CURRICULUM IMPROVEMENT PROCESS IN A SIGNAL PROCESSING LABORATORY BASED ON STUDENT PERCEPTION
1 University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
2 Pontifical University of Salamanca (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Classes that teachers offer in the laboratory at university are scheduled to help to understand all the knowledge that has been taught in the theory class. Improving the learning process is one of the most difficult subjects in engineering, such as signal processing, was the aim of this work. It was focused on the learning process of students in the laboratory class. In laboratory classes, students working in pairs make some experiments using a brief guide of exercises that teachers give to them.
One of the laboratory curriculum objectives is applying theory over a real system, based on a digital signal processor. Design and development of the schemes to be executed on the processor are made employing a software tool.
Previously, a visual software tool was used, but it isn’t too specific, is not very used in industry and is neither sold nor supported anymore. So changing the development tool with a new visual software platform was decided. The new selected tool is more feasible than the old one, and its extended used in industry can improve the students’ curriculum. Also, the methodology employed in the laboratory practice has to be changed.
Once the new software platform to develop and execute students’ laboratory experiments has been, chosen, it is important to study and design how the processes of changing the software platform have to be done.
The new software offers and also requires a different way of doing the laboratory practice, but also requires a detailed actualization of them, considering its relation with the theory classes.
The laboratory curriculum improvement is based on applying the advantages of the new laboratory software together with students’ perception. Students can show professors the best way to teach other students the most difficult concepts and ideas of the subject.
For this purpose, it has been necessary to change and adapt all the practices and exercises from the old platform to the new one, considering the differences and common aspects between them. Looking for new strategies to improve students’ learning it was planned a specific methodology.
This methodology is based on teachers and students working together, taking into account both points of view. A selection of students that had passed their exams with success was made to guarantee success on the process.
The students who have collaborated on this work have offered their perception of how to improve the subject learning. The new laboratory practices have just been carried out by new students in their course. The obtained results are good enough, according to their qualifications and their perception of the whole learning process.
Finally, student perception has been verified to be really useful and necessary to improve methodology and practice in this laboratory subject. So, this methodology can be applied to other subjects at university, especially to design laboratory practice.
Keywords: Curriculum, laboratory class, signal processing, student perception.