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New Approach For Teaching A Microcontrollers System Design Course For Engineering Technology

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Innovation in ECET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.913.1 - 15.913.8



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Paper Authors

author page

Fernando Rios-Gutierrez Georgia Southern University

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

New Approach for Teaching a Microcontrollers Systems Design Course for Engineering Technology


The Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program at our University (XXX) offers a Microcontrollers System Design course which is a four-credit course that all students are required to take for the EET program. The main goal of this course is for the students to learn basic programming techniques (in assembly language) and practice their implementation in practical projects for the lab component. However, although the department has offered the microcontrollers course for many years and students have been successful in learning assembly programming and basic project’s testing and implementation, the course has been not easy for the students to understand and the lab projects were too simple that they did not afford for the students to truly demonstrate their full capabilities.

Due to the above, the microcontrollers course has been modified and the contents updated to have the latest technology available and its contents made more accesible for the students and to develop lab experiments in which students learn to implement actual engineering applications.

In the new course format the course outcomes have been upgraded to include: • Learning basic structure programming techniques and the use of simple data structures. • Learning the description of a program structure using flow diagrams. • Updating the course contents so that besides learning to program in assembly language, students also learn how the same program can be implemented in a high level language such as C. • Updating lab projects that show the use of microcontrollers in real engineering applications • Developing of team projects • Writing of formal project reports.

The new format has elevated the level of student achievement in the course and their projects implementation are now typically more challenging and professionally manufactured, so that they allow the interactions of the students as a team. The paper describes the faculty effort required to make the appropriate changes in preparation for the new format of this course, the particulars of the implementation, how the course evolved and the improvement in student performances are described. We also present the methods, mechanisms, and lessons learned during the process and how they can be helpful to others contemplating a similar course, or those anticipating a revision to an existing engineering technology program.

Rios-Gutierrez, F. (2010, June), New Approach For Teaching A Microcontrollers System Design Course For Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15764

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