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The Impact of Providing Unlimited Access to Programmable Boards in Digital Design Education

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5 Author(s)
Mihaela Elena Radu ; Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN, USA ; Clint Cole ; Mircea Alexandru Dabacan ; Joe Harris
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This paper presents the benefits and costs of providing students with unlimited access to programmable boards in digital design education, allowing hands-on experiences outside traditional laboratory settings. Studies were conducted at three universities in two different countries-Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN; Washington State University, Pullman; and Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania-to measure the effect on student learning and student performance of students having their own programmable hardware systems and unrestricted access to the most commonly used design tools. The results of the studies, supported by assessment data from various sources, suggest that the overall learning process is improved, and students gain a better knowledge of modern technologies and design methods if they are given full time access to programmable logic boards.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 2 )