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Discussion "Education and Technology"

  • Time: 0930-1020AM, 2008/11/17.
  • Location: Armstrong Building 1109.
  • Participants: Students taking ECE462. Details will be announced later.
  • Orgainzers: Deborah Bennett (Educational Studies), Cordelia Brown (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Melissa Yale (Discovery Learning Center)


In Fall 2008, ECE 462 is conducting two experiments: (1) Using on-demand lecture videos and interactive laboratories (2) Teaching parallelism and multi-thread programming using objects. The first study aims to understand whether students can learn better in the new format "Directed Problem Solving" (DPS). DPS intends to improve traditional teaching where the instructors give lectures and students take notes. In DPS, the instructors work closely with students to solve problems in the homework assignments. DPS has also been experimented in ECE 270 and ECE 362.  In 2008, Professors Brown, Lu, and Meyer received Class of 1922 Helping Student Learn Award, for their innovation: "Development and Deployment of the Directed Problem Solving (DPS) Course Format''. The second study focuses on teaching students how to "think in parallel". As multicore processors become popular, engineers have to understand and develop parallel software. ECE 462 is one of the many computer engineering courses teaching parallelism. Other courses include ECE 495K (for first year students), ECE 264, ECE 270, ECE 362, and ECE 437.


The evaluate the effectiveness of learning using these new teaching approaches.


You can participate in two ways. You may choose to answer questions by participating in a group discussion or completing an on-line questionnaire.The group discussions will be led by Professor Brown from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor Bennett from the College of Education, and Melissa Yale, a doctoral student in Educational Studies. Participation in the discussion groups will be voluntary during class time on 2008/11/17. Students who choose not to volunteer for in-class discussions can complete the on-line questionnaire about their course experiences.

Neither the instructor or the teaching assistant will participate in the discussion. The on-line questionnaire will be anonymous.


This study is supported in part by two research grants:

  1. Purdue Teaching and Learning with Technology, "Hybrid Content Delivery: On-Demand Lecture Videos and Interactive Laboratories", PI: Yung-Hsiang Lu, Co-PI: Deborah Bennett, Cordelia Brown, and Melissa Yale.
  2. National Science Foundation (CNS 0722212), "CPATH EAE: Extending a Bottom-Up Education Model to Support Concurrency from the First Year'', PI: Vijay Pai, Co-PI: Cordelia Brown, Yung-Hsiang Lu, Samuel Midkiff, and T. Vijaykumar.
  3. Equipment donation from Intel. The machines are msee190pcxx.ecn.purdue.edu, algolxx.ecn.purdue.edu, and qstructxx.ecn.purdue.edu. All of them have multi-core processors.