F9-SP2-2 - Introducing Autonomy in an Embedded Systems Course Project

2. Research-to-Practice Full Paper
Diane Rover1 , Nicholas Fila1, Phillip Jones1, Mani Mina1
1 Iowa State University

This Research-to-Practice Full Paper presents the redesign of a course project to promote student professional formation in engineering in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Iowa State University. This is part of a larger effort to redesign core courses in the sophomore and junior years through a collaborative instructional model and pedagogical approaches that promote professional formation. A required sophomore course on embedded computer systems has been assessed and revised over multiple semesters. The redesign of the project was initiated with the purpose of promoting student professional formation, interest, autonomy and innovation, and it was undertaken using a collaborative process.   This paper describes the course, final project, redesign process, assessment, results and future work. Several conclusions from the research may be useful to other educators.  A small change to the course project yielded positive effects in interest and autonomy and may influence longer term effects of the project. There was evidence of difference in engagement with the project. The difference observed was not only due to option selected by students but why students selected the option.