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This paper describes an integrated strategy to innovate teaching in the undergraduate classroom by appropriately utilizing information technologies. The innovation is an interactive learning environment built around an interactive electronic book (i-book). The i-book is a tight integration of a hypertext document with a simulator. The hypertext specifies the presentation order of the theoretical topics, and the simulator is an essential piece of learning. The lectures exploit the i-book, transforming the classroom into an interactive teaching laboratory. An electronic white board is used in every lecture to teach from the text and run the simulations. Our goal is to teach adaptive systems to undergraduate electrical engineering students. Undergraduates do not have the mathematical background to comprehend the equation-based approach utilized in graduate-level adaptive systems courses. We have used the i-book for undergraduate instruction with very positive results. We are now ready to extend the format for distance learning. This new teaching methodology transcends adaptive systems and can be applied to other engineering and science courses which have access to simulators.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2000