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This paper describes an initial study of using tablet PCs and interactive course software in integrated circuit (IC) design courses. A rapidly growing community is demonstrating how this technology can improve learning and retention of material by facilitating interaction between faculty and students via cognitive exercises during lectures. While numerous examples of using this technology exist, there is not much literature regarding its application to electrical engineering and IC design in particular. This paper presents examples from three different IC design courses to describe the types of cognitive activities that can be facilitated with this technology. While these examples are specific to IC design, the basic techniques are valid for any application. This study does show some initial success, which, it is hoped, will spark interest at other universities and lead to a better examination of its effectiveness through larger sample sizes.
Date of Publication: May 2011