Incorporating Embedded Systems courses in a general and broad Computer Science undergraduate curriculum can be a challenging task. The lack of experience with relevant tools and programming languages tends to limit the amount material that can be included in courses on this area. This, combined with limited familiarity and theoretical background within the field, makes motivating the students a serious issue.
In this paper we describe our effort to change one of the embedded systems courses at the University of Twente in a way that enables students, without additional prior knowledge, to obtain a broad experience on the field of Wireless Sensor Networks and possibly motivate them to follow a further specialization in Embedded Systems. To achieve this goal we moved away from the traditional course where students first had to practice with all the tools and languages needed to program embedded systems, after which they could work on the real challenges, to a course where students could work on the final challenges from the start.
Reversing this order eliminated the amount of time and effort students had to spent on learning tools and languages of which they did not yet understand the final purpose. This reversal led to a course that was received with great enthusiasm. Furthermore, given the progress the students showed during the course, this new approach proved to be highly effective. Hopefully the effects of this course can be seen in the following years in the form of a higher number of students choosing a specialization in Embedded Systems.
|Workshop||2009 Workshop on Embedded Systems Education, WESE 2009|
|Period||15/10/09 → 15/10/09|