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Mobile Robots As Instructional Technology Tools For Celts

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.457.1 - 5.457.14



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Paper Authors

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Katherine C.S. Whitaker

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Richard W Freeman

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

Session #2793

Mobile Robots as Instructional Technology Tools for CELTS Richard W. Freeman, Katherine C.S. Whitaker Iowa State University

Computer Engineering 181X and 182X, Computer Engineering and Problem Solving I and II, were designed as pilot courses for Computer Engineering students involved in the new Learning Community within Iowa State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. As a pilot program, the learning community was designed to be flexible, but include subject matter elements of Computer Engineering, at the same time focus on the retention of first year students. As part of the retention effort, mobile robots were incorporated as an instructional technology tool.

The Mobile Robots served to teach problem solving, as well as reinforce C Programming, teamwork, and other social skills. The robots also served as a teaching platform for second and third year Computer Engineering concepts. First year Computer Engineering students were introduced to the concepts of Digital Design, Computer Organization, and Embedded Systems.

In the flexible environment established for the Learning Community, the students formed teams and assembled the robots. This was not the original intent of the staff, but allowing the students to assemble the robots satisfied their need to build their own mobile computing platform.

This paper focuses on the objectives, selection criteria, and exercises associated with using mobile robots as an instructional technology tool for a first year Computer Engineering Learning Community.


“I want to be a Computer Engineer because I like building/programming computers.” This is not an uncommon statement made by first year Computer Engineering Students. While students are given catalogs, bulletins, and flowcharts that explain their learning program, they expect to start “doing” Computer Engineering from Day One. Instead they face a year of Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, and other foundation courses and some students become discouraged. Some ultimately choose to change majors or transfer to another university.

Whitaker, K. C., & Freeman, R. W. (2000, June), Mobile Robots As Instructional Technology Tools For Celts Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8571

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