Integrating computer engineering education with a platform for learning

TitleIntegrating computer engineering education with a platform for learning
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHeer, D., R. Traylor, T. Thompson, and T. S. Fiez
Conference Name33rd Annual Frontiers in Education (FIE)
PaginationF2F_17 - F2F_22
Date Published110/2003
Conference LocationWestminster, CO
Keywordsbreadth, community, depth, digital logic, engineering education, innovation, Platform for Learning, robot, TekBots

Computer engineering is predominately taught in a way that separates topics into seemingly unrelated islands of information, where each island is the class in which the topic is presented. When viewed across classes, the topics seem to have little relation to each other. The way topics are presented ignores the need for connection and for integration, which should be at the core of an engineering education [Van Heuvelen, 1991]. Using a platform for learning across the entire computer engineering curriculum, topics in different classes which seem disconnected can be placed into a unifying framework under which all the topics can be blended into a coherent whole. The platform acts as the consistent reference point that connects the spectrum of topics throughout the curriculum. In the spring of 2002, a new platform for learning, called a Tekbot was integrated into the computer engineering curriculum at Oregon State University. This paper describes how the integration of topics has improved the curriculum and paints a roadmap of how the platform will be used across the computer engineering curriculum.