A NEUROSCIENCE APPROACH REGARDING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN THE CLASSES OF MICROCONTROLLERS DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

I. Marin 

University Politehnica of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
The process of teaching has been greatly changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that studying will not resemble anymore the process known by the previous generations of students. As the current generations learn by doing and use their intuition, new platforms need to be involved in the teaching process. The current paper proposes a new method to keep the students engaged while learning by involving neuroscience during the classes of Microcontrollers. Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards are studied at the course of Microcontrollers using online simulation environments. The Emotiv Insight headset is used by the professor during the theoretical and practical hours of the Microcontrollers course. The analysis performed on the brainwaves generated by the headset provides numerical values for the mood, focus, stress, relaxation, engagement, excitement and interest levels of the professor. The approaches used during teaching were inquiry-based learning, game-based learning and personalized learning. In this way, professors can determine how to improve the connection with their students based on the use of technology and virtual simulation platforms. The results of the test show that the game-based learning was be best approach because students had to become problem solves and start to use the software skills which they will need as future software engineers. The emphasis is put on mastering the mindset by having to choose their actions and to experiment along the way. According to their achievement, students receive experience points in a gamified environment. Professors need to adjust to a new era of teaching and refine their practices and learning philosophy. They need to be able to use virtual platforms with ease, as well as to engage with their students in order to determine and satisfy their needs.