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Incorporating programmable logic devices (PLD) in digital design courses has become increasingly popular. The advantages of using PLDs, such as complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), have been discussed before. However, previous studies have focused on the experiences from the point of view of the instructor, with some general impressions from the students. This paper instead focuses on the students' point of view, and most importantly, investigates whether the use of programmable logic has helped facilitate the learning process. This investigation was based on the results of a comprehensive survey that was given to the class shortly before the end of the term, and a comparison of final exam scores between a previous class that did not use PLDs and the current class that did use PLDs. The surveys and their test scores provide solid evidence as to gauge whether using PLDs really does benefit students trying to learn digital design and basic computer architecture.