June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.874.1 - 12.874.8
Incorporating Studio Format into an Introductory Microprocessor Course
In the fall 2002 semester I expanded an introductory microprocessor course by adding studio content and received very positive results. Studio format is a method of teaching engineering material, using cooperative learning and hands on activities. This course is a requirement for all of our electrical engineering and computer engineering undergraduate students. The course previously did not have laboratory content and in expanding the course we chose studio as an alternative to laboratory format. Unlike other uses of studio format, the lecture component was retained as-is. In this case studio is scheduled separately from the lecture component. While our scheduling of studio time is like that of a laboratory, the studio format is actually quite different from laboratory format in several ways. In particular, for an introductory microprocessors course, studio provides an effective means to get students active early in the semester. In summary, we find that studio format helps greatly in teaching introductory microprocessor topics and we are continuing to refine our use of studio format in this course.
During the fall 2002 semester a change in the electrical engineering curriculum required us to increase the content in our introductory microprocessor course. The course is a requirement for all of our electrical engineering and computer engineering undergraduate students. The course previously did not have laboratory content. In considering how to increase the course content by one credit, to four credits, we first considered adding laboratory content, then chose to try something new and add studio content. Studio format is a method of teaching engineering material, using cooperative learning and hands on activities. With studio content, the course changed from being a bother to one that students truly appreciate.
The term “studio format” has a range of meanings attached to it in the literature. We use the term here to mean an instructor led scheduled time period that is not project oriented, using cooperative and hands-on learning techniques. Courses are often taught entirely in the studio format, combining lecture, cooperative learning, and hands on exercises. A semester outline of studio activities is given later in the paper. In talking with a colleague, I became concerned whether all the required material in a microprocessors course can be presented this way, in one semester. In being the required microprocessor course for electrical and computer engineering undergraduate students, this is a particularly important concern. With the ABET emphasis on outcomes, the course plays an important role in the overall curriculum.
Given the consideration of our expanding the course, we chose to retain the lecture component as-is and add studio content as a separately scheduled component. Other uses of studio format usually contain a lecture component in some form. I was concerned that if the entire course were to adopt studio format, there might be a tendency for the lecture component to dominate. I suspect such tendency may start as the perceived need to cover material in an overly comprehensive fashion, by presenting supporting material. In scheduling the studio component
Hill, J. (2007, June), Incorporating Studio Format Into An Introductory Microprocessor Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1621
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