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Impact of PLP on Student Learning: Initial Results

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.687.1 - 23.687.16

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Paper Authors

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Rebecca L. Damron Oklahoma State University


Sohum A Sohoni Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Sohoni is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at Arizona State University's College of Technology and Innovation. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2004 and his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from COEP at Pune University in 1998. After his Ph.D., he worked as an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University from 2005 to 2012.
Dr. Sohoni’s research interests are broadly in the area of computer architecture and performance analysis. He has recently expanded his research interests to include engineering education, and has published his work at ASEE’s national conference and ASEE’s Midwest section conference. He advises several undergraduate, M.S., and Ph.D. students.
Dr. Sohoni believes that classroom instruction needs to incorporate the presentation techniques of today, as well as interactive teaching methodologies such as case studies and team learning. He is a popular and well-respected instructor, and has received several teaching awards including the CEAT Halliburton Excellent Young Teacher Award in 2009 and the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010 at Oklahoma State University.

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YoonJung Cho Oklahoma State University

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Dr. YoonJung Cho is an assistant professor in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology at Oklahoma State University. Her research is focused on students' achievement motivation and self-regulated learning process and teachers' motivation and its impact on instructional practices, both in traditional classroom setting and online instruction. She is also interested in developing cognitive and psychological scales measuring learning, motivation, and emotion.

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Kerri S Kearney Oklahoma State University

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Dr. Kerri Kearney is an associate professor of educational leadership at Oklahoma State University. Her professional experience is in both education and consulting (organizational development, and executive coaching). She holds an M.B.A. and an Ed.D. Her research agenda primarily focuses on the emotional impacts of human transition, human learning, other mothering, and visual methodologies in qualitative research.

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Impact of PLP on Student Learning: Initial Results The Progressive Learning Platform (PLP) is a System on a Chip design with accompanyingtools reflecting a contemporary CPU architecture. All hardware components of PLP are written inVerilog HDL, are open-source, and are freely available. To support the hardware components, aunified assembler, cycle accurate emulator, and board interface software package is included. Thesoftware is written in Java, works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, is open-source, and is freelyavailable. The PLP hardware and software components are licensed under the General PublicLicense version 3 to encourage open access and contribution. All parts of the system are publiclyhosted and a public mailing list is used to serve as a communication channel between users anddevelopers of the system. This paper reports on the pilot study that examines the impact of PLP on student learningin an introductory microprocessors class. Both quantitative and qualitative data showed thatstudents’ knowledge of microprocessors observably increased with the use of the ProgressiveLearning Platform as a tool for learning. Student-based qualitative data was collected throughwritten reflections, student focus groups, and video transcripts. Data included analyzing studentuse of language over time, focus group reports and content matter pre- and post quiz results. Linguistic analysis suggests change from dependence to independence in troubleshootingand problem-solving, comfort with PLP as demonstrated through progressively more effectiveuse of the term, and shift of responsibility of learning from instructors to student teamenvironments. Analysis of the data from student focus groups shows dramatic increase in studentreported engagement and motivation within the PLP classroom environment. Students attributedthis primarily to teaching style and methods and perceived authenticity of task and environmentcreated by the use of PLP. Pre- and post quiz results show significant gains in students’knowledge of computing fundamentals.

Damron, R. L., & Sohoni, S. A., & Cho, Y., & Kearney, K. S. (2013, June), Impact of PLP on Student Learning: Initial Results Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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