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Education, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date Nov. 2013

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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Education publication information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C2
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  • Editorial: A New Direction for the IEEE Transactions on Education: Part I. Developing Shared Understanding of the Scholarship of Application

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 373 - 376
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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  • Using University-Funded Research Projects to Teach System Design Processes and Tools

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 377 - 384
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (990 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper highlights the development of a new course structure and an associated knowledge support system, deployed as a pilot program at the senior undergraduate and first-semester graduate level. These two new courses, run consecutively, allow the injection of funded research projects to be used as a means to teach topics related to systems engineering. During the two courses, the students analyzed a real Department of Defense (DoD) problem. Specifically, the courses sought to teach students how to apply systems engineering processes, tools, and analysis to engineering design problems. These two courses are described in depth, and details are given of the knowledge support system, educational structure, and assessment of this pilot program. Student perception of this new educational pilot program was assessed by surveys and is reported here. View full abstract»

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  • Dynamically Personalized E-Training in Computer Programming and the Language C

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 385 - 392
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (982 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes ELaC, a fully implemented and evaluated novel integrated environment for personalized e-training in programming and the language C. Software development relies on many different programming languages and tools, ranging from procedural to object-oriented and query languages; an individual learning a new language may already know a range of other languages, or may know no other languages at all. Given the variety of backgrounds of prospective learners of programming, developing learning environments for all of them is not easy. In the light of these problems, this work has focused on the development of an original integrated e-training environment for programming and the language C, incorporating a student model responsible for identifying and updating the student's knowledge level, which takes into account each individual user's pace of learning. The system can adapt dynamically to each individual learner's needs by scheduling the sequence of learning lessons on the fly. This personalization allows each learner to complete the e-training course on at their own pace and according to their ability. View full abstract»

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  • Estimates of Use of Research-Based Instructional Strategies in Core Electrical or Computer Engineering Courses

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 393 - 399
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (461 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Many research-based instruction strategies (RBISs) have been developed; their superior efficacy with respect to student learning has been demonstrated in many studies. Collecting and interpreting evidence about: 1) the extent to which electrical and computer engineering (ECE) faculty members are using RBISs in core, required engineering science courses, and 2) concerns that they express about using them, are important aspects of understanding how engineering education is evolving. The authors surveyed ECE faculty members, asking about their awareness and use of selected RBISs. The survey also asked what concerns ECE faculty members had about using RBISs. Respondent data showed that awareness of RBISs was very high, but estimates of use of RBISs, based on survey data, varied from 10% to 70%, depending on characteristics of the strategy. The most significant concern was the amount of class time that using an RBIS might take; efforts to increase use of RBISs must address this. View full abstract»

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  • A New Experiment-Based Way to Introduce Fourier Transform and Time Domain–Frequency Domain Duality

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 400 - 406
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (858 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes a complex multistep problem exercise used in a problem-based learning (PBL) context to introduce the fundamentals of the Fourier transform (FT) and convey the concept of the time domain-frequency domain duality. This complex problem exercise (CPE) consists of obtaining the frequency response (network function) of an RC circuit from voltage measurements taken during the charge/discharge transient and is carried out in circuits, electronics, and electromagnetism laboratories. Although it is widely accepted that undergraduate students should be introduced to FT, this involves substantial and complex mathematics. In order to avoid this difficulty, the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) is used as an approximation to the FT because it is easier to use in a computational environment. The CPE uses a practical approach to concepts such as impulse response, sampling theorem, Nyquist frequency, aliasing, and uncertainty and causality principles; it is thought to be of pedagogical interest as an introduction to the FT. In particular, it could be of interest to instructors and undergraduate students taking courses in circuit theory, electromagnetic theory, linear systems, and digital signal processing in electrical engineering or similar degree programs. View full abstract»

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  • Project-Based Learning in Embedded Systems Education Using an FPGA Platform

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 407 - 415
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (747 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    With embedded systems becoming ubiquitous, there is a growing need to teach and train engineers to be well-versed in their design and development. The multidisciplinary nature of such systems makes it challenging to give students exposure to and experience in all their facets. This paper proposes a generic architecture, containing multiple processors, that allows easy integration of custom and/or predefined peripherals. The architecture allows students to explore both the hardware and software issues associated with real-time and embedded systems. Furthermore, the architecture can be extended to train students in advanced concepts in embedded multiprocessor systems. This generic architecture has been used for two courses at the National University of Singapore-one on real-time embedded systems and the other emphasizing the hardware aspects of embedded systems. The project in the real-time embedded systems course has students develop a five-a-side soccer system on multiple field-programmable gate array (FPGA) boards using embedded processors. In the embedded hardware design course project, students use an embedded processor-based system to perform decryption of a block encrypted image, accelerated through a custom co-processor. The use of displays gives students a visual/interactive experience and a sense of accomplishment, while reinforcing the theoretical concepts. Both qualitative and quantitative assessment results are presented, showing how students perceived these projects and met the learning objectives. View full abstract»

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  • Consolidating the Electromagnetic Education of Graduate Students Through an Integrated Course

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 416 - 423
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (928 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In the context of an international, English-spoken, post-graduate Telecommunications Engineering program, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna, Italy, offers a course “Electromagnetic Technologies for Link Design,” conceived for both telecommunications students and Master's students from various engineering fields, all with very different Bachelor degree backgrounds. The course addresses the increasing demand from industry for engineers who are comprehensively educated, rather than extremely specialized. The course lecturers have expertise in various areas of applied electromagnetics and use a deductive approach to show diverse applications, all grounded in the same basic electromagnetic concepts. View full abstract»

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  • Microcontroller-Based Robotics and SCADA Experiments

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 424 - 429
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (543 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The recently rapid increase in research and development in automation technology has led to a gap between education and industry. Although developing countries need to keep in touch with the latest developments, that poses some difficulties for industrial automation education, such as cost, lack of student motivation, and insufficient laboratory infrastructure. Low-cost experimental setups may overcome many of these challenges. This paper describes how supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and robotics experiments in control and automation education can be conducted at reasonable cost. These setups consist of a fluid tank, a Cartesian robot with a three-axis robot arm, and serial, parallel, USB, and TCP/IP communication ports. These experiments were developed and used in control and automation education in the Automation Laboratory of Ege Technical and Business College, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey. The presented experiments were also quantitatively evaluated using the one-way ANOVA test on the exam results, and qualitatively evaluated by a discussion session and survey. The results indicated that student performance improved when microcontroller-based experimental setups were used, and that increasing the complexity of experiments also helped improve students' academic success. View full abstract»

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  • Comparing the Effectiveness of an Inverted Classroom to a Traditional Classroom in an Upper-Division Engineering Course

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 430 - 435
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (411 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    An inverted, or flipped, classroom, where content delivery includes video lectures watched outside of the classroom, is a method that can free classroom time for learner-centered activities such as active and problem-based learning. This study compared the effectiveness of an inverted classroom to a traditional classroom in three areas: 1) content coverage; 2) student performance on traditional quizzes and exam problems; and 3) student observations and perception of the inverted classroom format. A control-treatment experiment comparing an inverted classroom to a traditional lecture-style format was used. The results show that: 1) the inverted classroom allowed the instructor to cover more material; 2) students participating in the inverted classroom performed as well or better on comparable quiz and exam questions and on open-ended design problems; and 3) while students initially struggled with the new format, they adapted quickly and found the inverted classroom format to be satisfactory and effective. View full abstract»

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  • A Remote Laboratory as an Innovative Educational Tool for Practicing Control Engineering Concepts

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 436 - 442
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (556 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents the development, structure, implementation, and some applications of a remote laboratory for teaching automatic control concepts to engineering students. There are two applications: formation control of mobile robots and a ball-plate system. In teaching control engineering, there are two main approaches to control design: model-based control and non-model-based control. Students are given insight into: 1) for model-based control: identification of real processes (i.e., dealing with noise, choosing the sampling time, observing nonlinear effects at startup, pairing input-output variables); and 2) for non-model-based control: the advantages and disadvantages of auto-tuning techniques. The paper concludes by presenting an evaluation of these remote labs and discussing the advantages of using them as complementary tools for teaching control engineering at the Bachelor's and Master's level. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluating Constructive Alignment Theory Implementation in a Power Systems Analysis Course Through Repertory Grids

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 443 - 452
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1317 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Individuals perceive their environment in terms of their individual mental structures that in turn determine their attitudes toward that environment. This is the focus of personal construct theory (PCT), which states that experiences are meaningful only in relation to the way they are “constructed.” Within the higher education system, the “constructs” developed by students determine the way in which they perceive their learning environment and are used to judge or evaluate their learning experiences. To reveal the constructs developed by students, a structured interview methodology known as the repertory grid technique can be used. In this paper, the repertory grid technique is exploited to evaluate a consensus-based constructive alignment theory implementation in a M.Sc.-level power systems analysis course. The repertory grid technique is utilized as an approach to effectively gather feedback from students through interviews during course evaluation meetings. It is shown that the repertory grid technique provides much valuable, insightful quantitative and qualitative data. Experience in using this technique revealed shortcomings that are illustrated and discussed in detail. Various visual and statistical methods are applied to analyze the elicited repertory grids. These analyses, along with the other traditional feedback channels, gave insight into the teaching and learning activities (TLAs) involved in implementing Constructive Alignment Theory in a course and helped determine specific elements of the course design needing improvement for future course deliveries, thus helping to improve education in a cornerstone course of power systems engineering. View full abstract»

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  • Game-Console-Based Projects for Learning the Computer Input/Output Subsystem

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 453 - 458
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (337 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The input/output (I/O) subsystem is an important topic within computer architecture (CA) because it determines how the computer interacts with its environment. For this reason, computer scientists and engineers must understand how the computer manages this interaction, which is usually taught in introductory CA courses. Of course, there are many different styles of teaching, ranging from purely theoretical to completely practical. The CA course considered in this paper has already applied a practical approach for some time. For the I/O subsystem, students must be able to describe what polling and interrupts are and handle them through low-level programming. However, programming at this level in operating system (OS)-driven computers is not possible without being familiar with the kernel and drivers, which is not usually the case for students in an introductory course. Fortunately, there are many bare and specialized embedded systems around that are not OS-driven. In this proposal, the Nintendo DS (NDS) console was used in a classroom setting. It proved to be an appropriate infrastructure for developing attractive and engaging projects and was useful in providing a better understanding of the mechanisms related to the I/O subsystem. At the same time, the teaching methods were altered to make the transition from classical, passive, lecture-based classes to an active project-based learning (PBL) approach. It has been a very rewarding experience to see students learning to control the NDS devices on their own. In addition to describing the implementation of the proposed changes in two subsequent school years, this paper also presents some data and conclusions. View full abstract»

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  • Teaching Electric Drives Control Course: Incorporation of Active Learning Into the Classroom

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 459 - 469
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1329 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes an attempt to improve the educational methods of an electrical drives control lecture course by incorporating active learning strategies into the classroom. The proposed active learning strategy is based on the combined use of both sample-guided and student-oriented learning approaches and student learning assessments. The main objective of this initiative is to rapidly and easily equip undergraduate engineering students with more practical knowledge of advanced adjustable speed drives control strategies through the use of a minimal number of flexible DSP-based setups. The course organization, including the educational prerequisites and strategies, is described, and several intuitive examples devoted to modeling, simulation, and implementation of ac induction motor (IM) drive control are provided. The proposed educational method gives students an intuitive way of grasping the main concepts and offers them the opportunity to apply their knowledge and explore their problem-solving capabilities. A questionnaire elicited student feedback on the development of their knowledge and practical skills as well as their achievement of learning goals; the results of this evaluation are summarized. View full abstract»

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  • An Electromechanical Approach to a Printed Circuit Board Design Course

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 470 - 477
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1074 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes a printed circuit board (PCB) design course based on electromechanical workflow. The course relies on the premise that a PCB is an integral component of any electronic apparatus, along with its other electromechanical and mechanical components. To emphasize this to students, electrical and mechanical computer-aided design tools are used in synergy. The course content is described in detail, and the design workflow is illustrated, using a project to design a data acquisition instrument as an example. View full abstract»

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  • Teaching HW/SW Co-Design With a Public Key Cryptography Application

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 478 - 483
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (491 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes a lab session-based course on hardware/software (HW/SW) co-design. Real problems often need to combine the speed of an HW solution with the flexibility of an SW solution. The goals of this course are to show that there are many alternative solutions in the design space and to teach the fundamental concepts of HW/SW co-design. The sample application for the course project is a basic public key (RSA) application. This application is attractive for pedagogic purposes because its complex arithmetic and large word lengths make it difficult to realize in SW on an embedded microcontroller. However, the alternative of a pure application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) application is also not a satisfactory solution, as this lacks the flexibility to support multiple public key applications. The project follows a stepwise approach, with assignments that build on each other. Students are required to make their own decisions as to the partitioning between HW and SW, the interface design, and the optimizations goals. Besides imparting hard skills in HW design and embedded SW design, the course inculcates several soft skills-in particular, decision making, presentation skills, teamwork, and design creativity-generally overlooked in engineering. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 484
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Education information for authors

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C3
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • [Blank pages - Back cover]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C4
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Aims & Scope

Educational research, methods, materials, programs, and technology in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and fields within the scope of interest of IEEE.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Jeffrey E. Froyd
Texas A&M University