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Over the last three years, the authors have moved an introductory course in digital design from a lecture format in a traditional classroom to one using cooperative learning in a mediate classroom. Dynamic PowerPoint presentations are used to script the course so that uniform treatment of the material is delivered to the 750 students enrolled per year. All course materials are made available to our students on a CD at the beginning of the course. The CD includes all PowerPoint presentations, LogicWorks circuit simulations used for in-class demos/team exercise and laboratory experiments. Their students like having the PowerPoint presentations available to them. It allows them to concentrate on what is said (rather than taking notes), and it provides them with templates for performing the team exercise. The dynamic features of PowerPoint allow us to provide the students with a take-home dynamic recording of the time-domain evolution of digital sequential circuits. Use of the in-class computers to allow students to experiment with digital-circuit realizations is extremely valuable. The authors' students report that using LogicWorks in class to experiment with pre-built digital logic circuits helps them better conceptualize the cooperative exercises and lecture material Shared in this paper are some of the lessons they have learned about adapting cooperative learning and using a mediated classroom in a freshman level course in digital design.
Frontiers in Education Conference, 1999. FIE '99. 29th Annual (Volume:3 )
Date of Conference: 10-13 Nov. 1999