Use Software Simulation to Foster Student Learning in Microcontroller Related LABs and Projects

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Miao, Lei
Issapour, Marjaneh
Jativa, Carlos
SUNY , State University of New York , IITG , Innovative Instructional Technology Grants , STEM , Active Learning , Collaborative Learning Technologies , Adaptive Learning Technologies
Microcontrollers are widely used in homes, offices, cars, factories, etc., and they have been an essential component of electrical and computer engineering education. Microcontrollers and their applications normally involve both software and hardware. It means that in microcontroller related LABs and projects, students often need to test and troubleshoot the software they develop on hardware platforms they build. This is often a challenging task for students because of the nature of software/hardware co-design. In this project, we aim at using software simulation to improve students' learning experience in microcontroller LABs and projects. Specifically, we have the following objectives: i) to help the students complete their microcontroller related LABs and projects in a more manageable way; ii) to design simulation demos that can be used in lectures to help the students understand the course materials; and iii) to reach out to high school students with microcontroller simulations in order to promote their interests in studying STEM in college. Various assessment methods will be used to evaluate the project outcomes, based on which we will further improve and sustain the activities proposed in this project.
Project Outcome: This project helps electrical and computer engineering students complete their microcontroller related courses in a more manageable way.