Supporting Self-Directed Learning in a Project-Based Embedded Systems Design Course

James Larson, Shawn S. Jordan, Micah Lande, Steven Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Contribution: This article shares the learning ecosystem of a project-based embedded systems course, identifying course elements that support self-directed learning and how assignments guide students toward becoming adaptive experts. Background: The technology advances while the fundamentals of electrical engineering remain static. Educators can increasingly prepare students to identify what they need to know to solve problems and avail themselves of resources to learn. This article seeks to further understand ways that a project-based learning approach in an undergraduate embedded systems course can facilitate students' self-directed learning. Research Question: In what ways can a project-based learning approach in an undergraduate embedded systems course facilitates the self-directed learning amongst students? Methodology: This article, conducted in the context of an existing embedded systems design (ESD) course, relied on interviews of students, teaching assistants, and faculty along with document analysis and a mixed inductive-deductive thematic analysis. Findings: A learning ecology of the course is presented. This includes descriptions of space and facilities that influence student motivation, means by which the pedagogical intent of the instructor impacts the student experience, how the course builds on project-based learning knowledge, how the content is distributed using knowledge sharing, how Making supported the ecosystem, how students and instructor occupy similar roles, how the curricular design process was conducted, and how the open ecology promotes student self-direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9046768
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Adaptive expertise
  • iterative prototyping
  • learning ecology
  • project-based learning
  • self-directed learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Supporting Self-Directed Learning in a Project-Based Embedded Systems Design Course'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this