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Improving students' hardware and software skills by providing unrestricted access to state of the art design tools and hardware systems

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5 Author(s)
Mihaela Radu ; Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, USA ; Clint Cole ; Mircea Dabacan ; Joe Harris
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The technology and CAD tools employed by industry to design digital hardware evolve quickly and continuously. Well prepared engineers, who are able to produce actual designs and adapt themselves to the global world, are in demand. Educational programs must keep pace with technologies in common use in order to produce graduates who are competitive in the marketplace. Studies conducted at two different universities, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Washington State University measure changes in student performance when all students have unlimited access to state of the art design tools and hardware systems. Data are collected from surveys, exams, and course assignments. Quantitative data are analyzed by comparison to historical data gathered from student groups that did not have unlimited access to hardware systems, and qualitative data are used to determine the subjective quality of each student's experience. Outcomes include: assessing whether the overall learning process is improved; whether students have a better knowledge of modern technologies and design methods; whether their comprehension of founding concepts has improved or faltered.

Published in:

Microelectronic Systems Education, 2009. MSE '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-27 July 2009