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The Effective Use Of Visualization In Delivering Microcontroller Fundamentals

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Information Integration

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1279.1 - 10.1279.7



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Paper Authors

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George Moore

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Jeffrey Richardson

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Michelle Perry

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

The Effective use of Visualization in Delivering Microcontroller Fundamentals

Jeffrey J. Richardson, George E. Moore, Michelle D. Perry

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


This paper introduces the concept of integrating custom animations that are an abstraction of actual circuit operation with traditional lecturing techniques to enhance the learning experience, by allowing students to visualize the key concepts relative to embedded microcontrollers. Custom animation is used to visualize the dynamic behavior of digital subsystems in embedded microcontrollers to a level not attainable in a traditional classroom or laboratory environment.


Technology has allowed instructors to introduce visual elements into the traditional classroom. Visualization through custom animations can provide a very realistic insight into the functionality of digital systems. Visualizing the dynamic behavior of physical systems is an important part of the learning process for engineering and technology students.


Learning is the active process, or experience, of gaining knowledge 1 . Knowledge can be gained through reading, listening, or interacting with new material. The basic premise of learning is that new information is related to existing knowledge 1 .

Research suggests that learning is hierarchical in the sense that complex learning evolves from simple lower levels of learning2 . New ideas should be carefully structured to integrate and build on the existing knowledge base of the learner2 . The sequencing of new material with respect to the previously learned background material is the key to learning efficientcy2 . The foundation of higher education is that courses build on the knowledge that a student gains in the preceding course.

Findings suggest that learning is influenced greatly by the mental rigor required to learn the tasks, quality of instruction, instructor’s pace of delivery, technology used in the classroom, and the cognitive abilities of students3 . Learning is not only a series of activities and events, but also includes aspects such as motivation2 . Students must be motivated to learn the new material. Academic students, who are high achievers, motivate themselves to study and learn. Non-

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Moore, G., & Richardson, J., & Perry, M. (2005, June), The Effective Use Of Visualization In Delivering Microcontroller Fundamentals Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14407

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