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Integrating Active And Cooperative Learning Strategies To A Redesigned Microprocessor Based System Design Course

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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

4.321.1 - 4.321.10

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Paper Authors

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Juan Manuel Hinojosa

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Alfonso Avila

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

Session 2532

Integrating active and cooperative learning strategies to a redesigned Microprocessor based system design course

Alfonso Avila, Juan Manuel Hinojosa ITESM Campus Monterrey


The paper presents the active-cooperative learning strategies incorporated to a redesigned Microprocessor based system design (MbSD) course. The microprocessor based system design (MbSD) area is both the target of technological innovations and a common requirement in many engineering fields. Important technological trends in this area are the availability of powerful and sophisticated tools for design and development, and the continuous improvement on both the design methodologies and the fabrication technology. To be competitive in this area, industry employers are looking for engineers with qualifications such as: self-guided learning, system design skills, team-working skills, development tools skills, and ethical behavior. Educating professionals at universities with these qualifications becomes a key to support the continuous development of the MbSD area. To do this, the authors have formally incorporated active- cooperative learning strategies based on the course redesign framework implemented at ITESM Campus Monterrey. This redesign framework provides the basis to adjust the curricula using valuable pedagogical principles such as: “the student is the subject and the object of the learning process” and cooperative learning. The active-learning strategies are dynamic and productive techniques to facilitate the learning process by applying and incorporating knowledge. The learning strategies introduced to the E95-857 course are: (1) learning general concepts of programming and interfacing microprocessors before learning the disposition of a specific processor, (2) learning to program and interface a specific processor through the “case of study” technique, (3) programming and simulating microprocessor based systems, and (4) building and simulating actual microprocessor based systems. The discussion of the active and cooperative learning strategies includes a description of how each of the strategies meets the redesign framework principles as well as their expected effect on educating professionals with the required qualifications to continue the development of the MbSD area.

1. Introduction

This paper describes the cooperative and active learning strategies incorporated to the microprocessor system design course, which is offered to third-year undergraduate students at ITESM Campus Monterrey. This course is specifically designed to serve engineering students enrolled in the Electronics and Communications program and has two digital systems courses as prerequisites and is the prerequisite for the Digital Systems Design Laboratory. The active learning term defines a class environment where the students act as an active learners rather than passive receptors2. In such an environment, the students build their own knowledge by criticizing, debating, and analyzing the course material. Active learning attempts to complement the traditional class environment where the student usually performs as a passive receptor.

Hinojosa, J. M., & Avila, A. (1999, June), Integrating Active And Cooperative Learning Strategies To A Redesigned Microprocessor Based System Design Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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