Jon Valvano and Ramesh Yerraballi

Jon Valvano and Ramesh Yerraballi

Cockrell School of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Embedded Systems - Shape the World

How do they do it? If that is your reaction every time you see an electronic gadget you like, then wonder no more. Join us on a journey that will unravel how these electronic gadgets are designed, developed, and built as embedded systems that shape the world.

Embedded systems are all around us. They are complex and combine mechanical, electrical, biological, physical and chemical components along with a computer, hidden inside, to perform a single dedicated task. Teaching these complexities requires hands-on learning which is embraced in this course with a learn-by-doing approach; bridging the virtual and physical learning space. In a collaborative environment, learners around the world are taught to discover solutions to real-world problems through virtual instruction and collaboration along with applied learning with personal microcontroller kits.

Project Highlights:

  • A substantial hands-on lab component provides students with experiential learning in a virtual global MOOC environment.
  • Microcontroller Kits support a hands-on lab component which learners purchase at a discounted rate in collaboration with Texas Instruments.
  • Using the enhanced forum tool, Piazza, enhanced student communication and collaboration.
  • Piloting Google hangout integration and utilizing community-building features in edX work to foster virtual community and strengthen student engagement.

Learner Insight:

I've just completed the archived course and labs on edX. I only found the course in July. I just wanted to thank you for the course. It is by far the best MOOC I have completed. The videos are excellent and the documentation to back them up superb. What really made the course stand out for me was the automated grading scripts. These offered feedback as to why I hadn't got 100% and by repeating and refining my work I always managed to get 100% in the end, this feedback really helped me learn. Putting all the labs together for the final Space Invaders lab is tough but I'm proud to say I have managed to get the sound, lights, screen, switches and slider all running. The only disappointment is I won't get a certificate, but I may be back if the course is rerun to get that! Thank you again for your hard work in putting this course together.