A Project-Based Learning Approach to Design Electronic Systems Curricula

J. Macias-Guarasa, J.M. Montero, R. San-Segundo, A. Araujo, O. Nieto-Taladriz
2006 IEEE Transactions on Education  
This paper presents an approach to design Electronic Systems Curricula for making electronics more appealing to students. Since electronics is an important grounding for other disciplines (computer science, signal processing, and communications), this approach proposes the development of multidisciplinary projects using the project-based learning (PBL) strategy for increasing the attractiveness of the curriculum. The proposed curriculum structure consists of eight courses: four theoretical
more » ... es and four PBL courses (including a compulsory Master's thesis). In PBL courses, the students, working together in groups, develop multidisciplinary systems, which become progressively more complex. To address this complexity, the Department of Electronic Engineering has invested in the last five years in many resources for developing software tools and a common hardware. This curriculum has been evaluated successfully for the last four academic years: the students have increased their interest in electronics and have given the courses an average grade of more than 71% for all PBL course evaluations (data extracted from students surveys). The students have also acquired new skills and obtained very good academic results: the average grade was more than 74% for all PBL courses. An important result is that all students have developed more complex and sophisticated electronic systems, while considering that the results are worth the effort invested. Index Terms-Curriculum design, Electronic Systems Curricula, project-based learning, software and hardware tools for education. Javier Macías-Guarasa (S'92-M'96) received the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees (with highest distinction
doi:10.1109/te.2006.879784 fatcat:bcsqyrxsmjb6jk4uwiomj7hw7y