An Interactive Simulator-Based Pedagogical (ISP) Approach for Teaching Microcontrollers in Engineering Programs


Microcontrollers is a required course in most Electrical, Computer, and Mechanic Engineering (Technology) programs at U.S. universities. Most engineering courses (e.g., microcontrollers), by nature, introduce abstract concepts, definitions, and models, and use primarily lectures and readings (words, symbols) to transmit information. This traditional engineering educational method has its unique advantages but also serious shortages. In this paper, we analyze the features of the traditional engineering education method and investigate two major reasons that may cause students not to learn engineering curricula, and try to remedy them by proposing an interactive simulator-based pedagogical (ISP) approach for enhancing the teaching and learning process, without compromising the depth or breadth of course materials. Demonstration examples are presented. The effectiveness of the ISP approach is evaluated from both the questionnaire-based assessment and the outcome-based assessment. The ISP approach can be incorporated into a variety of educational settings.


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