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RHL-BEADLE: Bringing Equitable Access to Digital Logic Design in Engineering Education

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Broadening Participation through Access, Equity, Inclusion in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer Engineering Division (ECE)

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Paper Authors


Rania Hussein University of Washington

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Dr. Rania Hussein is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Washington, where she also serves as the founder, principal investigator, and director of the Remote Hub Lab (RHLab). With her research focus on embedded systems, medical image analysis, digital twinning, and remote engineering, Dr. Hussein is committed to developing innovative solutions that enhance equity and access in engineering education and telehealth practices. Her work in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education led to the successful building and passing of the religious accommodation law in the State of Washington, which provides alternative exam testing accommodations for students due to religious observances. Dr. Hussein is the recipient of the 2021 Innovative Program Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Association (ECEDHA), for founding the RHLab, as well as the 2022 IEEE Region 6 Outstanding Engineering Educator, Mentor, and Facilitator in the Area of STEM Award, recognizing her contributions to advancing students' success, mentorship, empowering under-represented communities, and promoting equitable access to engineering education.

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Riley Connor Maloney University of Washington

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Riley Maloney is a fourth-year undergraduate research assistant for the Remote Hub Lab (RHLab) at the University of Washington. Maloney's academic background includes majors in Physics: Teacher Prep, and Computer Science, and minors in Leadership, Mathematics, and Education Learning, & Societies. Maloney's research focuses on increasing access for STEM education to under-represented communities.

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Luis Rodriguez-Gil

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Jon Ander Beroz

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Pablo Orduna LabsLand

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The vast scope of digital design and the cost associated with purchasing and maintaining specialized lab equipment can pose a significant obstacle for pre-college students. This challenge is particularly significant for students from low-income and underrepresented minority backgrounds who often begin their higher education journey in community college programs with limited funding and access to engineering hardware. BEADLE, a project designed to promote equity in access to educational technologies, seeks to address this issue by providing an affordable platform that allows students to remotely access industry-grade hardware to learn and develop their skills in digital design as a step towards pursuing advanced digital design coursework in a university setting. The success of an advanced digital design course delivered using a remote Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) lab inspired the creation of an introductory digital logic curriculum for 2-year community college and high school students. The BEADLE curriculum is designed to prepare students for a junior-level course in computer engineering at a 4-year university, where digital logic is typically taken during the first two years. To evaluate the curriculum, we offered it to a sophomore class on digital logic design at a 4-year public university and collected pre- and post-assignment surveys to gauge understanding of the material. Reflection pieces were also used to evaluate the students' approach and level of comprehension. In this paper, we provide an overview of the BEADLE curriculum, and report on the results of its evaluation using a remotely accessible FPGA lab. Additionally, we highlight the various features integrated into the remote lab platform, aimed at enhancing students' understanding of the curriculum content.

Hussein, R., & Maloney, R. C., & Rodriguez-Gil, L., & Beroz, J. A., & Orduna, P. (2023, June), RHL-BEADLE: Bringing Equitable Access to Digital Logic Design in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--44147

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