Top-Down Learning Pedagogy for Real Time Embedded System Design

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Journal of Engineering Education Transformations


This paper presents an innovative pedagogical approach for average learners to implement projects by effectively fitting their knowledge in solving real-world problems. In particular, it concentrates on embedded systems and embedded signal processing as the current world is experiencing through digital era. Even though both courses are taught, only less numbers of students are opting for embedded projects due to fear of coding and lack of fitting their knowledge appropriately. The focus of this study is to make students to come out of fear by following top-down teaching learning methodology for the design and implementation of Electro Cardio Gram (ECG) data acquisition system. Accordingly, initial interest has been generated by taking the students to the hospital where doctors acquire ECG routinely for their patients and do Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to observe the spectrum for diagnosis purpose. Every real time system uses high level language for implementation. However, non-computer science students always found it difficult. In order to make the students to come out of fear, simple scripting language MATLAB was tried first. MATLAB coding demo was given to observe the waveforms and an exercise was made to correlate with actual workplace. After interest creation phase, the relationship has been established between the practical they did and the workplace instrument. In the final stage, their learning process was activated by applying inquiry-based (Masoodhu Banu et al. (2020)) learning. Once the quest for real time implementation was created, it was observed that the student's curiosity was increased enormously and was instituted to be effective coders in solving real time applications with more confidence.

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