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Using Project-Based Assignments in a Graduate-Level Digital Signal Processing Course

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1 Author(s)
Nelson, J.K. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA

We study the use of project-style assignments to facilitate student learning in an introductory graduate-level DSP course. Specifically, we aim to help students understand fundamental DSP concepts, draw connections between theory and practice, and develop motivation to learn the course material. Weekly homework assignments, used in the Fall 2005 semester, were replaced by four larger-scale projects in the Spring 2006 semester; each project jointly presents theoretical and applied aspects of DSP topics. To evaluate the effects of using projects rather than problem sets, we administered six questions from the signals and systems concept inventory (SSCI) at the beginning and end of both semesters. In addition, student surveys were administered at the end of each term. While the quantitative data does not indicate that the projects resulted in improved understanding, the open-ended survey responses give helpful information about the projects' effectiveness and how their structure might be improved

Published in:

Digital Signal Processing Workshop, 12th - Signal Processing Education Workshop, 4th

Date of Conference:

24-27 Sept. 2006