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The need for professional programmers in embedded applications has become critical for industry growth. This need has increased the popularity of embedded software design courses, which are resource-intensive and space-limited in traditional real lab-based instruction. To overcome geographic and time barriers in enhancing practical skills that students require for embedded software design, this paper presents a remote multiuser platform designed to allow students to experiment with embedded systems “anytime” and “anywhere” through the “always open” lab (3A). The open 3A Multiuser Lab (3AML) integrates open source and network address translation (NAT) service techniques to offer a low-cost and efficient experimental environment for students. The current study achieves the educational goals of training students to apply and integrate embedded software programming by combining teaching methodology and the proposed open 3AML aids. In addition to describing the various experimental stations of the open platform and the students' project achievements, this work also discusses the campus-wide teaching assessment results and the satisfaction survey of the learning platform with students.
Date of Publication: May 2011