this format for four years are presented.
II. Hybrid course structure The Mech 468 “Robotics” course is a 3 semester credit lecture-only senior level elective in our mechanical engineering program. It can be taken either as a free elective or as the last course of a three-course mechatronics option track in our curriculum.
Gurocak, H. (2010, June), Hybrid Course Format For Projects In Robotics Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16250
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