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A concept map approach for introduction to Computer Engineering course curriculum

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2 Author(s)
Tokdemir, G. ; Comput. Eng. Dept., Atilim Univ., Ankara, Turkey ; Cagiltay, N.E.

As in any discipline, in Computer Engineering, students start learning the basic concepts of the discipline in their first year through an Introduction to Computer Engineering course. The topics toughed in this course can be grouped into two. The first group includes simple concepts like binary numbering system, hard disk, memory, and I/O devices. In the second group, an introduction to the courses that they will take in the next semesters of the program which includes programming, networking, software engineering, artificial intelligence and database systems. The main objective of this course is to give an introduction about the general concepts of the field to the first year Computer Engineering students and prepare them to understand the connections between them for their future studies. However, students and instructors face with many problems in this course. First, because of the diversity of the concepts given in the course, it is very difficult for the students to see the big picture of the Computer Engineering domain. Similarly, it is difficult for the instructors to prepare the course content in an integrated manner at the students' level. Additionally, the perception of the theory and practice behind the hardware and software topics and their connections is not an easy task for the beginners. Moreover, the topics are mostly abstract topics, which do not allow application of any laboratory sessions. Students usually find this course difficult to understand, which decreases their motivation about the department and success of the course. This study is established to propose a concept map approach to better visualize and discover all the connections between the concepts of Computer Engineering field which can be used in the curriculum of the programs and introductory courses of the field addressing the above problems. The proposed concept map helps to visualize the general picture of the field.

Published in:

Education Engineering (EDUCON), 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

14-16 April 2010

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