An Ill-Structured PBL-Based Microprocessor Course Without Formal Laboratory


This paper introduces a problem-based learning (PBL) microprocessor application course designed according to the following strategies: 1) hands-on training without having a formal laboratory, and 2) intense student-centered cooperative learning through an ill-structured problem. PBL was adopted as the core educational technique of the course to accomplish student learning outcomes such as fundamental knowledge acquisition and applications, practical design experiences, problem-solving skills, higher-order thinking, teamwork and Communication skills, and lifelong self-directed learning capability. In the designed course, students were required to build their own hardware system on a breadboard and learn how to program, download, and execute from a student mentor's demonstration. Students were also asked to choose a design topic for their team project with minimum guidelines and were encouraged to learn whatever was necessary to accomplish the project autonomously. The course has been offered for two years and has obtained overwhelming positive feedback from students.

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