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Project Based Learning Using Tablet Pcs: A Practice To Enhance Design Components In Engineering Instruction

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer Tools for Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.1195.1 - 12.1195.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2363

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

author page

Jianyu Dong California State University-Los Angeles

author page

Nancy Warter-Perez California State University-Los Angeles

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

Project Based Learning Using Tablet PCs: A Practice to Enhance Design Components in Engineering Instruction

Abstract

This paper presents a Collaborative Project Based Learning model using Tablet PCs to enhance the design components in engineering classroom instruction. The core of our proposed model is to incorporate small in-class Tablet PC-based collaborative design projects to reinforce theory with design examples and to guide students through the design process. This PBL model has been implementation in three core computer engineering courses (Microcontroller Programming, Computer Logic Design, and Multimedia Networking) since Fall 2005 and the students’ feedback has been very positive. In all pilot classes that incorporated the model, a significant improvement of students’ hands-on skills was observed. The broad implementation of the model demonstrates that it could be applied to any course where computer aided or assisted design is an essential component. Course level assessment results will be included to show the impact on teaching efficiency and student learning outcomes. In addition, potential problems and implementation challenges will be discussed for future improvement.

Introduction

The ability to design a system or a component to meet practical requirements is one of the essential skills that students should acquire through engineering education 1-2. To enhance the students’ design skills, many engineering educators have proposed various approaches, one of which is Project Based Learning (PBL) 3. PBL has been recognized as an effective way to reinforce course theory and to improve students’ hands-on skills. However, how to incorporate PBL into the curriculum remains an open question. This is particularly challenging on a commuter campus with a 10-week quarter and no teaching assistants, where students are often not on campus outside of class hours, there are no TAs for recitation sessions, and there is a short learning window especially for projects.

In years 2005 and 2006, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) received an HP teaching initiative award and subsequently an HP leadership award, which allowed us to explore a novel in-class Collaborative Project Based Learning model (CPBL) using Tablet PCs. The HP awards include three faculty stations and 60 Tablet PCs for students to use in the classroom. This equipment, along with the enabled wireless network, can easily transform a traditional classroom into a mobile computer room, which provides an ideal platform for collaborative learning. The core of our proposed CPBL model is to incorporate small in-class Tablet PC-based collaborative projects to stimulate students’ interest in learning new theory, to reinforce theory with design examples, and to guide students through the design process. Dynamic presentations using Tablet PCs improve the efficiency of course material delivery. Thus, more interactive demos and hands- on design components can be accommodated within the same amount of instruction time.

This paper presents the details of the proposed CPBL model, as well as its implementation in three core computer engineering courses (Microcomputer Programming, Computer Logic Design, and Multimedia Networking). In the pilot classes that incorporated the proposed model, a significant improvement of students’ hands-on skills was observed. The broad implementation

Dong, J., & Warter-Perez, N. (2007, June), Project Based Learning Using Tablet Pcs: A Practice To Enhance Design Components In Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2363

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